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Make Your Twitter Stream Inviting

Make Your Twitter Stream Attractive (1)Last week I discussed why you don’t need to worry about who follows you on Twitter, and I said I’d talk this week about how to make your content attractive enough to attract the right kind of followers. Here goes.

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 maybe 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
  3. Engagement

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. My gut feeling is no more than a 1/3 of the time, but if you want to go with less, that’s okay. Just make sure you talk about yourself some of the time.

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, 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.

3. Engagement

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 shares 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.

By the way, a similar balance works pretty well on most social media channels, so don’t think this just applies to Twitter. With minor tweaks, it works on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ and just about any of the others.

What kind of balance do you use, and how does it work for you?

  • Great tips! And thanks for the reminder about self promotion – it bugs me so much when all people do is self promote, but I then forget to it some of the time too!!

    • Juli Monroe

      I once had someone tell me she’d been told you could never promote yourself on social media. So not true, and I really wanted to swat the person who told her that.