5 Surprising Ways To Engage Your Audience On Twitter

March 15, 2016

Maintaining an engaged Twitter community for your brand can be a challenge. With more than 500 million tweets being sent every day, how do you make your posts stand out? It’s all about diversifying your content and surprising your audience with different types of posts.

Let’s take a look at five unusual engagement tactics you can put to use right now.

Ask a question with Twitter polls

Twitter polls is a relatively new Twitter feature with a ton of potential. Asking questions has always been a great way of engaging your audience on Twitter and with Twitter polls this becomes much easier.

All you need to do is click on the poll icon on the tweet editor. Then you can ask your question and add up to four options (emojis included). Although initially Twitter polls were by default accessible for 24 hours, Twitter recently allowed users to customize the time their Twitter poll is open by giving more options from 1 minute up to 7 days.

Twitter poll1

Twitter poll2

Twitter reported a staggering 1.7 billion votes casted since Twitter polls launched back in October which is only an indication of the feature’s potential for driving engagement.

Ideas for Twitter polls

What’s great about Twitter polls is that you can use them in many different ways to engage with your audience. Here’s a few ideas:

Ask for an opinion

Better understand your customers’ needs

Ask for feedback

Ask something fun

Address some real burning issues

Show it with a GIF

Who doesn’t love a good, funny GIF, right? GIFs were introduced on Twitter a bit over a year ago making taking our Twitter experience up a notch. So do the question “Why use GIFs on Twitter?”, we say “Why not?”. But really:

  • They are eye-catching. Imagine scrolling through your Twitter timeline. You’re much more likely to click on a tweet with a GIF among a sea of static images and text based tweets.

  • They help you showcase your products. Instead of a long explainer video, GIFs can be a useful alternative in featuring your products or showing certain functions.

  • They help you convey your brand’s personality. Whether you are replying to a Twitter mention or sharing some content, GIFs are a great way for your brand to convey a human, fun, casual tone.

  • They are great for data visualizations. A GIF can help you convey information in “snackable” form, while communicating complex messages in a simple way.

  • They can be ideal for promotional campaigns. An animated GIF is a much more shareable, engaging way of tweeting a promotional campaign but also save you some valuable character space.

Note: Even not technically a GIF, Vines are are another great alternative of engaging your Twitter audience with short 6 second videos. Here’s an awesome example from Oreo.

Reward with Contests and Sweepstakes

52% of people follow brands on Twitter to be notified for special offers or promotions and 38% to take part in competitions. So organizing a simple contest or a sweepstake on Twitter is a great way to keep your followers engaged because, guess what: It’s one of the reasons they actually follow you on Twitter. Take a look at a few ideas for Twitter contests.

User generated content


Flock to unlock

Embrace live broadcasting

Live streaming is the future of social media marketing and the reason is simple. As Chris Sacca very accurately pointed out:

All of a sudden, the world’s pockets are full of good cameras and good screens with good data plans and good social platforms to let everyone know you’re broadcasting.

In a few short months since its launch, Periscope has managed to grow over 10 million accounts and nearly 2 million active users per month with engagement being off the charts, as viewers watch the equivalent of 40 years of live video, every day. Live streams can now be viewed straight from your Twitter timeline which means that broadcasts can reach an even wider audience. And if you’re into action cameras, Periscope also integrates with GoPro. How cool is that? But let’s take a look into why live broadcasts are a great engagement tactic for Twitter.

  • Give access to exclusive content. A live broadcast can be a great opportunity for your audience to become part of your story. Show them the people behind the brand, the personality and an exclusive sneak peak behind the scenes.

  • Host an AMA. Being open as a brand is a great way of developing trust with your audience. Periscope can be an ideal platform for setting up informal Q&A session between your audience and a member of your team.

  • Educate. Sharing knowledge is one of the ways to build a strong Twitter community. Broadcasting short webinars, workshops or how-to videos is a great way to share your knowledge, build your authority and interact with your audience.

  • Cover live events. Whether you are hosting or attending an important event in your industry, a live broadcast can help you connect with people beyond this physical space.

  • Showcase your products. A quick, live presentation of your products could go a long way with getting more customers onboard.

Connect over a Twitter Chats

Twitter chats can be a powerful marketing tool for many different reasons. Let’s take a look at how Twitter chats can benefit your brand. HOW TWITTER CHATS CAN HELP YOUR BRAND

But how can you actually set up a Twitter chat?

Step 1. Get the hang of it

Even though Twitter chats are not necessarily rocket science, there are certain rules and etiquette you need to take into account. So before hosting your own Twitter chat, make sure you are familiar with the concept by attending a few chats in your niche. This way, you’ll be able to better understand how they work and at the same time, research your field so that you pick a topic that perhaps has not been covered yet and is more likely to draw interest.

Step 2. Be wise about the name and hashtag

This is probably the most critical part before launching your Twitter chat. The name and most importantly the hashtag are the ones that set the tone, convey the subject and attract relevant audience as they create expectations on what will be discussed. So before sharing your chat with the world, do some research to make sure that the hashtag you’ve chosen is unique. This way, you avoid noise and confusion with other ongoing Twitter conversations.

Step 3. Pick a time

The time and date your Twitter chat will take place heavily depends on the type of audience you are aiming for attracting. If for example your audience is located in the US, then a US time would be a no brainer. Things can get more complicated if your audience is around the globe but make sure you pick a time that works for most timezones. A Twitter chat normally lasts for an hour. As for the best day of the week, there’s no golden rule really. Except never schedule it for a Friday afternoon for obvious reasons. Before deciding on the day of the week you can do some research on when other chats take place and pick a day that doesn’t clash with other Twitter chats that could be relevant to your audience.

Step 4. Be Prepared

If you are planning to host a Twitter chat on a regular basis, creating a calendar would be a great solution for an overview of the topics you will cover. During the Twitter chat, things can get pretty hectic. So preparing the questions ahead of time, and writing down some answers can save you a ton of time and help you focus more on moderating and engaging with the participants.

Step 5. Promote

Before your Twitter chat, and especially if you’re organizing one for the first time, make sure that you build momentum by regularly tweeting about it or even by notifying your audience via email and targeted tweets.

Another way to expand your chat’s reach and get some interesting conversations going on is reaching out to influencers asking them to join you as a special guest in one of your upcoming Twitter chats. These guys are very likely to share their guest gig with their own network which will lead to more participants for your chat.

Now over to you! Have you put any of these tactics to use? Let us know in the comments right below.

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