Twitter Optimization Series Part 3: 10 Best Incentives for Others to Follow up on Your Tweet |

Twitter Optimization Series Part 3: 10 Best Incentives for Others to Follow up on Your Tweet

By Tad Chef / January 13, 2009

Modern SEO is not about PageRank, rankings or traffic or not solely. Modern SEO is about conversions (and ultimately ROI).

“Twitter is a social site that drives traffic in dozens not hundreds or thousands in most cases. So there must be something else in it.”

Creative Commons image by remediate.this

Twitter is a social networking site where the conversation is key. You will socialize with your peers on Twitter. Using Twitter for business offers a short cut to many people you would normally be unable to contact.

The just for fun atmosphere and the concise length of messages allows communication in a way more complex media prohibit due to their more sophisticated nature.

The ROI of social media is ephemeral or fuzzy. Everybody has to define it for themselves. You have to set goals and then try to accomplish them. The simplest goal could be “spread the word”. It could be measured by direct traffic, Twitter mentions or feedback tweets. So conversion on Twitter can be:

  1. An @reply
  2. A blog mention or link
  3. A social media submission or vote
  4. A so called retweet, somebody republishing your tweet (often starting with RT:)
  5. A main stream media mention as many journalists use Twitter too
  6. A piece of content for your own blog
  7. Showing up on Twitter satellites, that is sites sifting through Twitter and republishing popular or topical tweets
  8. Getting new followers

Twitter has many advantages:

  • It’s targeted, the people most interested in you and your expertise will follow you
  • It’s fast, you reach an audience of dozens or hundreds of peers in minutes
  • It’s not time consuming if you’re in a hurry, on some day I only stop by to drop 2 or 3 tweets
  • It’s informal, nobody will want you to write an official letter even in business matters

Said that what are the 10 best incentives for others to follow up on your tweet or in short to react in a desired way?

1. Ask a direct question
It should be simple enough and touch a topic your followers know of. Too complex ones on rare topics won’t get answered.
A question I recently asked was How do you track your blog in Google Analytics?
I got 4 excellent answers in the course of 15 minutes. In a way this tweet got a conversion rate of 400%.

2. Be the first to report news
You have been in a plane crash? Make sure to tweet it to be published on all mainstream media. A search for Twitter plane crash returns approx. 224k results. So how high is the conversation rate here? The best thing on Twitter is: You can make breaking news yourself. Just consider this: Disgruntled webmaster pies Google engineer live on Twitter. This is of course black hat Twitter SEO 😉

3. Cover Twitter
As with other social media meta postings about a service perform well if done right. I still struggle with it on Twitter, my Twitter haven’t got as much attention as expected but it’s due to my own newbeniess on Twitter, with ca. 500 followers I’m still new to the game. Nonetheless I see met posts performing great daily. You can reach several goals at once here. So you’re converting in manifold ways.

4. Mention popular Twitter users or topics
You get attention and reactions due to mentioning other people who are prominent on Twitter. Not due to them replying to you, they most probably won’t but due to others watching them. The same applies even more to popular topics. Just check out the current buzz and literally join the conversation. I did with the Obama campaign being at their peak and got many people view my posts about Obama SEO and social media marketing techniques.

5. Link to flagship resources
Your peers trust you on Twitter to offer what they need. So give it to them. Whenever a valuable free ebook, tool or tutorial comes out make sure to tweet about it. You’ll see plenty of retweets quickly unless nobody follow you.

6. Mention tweets by others in your blog posts
Often tweets are conversation starters. You’d like to elaborate but you can’t on Twitter due to its limitations. In order to do that you can write a blog post mentioning those tweets or even write a list of tweets. To make the people you mention you have to link their tweets, profiles and blogs though. Otherwise such a mention may remain unnoticed. In case of success this method can bring you links too.

7. Complain
Sad but true, people are often more prone to react to negative messages than to positive ones. That’s why traditional news media are full of death, destruction and human misery. So if something or someone annoys you’ll get plenty of replies, of course not all of them favorable. The search industry most hated celebrity, Jason Calacanis is known for that. He will routinely declare SEO as bullshit, blogging as dead etc. He’s one of the most popular people on Twitter measured by the number of followers. Think twice before you pull a Calacanis though. You might use followers and get a bad rep.

8. Create a Twitter tool
To get popular on Twitter and thus also get coverage at Techcrunch and elsewhere you just have to create a Twitter tool that is at least slightly useful and or funny. It works perfectly for SEO. Most Twitter tools out there are dead simple and nonetheless make sense. It seems to be easier to create a Twitter tool than one for WordPress of Firefox.

9. Tell others about your cat
Microblogging is even more casual than blogging. You can’t cover the latest scientific theory on Twitter but idle chatter about your private ongoings, those not making you too vulnerable (remember not only friends read your tweets). This is no joke. Taling only business can’t make people relate to you. You’re don’t want to be treated like the suit you wear. Give away some private tidbits to connect with people. People who don’t know you because you never even tell them about your cat won’t feel obliged to respond. They’ll become passive consumers.

10. Give away freebies
Tis one is a nobrainer. I just can’t withstand the urge to retweet a message that says free seminar, free ebook or free tool. So give it away to get back.

You see after all it’s far easier to provoke a reaction on Twitter than elsewhere. It’s faster, has a broader reach by default and can go viral within minutes.

The next post in our Twitter optimization series will provide more context and coherence to these series so that you can gain some overview and make sense f it. Then part 4 and 5 will follow. Make sure to read part 1 and part 2 of the Twitter SEO series. Due to the big success of this series, SEOptimise, the fabulous SEO company from Oxford UK behind this Internet marketing blog will provide some more professional resources on Twitter. So stay tuned.

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