Most businesses struggle to make social “work.”
Whether you’re trying to expand your presence on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platform, the ultimate goal is to get more engagement from your audience. More retweets, more likes, more comments and shares.
That extra engagement leads directly into the main goal: getting more web traffic.
But if most businesses are doing it wrong, then how can you make sure you’re doing it right?
I’m going to cover the 8 best ways to increase your engagement on Twitter, and then at the end, show you how to start implementing them today.
Let’s dive in.
1. Embrace Visual Marketing
From images to videos, social media platforms are more visually driven than ever before. And there’s a reason: the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
Still not sure? Images on Twitter have been proven to receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets.
To take advantage of this, use tweets with images to grow your email list, sending them directly to your landing page.
Even better, set up tweet cards that allow users to subscribe to your list directly from within Twitter.
2. Use a Call to Action
Sometimes people need to be told what to do. So if you want more retweets or for your audience to share your content, tell them.
Use actionable words such as “download,” “free trial” and “sign up now” to increase the number of clicks your tweets receive.
Using these action words will increase clicks by an average of 13 percent.
3. Create Content that Encourages Real Connections
Your first priority on Twitter should be serving your audience by providing great content at all times, ideally content that encourages real connections.
So what kinds of tweets encourage real connections, you ask?
Honest tweets. Express how you really feel on different topics – even hot button topics. People may love or hate what you have to say but at least it will encourage strong emotional responses.
The feeling tweet. Ask your audience how they are feeling. Are they having a sluggish Monday? Are they ready to attack the day head on? What would you post on your personal profile on Facebook? People will be more drawn to you if you act and sound like yourself.
“Have you ever” or “Who else” tweets. People love to talk about themselves, so ask a question that encourages them to do that! Ask open-ended questions about whether or not your audience has done something or considered trying something.
The “What’s best” tweet. Taking a poll of your followers or asking questions like this not only gets some extra engagement from them, but it also provides you with useful information at the same time. Win-win.
Humorous tweets. You may not have the same humor as everyone, so like the tweets where you share your honest opinions, this one is may result in a mixed response. However, it will help connect you with those who share your sense of humor.
Quotes. Quotes are hugely popular on Twitter and you should definitely consider adding some that will resonate with your brand. Quotes get an average of 847% more retweets than questions, and users who share quotes tend to have 43% more followers. Use them to your advantage.
Tip series. Create a series of tips that you can share made up of valuable information your audience could use personally or professionally.
By providing value-packed tips, your audience will start to recognize that you’re a great resource and an authority figure in your niche.
Curated content tweets. As you find helpful articles and other resources, share them on Twitter with your audience. Not only will it save you some time since it is less content you have to create for yourself, it will also help you solidify your position as an authority figure.
The venting tweet. While I recommend only doing this on rare occasions, we all need to blow off a little steam from time to time, and if there’s a frustration you’re experiencing chances are someone else is too.
Promotional tweets. Promotional content should only be shared on occasion. Stick with the 80/20 rule, with 80% valuable, non-promotional content and 20% promotion. But don’t make the mistake of not doing ANY kind of promotion. After all, you are there to grow your business and people understand that.
4. Tweet Frequently
The average lifespan of a tweet is just 30 seconds.
This means that if I’m only tweeting once a day, if my audience isn’t on their newsfeed within 30 seconds of the time that I tweet, they will probably NEVER see any of my tweets unless they go directly to my profile.
That’s definitely a problem!
Tweet at least once an hour from the time your audience gets up in the morning until the time they go to bed in order to be sure to catch them on Twitter. Personally, I tweet from 6 AM until 1 AM Eastern time, in order to be sure to reach my followers from coast to coast.
5. Use Hashtags
Hashtags have been proven to double your engagement rate—they create higher visibility because they make your content easier to find in the search results.
Just make sure you’re not using too many hashtags. Tweets with more than two hashtags have a 17% drop in engagement. Also make sure you’re using the right hashtags for your industry. Use sites like Hashtagify.me to make sure you’re maximizing on your hashtags potential.
6. Highjack a Trending Topic
Are there any hashtags trending on Twitter that you could utilize to draw more attention to your content?
