Last week, I published the first of several posts discussing best practices for posting on various social media channels. This week’s post will focus on Twitter and how to best engage your audience on this particular platform

Twitter is different from other social channels in that you’re only allotted 280 characters to create short, creative messages called “Tweets”. This setup makes your posts easy to read and digest but provides an increased difficulty in getting your point across.

However, when your strategy is executed correctly, Twitter is a great platform for validating your expertise in your industry and interacting one on one with your customers in real-time. You can also build your brand, gain valuable exposure and educate customers about the ins and outs of your business.

If you’re considering making Twitter a part of your social media strategy, here are a few best practices for posting on the platform.

Keep it Simple

As mentioned earlier, Twitter only allows 240 characters per Tweet. Make sure your Tweets are focused on a single topic or message, rather than trying to include several and confusing for your followers. If there’s some form of longer content, like a website page, report, or something else that you’re trying to bring followers to, simply link to it within the Tweet.

Incorporate Visuals

Because the post length is short, people often tend to scroll through Twitter quickly and scan what’s present on their feed. One way to capture their attention is to add visuals to your Tweets. Adding visuals can tremendously increasing your chances of drawing engagement, like Retweets, Likes and even responses. It also helps build your brand personality. If you’re unsure of which photo or video to post, you can post up to four within a single Tweet.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags provide a great opportunity for engaging with current conversations, as well as starting new ones. Utilize hashtags that are relevant to your business model. You can even search for these hashtags to see what other people are saying about that particular topic.

Additionally, they work great for events or special promotions that you have going on. By encouraging users to use your hashtag, you’ll be able to see all of the engagement that’s taking place and get involved in any relevant conversations. Keep in mind that Twitter recommends not using more than two hashtags per Tweet.

Create Polls

Consumers like knowing that their opinions have been shared and heard. Twitter allows businesses to create polls where they ask their followers questions. This provides a great opportunity in learning your followers wants, needs, likes, dislikes and more. Simply create a poll and ask a question to learn more about them in a quick and easy fashion.

Retweet and Reply

One of the great opportunities Twitter provides is interacting with others easily. Rather than focusing solely on your own posts, you can get out into the Twitter world and join the conversation. Discover content that’s relevant to your business, and that you believe your followers will find interesting, and Retweet it to them.

If a customer leaves a positive comment, or someone provides helpful feedback on a question you’ve asked, Retweet and/or reply to it and let them know their feedback is appreciated. This will also help build your business’s credibility and show that you value your customers and their input. Be prepared, as feedback will not always be positive, but you must be ready to respond to any and all comments that come your way.

Twitter offers analytics of your posts that will help you gain a better understanding of your audience. By analyzing these results, you can better adapt your content to accommodate the wants and needs of your followers.