THE BLOG
10/29/2013 08:53 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

How Small Businesses Can Grow Engagement on Twitter

Many businesses want to know how they can grow their follower base on Twitter. However, when it comes to successful social media marketing, engagement with a few loyal users is more important than having thousands of followers that don't interact with your content.

When it comes to both your audience base and your content, quality should always top quantity. Take the time to focus on your content, and you can increase engagement without having to buy followers or spend hours a day tweeting.

Be a Resource

One of the most important aspects of Twitter is its timeliness. Twitter has broken the news of events around the world even before the major news outlets did. Even Twitter itself has taken this to heart and has launched an experimental feature, called @EventParrot, which will alert followers with breaking news around the world.

Take a note from other popular Twitter users and Event Parrot and strive to be a breaking news source for your industry.

Make it Personal

Besides considering you as an industry resource, users also appreciate reading tweets that tug at their heartstrings, teach them something, or show them something they can pass on to something else. One of the reasons why Twitter user @notebook is so popular (with over 4.7 million followers) is the fact that they completely embody their namesake, the movie adaptation of the Nichols Sparks' novel:

Followers like @notebook because they consistently provide tweets about love and relationships, something The Notebook movie lovers are also interested in.

Branden Hampton, manager of @notebook (which is the most engaged handle on Twitter) said "By writing your own tweets that make it personal for your target audience, you are much more likely to get more followers and higher engagement." Over the past month Branden has worked with me on Organize, one of the sites that we're trying to increase social engagement. So far we've been able to increase engagement over 2000 percent by simply tweeting what our customers want/need to hear. Branden later stated "by making things personal, you put yourself at the level of your customers...and bring your business to their level. This is what will truly help you grow your brand."

Answer Back and Be Consistent

When it comes to growing your presence on Twitter, engagement goes both ways. You must answer any tweets mentioning your username, and should also be consistent about the tweets you send out. There are several tools that can help you with Twitter scheduling. For instance, Tweriod is a great service that shows you the best time to tweet, based on when your followers are tweeting

Being consistent when it comes to Twitter posting and response will gain the respective engagement all successful Twitter accounts are looking for.

Get Exposure

Another crucial aspect to getting more retweets, shares, mentions, and overall interaction with your business' Twitter account to make sure it is linked on all other available platforms. For instance, your username could be placed on:

  • Business cards
  • Email signatures
  • Banners
  • Brochures
  • Websites
  • Other social media accounts
  • Guest blogging bios

These types of platforms that your company is using online will only help increase exposure and giving users the opportunity to connect with your brand on Twitter.

By being resourceful, personable, and responsive, your Twitter account will see increases in not only followers, but engagement metrics overall.