How to engage your Twitter following without tweeting at them

Most people understand that the only way to be relevant or benefit at all from having a presence on Twitter is to engage your follower base. Unfortunately if you spend all day responding to everything each person who follows you says, you’ll probably come across as annoying or won’t get any response after a while. Obviously that means you are wasting your time. So how do you engage people without bugging them? It’s easy, cash in on opinions.

Everyone has an opinion on something. Everything from entertainment to politics elicits different responses from people.  Why not invite them to share their views on something without polarizing them with your own?  Try posing either/or questions through Twitter. Examples could be things like “Who do you think will win this game? The Bears or Packers?” or “Which do you like more? Dancing with the Stars or American Idol?”

By posing questions like this, you create a personal connect with someone by allowing them to express their views with you in a safe way.  Try it some time and let me know what kind of response you get.

2 Replies to “How to engage your Twitter following without tweeting at them”

  1. If you are not engaging with your audience, you are doing it wrong. Let me go ahead and get that off my chest.

    According to Klout, 86.7% of my 44,479 (as of Monday, January 24th, 2011 at 9:37 PM) Tweets are replies. To me, that is incredible. That means I am engaging with my audience. But I am not only engaging with those that I follow, I am engaging with those that have similar interest. I search “Tiger Woods”, “Scuba Diving”, “Golf”, and a wide variety of other personal interest on a daily basis. I use the Twitter Advanced Search to narrow that search if I am trying to find something specific. I am engaging with my audience by engaging with the tools that allow me to do this without becoming annoying.

    You can’t just be a commercial on these social sites. If all I did was post how great I was, then yes, people would get annoyed and my numbers would go down. But if you just become a part of the conversation, then your numbers will go up, and you will meet plenty of new people. Just pick any random trending topic, respond to ten of those messages with your own unique content, and see how many of those ten people not only respond to your response, but will also follow you on top of that. I bet you would be surprised. Heck, just mention some keywords like “politics” or “Sarah Palin” and see if your number of followers doesn’t increase.

    Twitter (as well as these other sites) really is about how much you put in to it. Take the time to engage with your audience, and you will be rewarded. Great post man, thanks for making me think! You are good at that, you know? Cheers buddy!

  2. I tend to engage people based on geographic location and degrees of separation. I wonder what the difference in the level of engagement is between finding people the way I do and finding people by searching various topics. I don’t know how you would measure that, but it would be interesting to study.

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