I thought I would return to some of the fundementals of how I help clients to engage every day on Twitter. Part of how I engage and build Twitter audiences focuses on a balanced approach to messaging (certainly another aspect is a targeting which is a topic for another day).
First, there are four basic ways (or food groups) to ‘tweet’ or send messages on Twitter.
- General broadcast: These messages go to all of your followers and are good for general statements, thoughts or opinions. They are also great for sharing updates to your website and/or blog.
- The “@” reply: These are direct responses to people on Twitter and are visible to them (whether they follow you or not).
- The Direct Message: These are private messages sent to people that are following you. They are not displayed to your other followers. They should be used with care, as they frequently are sent directly to others cell phones. Individuals must be following you for you to be able to Direct Message them.
- The ReTweet (RT): these are messages where you are forwarding a message that you enjoyed from one of your followers to others. Note: always follow any links in these messages BEFORE you forward them along!
The Right Mix:
To be most effective in engaging your audience on Twitter, it takes a mix of the above types of messages. By leveraging RT and “@” replies, it shows that you are listening and participating in the community and people will engage with you and listen to what you have to say, when you do a general broadcast.
Your mix of broadcast, RT, @ and DM messages will vary depending on your audience, topic and personal style – the point is to ensure that you leverage all the different message types to engage the audience effectively. Tip to much in any one direction; for example all general broadcast messages, you will not be engaging your audience. Tip the other way; just @ responding - you are not really contributing original thoughts. Take a look at the Twitter stream of some of the masters: Chris Brogan, Pistachio or GaryVee and you will see how they are following this simple principal.
Photo Credit: Mafleen