While Twitter is my guilty pleasure, I will freely admit that my Twitter account will not win any awards in the engagement category. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the main one being is that I enjoy being a spectator (of the 849 Twitter accounts that I follow), more so than sharing. A bit one-sided, I know. But hey, at least I’m honest 😉
According to TwitterCounter, I currently gain and follow 30 new Twitter accounts every month. I freely admit that out of the hundreds of Tweets I see daily, only a handful catch my eye or compel me towards an action (i.e. clicking a link, typing a reply, etc.). While the reasons why change quite a bit depending on my mood and my location, here are four things that I really love to see on my Twitter feed.
- Images. Twitter may limit your tweet to 140 characters, but a picture paints a thousand words. This is especially true with news stories. It may sound counterproductive, but for me, the image associated with the Tweet of a news story is just as important as the headline itself…maybe even more.
- Say my name. Personally, DMs on Twitter don’t really excite me much…especially when they are auto-responders. I’ll read your message, but it might not happen for a week or so. A much better way to get my attention is to either reply to one of my tweets, or mention me in one of your tweets.
- Special characters. Of course you can go overboard with them, but in all honesty, tweets that include a special character or two catch my eye. Such as the tweet template created by Spotify, see:
— Rishona C. – MBA (@rishonan) November 11, 2014
- Variety. One way to catch my interest over the long term is to tweet about a variety of topics. If all of your tweets are notifications from your blog, or updates about your day, or quotes, or pictures of your kids, etc.; I won’t necessarily unfollow you. But your Twitter handle won’t pique my curiosity either. Instead, I’ll only be seeking out your tweets when I’m in the mood for your standard fare. And that may not happen too often.
But there is one final bit of advice I have for anyone who wishes to make some genuine connections on Twitter; and that is to stop simply relying on your Twitter feed, and start viewing individual Twitter profiles. Why should you do this? Well one person’s tweets don’t have too much of an impact in a sea of tweets from others. But if you take the time to view an individual user’s account, you can see fairly quickly where their interests are, and it builds an online persona that you can begin to relate to. Twitter is like the 24-hour, virtual house party of social media. You can be just like the other 95% and I’ll still enjoy your company, but if you want to be memorable, you have to go the extra mile. Smile at me, learn my name, take time and act interested, do some digging and see what I’m about. Trust me, I do the same to any Twitter account that I find to be interesting.