Twitter has its merits, but making your voice heard in such a crowded space can feel daunting. This week I had an ah-ha Twitter moment: Distinguishing yourself on Twitter doesn’t require a complex strategy; it just requires you to converse more often. Specifically, every other tweet you post should be directly conversational in nature.
Twitter has become a noisy place to hang out online. Back in the early adopter days, spammers stuck out like sore thumbs, and the real life users I met on the site were excited to engage online, and even to meet up in real life. In St. Louis, Missouri in around 2009, there were real-life Tweet-Ups in correlation with networking events, conferences, and sometimes just for the sake of getting together for a drink at a local bar.
These days, Twitter is harder to navigate. If you aren’t careful, you can feel like you’re in a huge room with concrete walls and high ceilings — where 2,000 other people are talking loudly over one another. It’s like the worst networking event you’ve ever attended. Voices echo from the walls and the ceiling, and you can’t even hear yourself think — much less hear what anyone else is saying to you.
This post isn’t about how to listen better on Twitter, though maybe I’ll write about that sometime, too. This post is about how to distinguish your voice and gain quality followers in the wash of Twitter noise. The short story is this: every other tweet should be conversational.Tweet This
Two tweets. That’s all you see when you click on the profile picture of a new Twitter follower — just two tweets. I’ve sent out more than 32,000 tweets since joining Twitter in September, 2008. The only glimpse a stranger will see of my activity on Twitter, though, is whatever I happened to tweet the last two times I was online.
When I’m trying to decide whether to follow a new follower back on Twitter, I take a quick look at their profile. If their two most recent tweets were both promotional tweets, pushing their business or a blog post on me, I’m unlikely to follow them back. If at least one of their two most recent tweets is conversational with someone else on Twitter, I’m likely to follow them.
Twitter is only useful as a tool of engagement — not as one more one-way platform from which to leverage push-marketing. You’d be surprised though at just how many Twitter accounts don’t even use Twitter for two-way engagement 50% of the time.
Distinguishing yourself — and gaining quality new follows — doesn’t require a complicated social media strategy or an outside consultant. Just make sure that your tweets are designed to be part of a conversation with other people on Twitter. That one single trick will set you apart from the majority of the Twitter accounts out there in your industry, I promise.