Sunday, 9 May 2010
How to 'manually' increase your Twitter engagement levels / goals (Part 2 of 3)
By Adam Vincenzini
A couple weeks back I provided you with some tips on 'manually' measuring / benchmarking your Twitter engagement goals.
Today, we're going to look at how engagement can be increased / improved, and next week we'll finish things up with what can be done to maintain this improvement in part three of this series.
Time for some action...
Part two: Increasing / improving engagement
In researching this post I came across two posts that cover off nearly every tactic you can employ to enhancing your engagement in social media and on Twitter.
1. 25 ways to engage contacts in social media by Kyle Lacey
2. 12 tips to engage people on Twitter by Cindy King
To compliment this advice, I'm going to take a slightly different approach, including some 'unconventional' suggestions for you to consider.
A) Play the role of 'connector'
As is often the case in real life, a person who helps foster relationships between other people is incredibly valuable.
With that in mind, aim to make 2-3 'thoughtful' introductions a week between people you think have a something legitimately in common.
It could be as simple as:
"@RogerSmith, you should have a chat with @KellieJones, I reckon you'd get along well"
It's like being at a party - being introduced as opposed to introducing yourself is a nicer entry point - and by initiating new relationships, you are helping two other people engage, which is the best form of increasing your own engagement levels.
Very simply, this part of your week might consist of:
Engage by way of opening doors for others, there is no down-side if this well thought through.
B) Tailor a specific Twitter 'target' list each week
Keeping completely up to to date with everyone in you follow is impossible...unless you make it your full-time job.
Instead, create a Twitter list of 10 people each week you'd like to get to know better.
Activate this list in your Twitter client i.e. TweetDeck and respond / add to the activity they undertake.
If we use the party scenario again, it's similar to circulating in a corner of the room, having meaningful conversations, as opposed to running around the whole room just saying 'hello' to every person on attendance.
Tip: Laurence Borel (aka @blogtillyoudrop) recommends putting these people on private lists - not in a sneaky way, but rather avoid overtly announcing to the world you are paying closer attention to them - this allows you to dive in when you are comfortable.
Additionally, Lauren Fernandez (aka @cubanalaf) recommends that you take additional interest in personal tweets as opposed to professional ones, taking a more human approach to engagement.
C) Go outside your comfort zone
For me, this is the big one.
The best way to be engage is to stimulate thought, not replicate what is already in place.
For example, I avoid re-tweeting anything by Mashable - why? Everyone else in my stream follows Mashable, it's pointless.
So, track down lesser known content or sources and share that information, you will automatically become more interesting, and subsequently engaging.
This section should be bottomless.
You could, for example, spend one day a week just replying / contributing to what is in the eco-system.
Other days, create content for the eco-system.
Or, take a week's break and just listen, without engaging - and then blog about the experience.
My only suggestion here, as Mack Collier put so well recently, is to 'break stuff' - be conscious of your behaviour, but don't be governed by 'the rules' - being engaging is intrinsically linked to being unique, make that a focus.
I found writing this post the most difficult of the three because I don't think there is a magic formula for 'being' engaging - it stems form being human, and being you - the tips can help, but creating your own path is the best way to go.
Next week, we'll take a look at maintaining your increased levels of engagement.
Try the things Kyle and Cindy suggested, and perhaps consider my tips, but more than anything just experiment - once you have found an approach that works for you, I'll give you some tips as to how you can keep that momentum going.
Just a reminder that the first #CommsChat starts on 24 May - follow @CommsChat for more information.