Andrew Careaga asked on his blog today “What makes a great #highered Twitter account?” I think that is a great question for anyone to answer, no matter what industry you’re in. There are some great #highered answers happening in the comments. I encourage you to check them out.
Here’s was my answer:
@andrewcareaga Engagement (both ways). Main component of success for any twitter user IMO.
— Nathan Ayres (@NathanAyres) April 3, 2013
I want to expound on that a little more.
Twitter is a conversation. No one (in their right mind) stands in a crowd and yells what they had for dinner or their opinion of the #marchmadness game going on? You have conversations with people. If you aren’t replying to users, you’re not doing it right. If no one is talking to you, you’re not doing it right (yet).
I recommend new Twitter users start following people and just listen and learn. The next step is to start engaging. Post something relevant. Reply to people. If you talk to people, they will talk back.
There are always exceptions. @badbanana is one example. He rarely replies to anyone, but he’s so dang funny.
I’ll add one more question: What does your audience look like? You may have 10000 followers but if 75% of them are spammers, you don’t have many people actually listening. Working with @VineyardWorship, I’ve used apps like SocialBro to take a closer look at our followers (13,364). How many active followers do we have? About 25% haven’t posted anything in the past 6 months or longer! My guess is, no one is home (or listening). That’s important to know.
One More Thing
Let’s be honest. The larger audience you have, the more opportunity you have available. Michael Hyatt recently had a great podcast on growing your Twitter followers legitimately. Check out the podcast and show notes here.