The math for Twitter appears so promising.
At last count, over 300 million people use Twitter. Certainly, at least a few people will appreciate your clever jab at Lady Gaga.
Unfortunately, such logic is flawed.
The social media platform doesn’t make it easy to get noticed. You craft the perfect tweet — one sure to enlighten or provoke or perhaps deliver a touch levity — and fling the missive to the outside world.
Yet, the average person has only snagged a few hundred followers. Even if you’ve beat the odds and have thousands of followers, you’re still depending on a certain amount of serendipity that followers are looking at their Twitter feed during the same 30-second window that you click the send button. Sure, a hashtag means access to an audience beyond your followers, but again, your tweet and the audience’s glance at their feed must intersect in a tight window or your tweet must find its way into some type of a backburnered scroll.
And seeing your tweet doesn’t automatically translate into engagement. The content of your tweet must move the person to take action as a retweet or reply or like.
Before going further, I should point out that this dynamic applies to the average person, not those with fame. I believe it was F Scott Fitzgerald who wrote, “Let me tell you about celebrities on Twitter. They are different from you and me.”
Consider DeMarcus Cousins, an all-star basketball player on a bad team in Sacramento, who on the strength of what I would term Tier 3 celebrity status, enjoys 655,000 followers on Twitter. When Cousins dissed Sacramento’s choice in the first round of the NBA draft with a tweet — nice touch with the prayer emoji — it triggered 49,016 interactions.That’s not going to happen for the average person on Twitter.
Here’s another quote to ponder:
“If a Tweet falls in the forest and no one is around to see it, does it make a communication?”
Twitter recognizes this challenge with ongoing advice to increase the probability of a retweet by using:
- Photos (35% boost)
- Videos (28% boost)
- Quotes (19%)
- A Number (17%)
- Hashtags (16%)
Search on “science to improve Twitter engagement” on Google and you can wade through literally millions of links promising sure-fire ways to get noticed in the Twitterverse.
Here’s the problem.
If everyone is following this advice, then how does it help you stand out?
That’s why I said the hell with science. The way I can best serve you in improving engagement on Twitter is to offer radically new techniques that deviate from the status quo.
I’ve captured the techniques in a tidy list below for easy forwarding:
- Report on Breaking News Before CNN Arrives
- Better Yet, Be the Breaking News
- Avoid “Me Talk”
- Say Something Fresh to a Celebrity
- Offer Something in Return
- Use Attention-getting Punctuation
- Attach Cute Pet Photos
You might be thinking, “If everyone embraces these techniques, then I’m back at square one and not able to stand out.”
This is where the blog’s modest readership works toward your advantage. Rest assured, these techniques will remain the domain of the fringe few.
Still, I’m hoping – no, make that begging – you to tweet this post.