Take advantage of the chatter around big events. For example, during Social Media Marketing World, many marketers are on Twitter sharing golden nuggets of information they’re hearing from the speakers. Others who can’t attend are watching the conversations and trying to learn what they can.
Knowing this, you could create a piece of content from information gathered at the event using the hashtag. A blog post like that would not only generate a lot of retweets it would also push a lot of traffic to your site.
7. Send Direct Messages
While it’s true that direct messages (DMs) are primarily spammy, if done correctly they can provide value for engaging.
There are a couple ways you can use DMs on Twitter to increase engagement and connect with others. Just remember the number one rule: “don’t make it about you.”
Send personalized direct messages
Try selecting between three and five people each day and sending them a personalized message based on what you’ve read on their Twitter profile, ideally something you have in common. Just start a conversation as you would if you were out at an event and met someone new.
Use an auto DM
When people tell you to never send a DM on Twitter, they’re likely referring to an auto DM. However, I have to tell you that I’ve had a lot of success with using a DM to start conversations.
I’m using an auto DM that thanks people for connecting with me and asks if they’re using social media for business or pleasure. And it works! I get a large amount of engagement within DMs and I build relationships there.
8. Join Tweet Chats
Tweet chats are a fun way to get Twitter users together at an established time to talk about a specific topic.
A hashtag is used to help the participants organize the conversation into one stream and connect with one another.
It’s a great way to get more followers and engagement in a short amount of time, whether you are holding your own or joining in on someone else’s tweet chat.
Here’s how you can get started right now:
First: Take the five most popular articles on your site.
Second: Create a visual tweet using Pablo for each article.
Third: Share each of those new visual tweets three times this week.
Planning Your Traffic Building
We made a spreadsheet for you to make this easy.
Go ahead and open up it here, make a copy for yourself, and follow along, plugging in numbers as you go.
The only areas you need to edit are the ones in blue. The ones in grey update automatically.
1. Figure out where you are now
At the top, plug in your current number of monthly visitors.
This is your starting point. Your goal will automatically be set to double your current number. It’s aggressive! But it ‘s the best start on the road to 1 million visitors and we believe you can do it.
2. Pick Your One Channel
Now I want you to pick one channel to focus on. Pick the one that’s most exciting, or that you feel the most comfortable with. If you have completely no idea, start with social media since that’s what the first couple lessons are about.
Here are your options:
Organic (traffic from search engines)
Referrals from other websites
Your #1 focus for the next month: getting this channel up so you can hit your goal number.
To make up the difference between your goal and where you are now, you’ll need to try some things that you’re not currently doing.
This is where the experiments come in.
3. Brainstorm Experiments
Now, for the month, come up with 3 things you could do to get more traffic. Make sure they’re actionable.
Don’t say “get more twitter traffic” say “tweet five times a day and include at least one hashtag in each.”
If you’re looking for other social ideas you could join in two twitter chats a week, share 3 photos a day on Instagram with calls to visit your site, or post daily in 5 new Facebook groups. The point is to make it specific, actionable, and have a high potential.
Not sure what to do for experiments? Ask in the Slack channel. You’ll get more later as we work through the lessons.
4. Guesstimate Your Traffic
With your experiments in place, guesstimate how much traffic you think you can get from each idea. Think about it on a daily schedule, and base it on your existing numbers.
For example, if a tweet usually results in 5 visits to your site, then sharing 3x a day would get you 15 more visits a day, or 450 a month.
Don’t worry about your guesstimate being perfect, the point is to give you an idea of what to prioritize.
Now you’ll see the one experiment you should focus on. This is where you need to start putting your efforts for traffic building, everything else is a distraction. ONLY do 1 for the next 30 days.
5. Print it Out
Last, print that baby out and put it by your computer. You should be getting reminded of your goal and experiments daily to make sure it happens.
To recap, here’s what you should have done. If you skipped a step… well do you want your million visitors or not?:
Grabbed your most recent month’s traffic from Google Analytics to get your goal
Picked which of the six channels you want to focus on
Come up with three experiments you could try for that channel
Guesstimated your possible traffic from each, and put it by that experiment
Printed out your spreadsheet and put it by your computer