SO YOU want to build your Twitter following and grow your engagement and reach. Well, the first thing to remember is this: don’t start a blog series and then let a month pass before you make the second entry, which is what I’m doing right now.
Guilty. Yes. Shame me, abandon me, warn others against me. I deserve it.
Oh, you’re still here? Great! And you’re in luck! In this week’s How to Twitter Effectively we’re going to continue our talk about prompt tweets, only this time we’ll go a little more in depth.
What’s a prompt tweet?
It’s a tweet that asks your followers a question or invites them to participate in something interactive.
Hey there writers! Who is your MC’s celebrity crush and why?
I need inspiration to dive into my WIP! Tell me: how many words did you write today, and are you happy with them?
Why should you care about prompt tweets?
Because they tend to get higher-than-average engagement, and they’re a fun way to communicate with your followers and learn about them. An effective Twitter following is not about getting the maximum number of likes and retweets. Those are important, but what’s more important are the relationships, establishing trust, and establishing value–especially if you plan on selling your book or your editing service or your book cover designs.
Also, with higher engagement comes higher reach. When I have a prompt tweet or two getting hundres of likes and comments and dozens of retweets, I gain way more followers than usual.
What you need to know
Be unique. Use that creative mind of yours. Don’t post the same prompt tweet you’ve seen others post.
Be genuine. Stick around and reply to comments. You don’t have to respond to every single one, but that first hour is crucial. People are more likely to participate in a prompt if they see the author didn’t just post and run. (I’ve been guilty of this plenty of times, and my engagement level suffered for it, so trust me on this.)
This is perhaps the most important note I want to stress, and I think I’ll leave you with it:
If you ask your followers a question, do not answer the question yourself. More often than not, it will kill engagement, because it makes the tweet come off as self-serving and not actually in the spirit of learning about your followers.
Prompt tweets are an effective tool on Twitter, as long as you’re genuinely interested in the feedback and participation from your followers. I discovered this on accident when I first joined Twitter back in December, and it was one of the ways I was able to grow my following so fast.
I hope you find this advice useful. If so, stick around for more tips in the coming days!