Welcome back to our new Optimization Series on the Resonance blog!
After looking at Mari Smith’s tips for Facebook News Feed Optimization (NFO), today we turn our attention to what I like to call “Facebook’s really hyperactive little brother,” Twitter.
Twitter is in many ways the “Apollo 13” of the social media world: You’re tasked with presenting an effective message that (1) engages your audience, (2) promotes your brand, and (3) includes key search terms … all in 140 puny little characters.
And, believe it or not, yes, there is a trick to it.
While Facebook has been fairly open about having an algorithm to determine post rankings in newsfeeds (it even has a name: EdgeRank), Twitter is a little more fuzzy on the matter. So the best we can do is look at the practices that have been successful in generating clickthroughs, retweets, and favoriting, and see how we can apply them to our own Twitter M.O.
Here are a few of my tried-and-true favorites:
1. Use Keywords
Find out which keywords are popular with your audience and use them where appropriate in your tweets. In other words, phrase your tweets using terms that your customers use themselves. For example, if you’re tweeting about gardening for beginners, you might want to substitute the term “alstroemeria” with the more common “Peruvian lily.”
2. Use Hashtags
Many of the people I talk to are confused about Twitter hashtags. The important thing to know is that a hashtag doesn’t actually do anything; it’s just a marker that acts as shorthand for “this tweet is about x“ where x is a keyword or topic. So adding a hashtag that associates your tweet with a particular topic makes it easy to find for anyone who may be searching on that topic.
For example, if I add the hashtag #blogging to a tweet about editorial calendars, tweeters looking for blogging advice would be more likely to find it than if I hadn’t added the hashtag. Make sense?
3. Retweet and Follow Back
Retweeting others’ posts and following your followers back is a great way to build your base and encourage interaction, both of which help increase your Twitter mojo.
4. Mix It Up
Don’t just link to your own content; refer your followers to other relevant blog posts, articles, videos, and webcasts to keep it fresh and interesting.
5. Be a Good Conversationalist
Remember that Twitter is a telephone, not a megaphone. Many people use Twitter to ask questions, vent about problems, and request support. Listen for these mentions (Twilert is a great tool for this) and make sure to reply promptly and appropriately. Anyone who stumbles across the original tweet via search will also see your response, which is good for your cred.
Of course, these are just a few of the best practices that can help optimize your Twitter presence. Have any of your own to add? Let us know in the comments—we’d love to hear from you!