9 ways to drive engagement and draw a bigger audience on Twitter

Twitter nametagDean Abbott @DeanAbbott told me (on Twitter, of course) that he was thinking about how to drive engagement and draw a bigger audience on Twitter. I gave a few suggestions that might be helpful for you, too.

  1. Follow smart people. They are more interesting to engage with and easier to learn from.
  2. Watch for the chance to engage with people. Most people tweet to get some reaction.
  3. Reply and start conversations. That’s natural, but few people actually do it. Giving people a Favorite or Retweet is kind, but a reply is personal.
  4. Introduce yourself to people, when appropriate. Make sure your bio adds to my understanding of you, at least in some way.
  5. Participate in Twitter chats. Watch for people you follow involved in chats around interesting topics. Join in with questions, suggestions, or discussion.
  6. Live-tweet events. What ever type of event you are attending, share what strikes you on Twitter, even if you’re the only one tweeting. If there is no event hashtag, make one and use it. That’s helpful to you and others who want to ask questions or join the conversation.
  7. Be part of distant events by hanging around on the hashtag. Even if you are not going anywhere, you can follow hashtags of any event. Retweet smart things. Comment. Add to the discussion. Ask questions. Sheila Scarborough @SheilaS is so good at this, people have begun to think she’s at every event held in the tourism biz! Often, it’s just her at the dining room table, being involved. This is especially handy for small town folks who can’t run to every event in the big city, but can still participate at a distance.
  8. Make useful lists. Lists of locals, of people in your industry, of smart people, of people who like to talk, of whatever topic drives your interest.
  9. Use List.ly for lists. They are dynamic, crowd-friendly, and can be embedded in other websites. Find them at List.ly and chat with @nickkellet on Twitter about them.

Need to know more about hashtags, retweets, or other Twitter jargon? Check this list of Basic Twitter Terms from Hashtags.org.

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About Becky McCray

Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband own a retail liquor store in Alva, Oklahoma, and a small cattle ranch nearby. Becky is an international speaker on small business.

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  1. Tracy Brown says

    Hi Becky,

    Thanks for sharing this list. I’ve been on Twitter for years, and still need to practice a couple of your points (and Dean’s points) above. I know I should do more of #5 (Twitter Chats) – but I tend to just be a “watcher.” :-) And I never even thought of #7. I suppose I’ve “checked in” to events I couldn’t attend, but for some silly reason never made the leap to actually participating with the hashtag.

    Good ideas all around! :-D

  2. says

    Hi Tracy, thanks for dropping in. I love participating in Twitter chats. I’m always watching for a question I can answer or a smart idea I can support and applaud. That might be the easiest way to move from watcher to participant: become the applauder of good ideas!