Have you noticed how many tweets on Twitter follow the same format? There’s an article title, which is followed by a link, and on the end are stuck three or four hashtags. Hundreds of business owners and marketers share and retweet the same article links, in exactly the same way as their competitors.
It’s no wonder many Twitter users find the social media platform is not performing to their expectations. Twitter is about engagement and conversation. It’s where originality stands out, and laziness is punished with invisibility.
But it’s difficult. You want to engage your audience on Twitter. You seek to converse and share significant things, but you’re not sure how to go about it effectively. After a while it’s easy to fall back into the standard tweet format because it’s quick and simple. You then worry that your Twitter account might be rather pointless.
With around 6,000 tweets being posted on Twitter every second, it’s vital to make your updates different from the norm, if you want to raise your profile.
So how can you be different? What are some ways to catch the attention of your followers in their usually very busy Twitter streams?
Here are 5 tweet format ideas that go beyond the standard sharing of links.
1. Ask questions
Ask a straightforward question that’s relatively quick and easy to answer. There are tons of questions you can ask your followers, especially ones related to the type of business you’re in, the products or services you sell, and things that matter to your core target audiences.
You can use a Twitter poll to engage followers further, where they can see what other people are thinking. People will likely reply and this can create a fascinating reply stream for others to read and contribute to.
2. Use ‘Quote Tweet’ commentary
Twitter has an option to add your own comments before retweeting a status update. This goes beyond the normal retweet which is just a direct sharing of the original status. The quote tweet allows you to add to the conversation in a way both the original tweeter and your followers can see and engage with.
This is a great way to encourage conversation and interaction with customers, clients and prospects, as well as potential new colleagues or collaboration partners.
You can also share older tweets you tweeted before, thereby bringing them back to life, with updated thoughts, comments and insights.
3. Share motivational quotes
Quotes are popular on social media and there’s good reason for their popularity. People love to read uplifting or funny comments made by famous names from history, literature, culture, sport or business, to name but a few. A good quote can inspire and make a person smile, which connects back to you in a positive way.
Don’t just share quotes in text format. Create a visually appealing quote graphic using free design programs like Canva. It’s important not to overdo quotes. If your tweets are all motivational quotations, then people will quickly ignore you. But definitely sprinkle them into the mix.
4. Add insights and custom updates
It’s easy to quickly tweet an article title and its link. In fact, all social sharing buttons make this the default feature of a status update. The trouble is, you then merge into the Twitter background along with everyone else doing the same thing. There’s no personality or uniqueness behind the process.
Instead, add insight and custom updates to articles and sources you share. Re-write the title into a conversational intro touching on a point you found particularly interesting or relevant to your main following. This is particularly beneficial if you’re sharing links from your own website and want to highlight some of the points you made in a blog post. These customizations show your personality and people take note as a result.
5. Share multimedia tweets
Twitter is a great place to share photos, videos and even amusing GIFs. Take advantage of this feature and add some media showing more about who you are as a person or business. Photos and videos take up more size in an update and are therefore noticed a lot more.
Take snaps and short videos of your office, staff, business processes, and trips you go on. Film mini-updates, perhaps no longer than 60-seconds, sharing your thoughts and observations about events and news in your industry which will be of interest to your target market. These are a lot more interesting than just standard article link shares.
Making the most of Twitter
There are many ways to create a better Twitter experience, both for yourself and for your followers. You’re missing out on a lot of social media marketing potential by simply using the same tired twitter status link formats.
Make your Twitter account fun and engaging. Cultivate it as a medium to inspire new business possibilities and a place where new friends can be made. Use these 5 tweet update ideas in your tweeting schedule today.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.