Of course you want to attract followers on Twitter, right? And you’ve probably figured out that you need more in your stream than blatant self-promotion. Someone’s mentioned that social media is about “engagement,” and you’re still trying to figure out what that means.
All this leads into how to make your Twitter stream attractive to potential followers. So what do the savvy Twitterati look for (you only want the savvy ones, right)?
They look for a stream with the following three categories of tweets:
1. Self promotion (some is okay)
2. Shared content
What specifically are those and how do you balance them in a good twitter stream? Let me explain.
1. Self promotion
Most of us are on Twitter because we want something. Clients, traffic to our website, buyers for our books. Stuff like that. It’s okay to talk about yourself and what you offer. Just don’t do it all the time. Chris Brogan says no more than 1/12 about you. I’m not sure I completely agree. My feeling is no more than a 1/3. If you fall somewhere between Chris and me, you’ll be fine.
2. Shared content
Studies have shown that many people are on Twitter for information. Some news items are now spreading faster through Twitter than through traditional news channels. To be attractive to other Twitter users, you need to provide information. Retweeting interesting news or blog posts or sharing links to videos are the easiest ways to do this. Retweeting other people’s content also encourages them to retweet your stuff. I believe that at least 1/3 of your content should be shared content.
What does that mean exactly? It’s a fancy way of saying “talk to people.” If someone asks a question, answer it. I found a referral for a friend of mine over the weekend because I responded to a question. If someone says he’s having a crappy day, offer a word of encouragement. If someone share a triumph, respond back with something positive. How much of your stream should be engagement? Well, if you’ve been paying attention and can do basic math, you’d probably guess about 1/3. And you’d be right.
So 1/3 self promotion, 1/3 shared content and 1/3 talking with people. If your stream has that balance, you’re going to look pretty attractive to potential followers.