In a prior CMSWire article, I wrote about my Twitter journey. I started with a heavy emphasis on sharing content, progressed to more interactions with other users (while simultaneously scheduling tweets) and ended up with a focus of being “in the moment” and using live video.
I love to curate interesting content and Twitter is my primary outlet for sharing discoveries. For this article, I’m putting the car in reverse to focus on the first phase of my journey: sharing content on Twitter.
I’ll provide tips on how to get more engagement from content shares on Twitter. The advice can be applied to both your business brand and your personal brand. If you’re into microblogging and like expressing yourself through posts, then twitter is the perfect platform for you. In order to connect to a bigger audience buy twitter followers.
The Importance of Twitter Cards
If you remember just one point from this article, let it be this: “mind the card.” The Twitter Card, that is. According to the Twitter Developer site, “With Twitter Cards, you can attach rich photos, videos and media experiences to Tweets, helping to drive traffic to your website.”
How is this done? According to the same site, “Simply add a few lines of markup to your webpage, and users who Tweet links to your content will have a ‘Card’ added to the Tweet that’s visible to their followers.”
Most sites, including this one, implement Twitter Card mark-up.
Twitter provides a useful tool called the “Card validator.” Paste the URL of the article you plan to share and you’ll see how the card renders. Here’s an example, where I checked a recent CMSWire article:
As you can see, the Twitter Card displays an image, the article title, a short description and the site’s domain (cmswire.com).
Now, let’s get on to a few tips.
1. Preserve the Twitter Card!
Twitter allows you to attach one or multiple images to tweets. In fact, some scheduling tools “scrape” the article for its images and give you the option of attaching them to the tweet. Don’t do it! When you attach an image, the attachment overwrites the Twitter Card (i.e., they can’t co-exist).
The Twitter Card gives users more information, which makes them more likely to click on the link. And that’s the other thing: when you click on a Twitter Card, you’re taken to the article. When you click on an image (like the one above), the tweet simply expands.
2. Make Your Tweet Text Unique from the Article Title
Twitter gives you an opportunity to share your unique point of view, even when tweeting other people’s content. Demonstrate your unique opinion or perspective on the article you’re sharing with your followers.
Hint: To do this, you’ll need to read the article in its entirety. Don’t share content based on its title alone.
3. Use Emojis
While emojis are now common in tweets, they still manage to help tweets stand out in the crowd. Soon enough, everyone will be using them — in fact, I worry about the written word. Take advantage by using emojis now, while the opportunity is there.
In addition to drawing attention, use emojis in a directional manner to drive action (e.g., arrows, pointing fingers, etc.). Andy Crestodina, co-founder of Orbit Media, does a good job of this. Notice how Andy uses the down arrow to direct your attention to the Twitter Card directly below it?
Did you know that 15-word headlines had the highest average number of interactions?
4. Record a Short Video
Record a one minute video where you share a few thoughts about the content you’re sharing. I used to hold up my phone and record myself, until a few people told me they got dizzy from my shaky hand.
Now I use Screencastify (a Chrome plugin) and record from my Chromebook’s built-in webcam. I upload the video file, attaching it to my tweet. When people see my tweet in their feed, the video auto-plays with the sound muted by default. Even if people don’t click on your link, you may get a few seconds of “facetime” via the video.
And yes, for the observant readers out there: using video means the Twitter Card does not render.
5. Tag People
I’ve seen a bad practice, where a brand will tag me (and others) in a tweet. I had absolutely nothing to do with the content they’re sharing, but they tagged me in order to get my attention.
Don’t use this tactic.
Instead, tag people when it makes sense:
- Tag the author(s) of the article.
- Tag people mentioned in the article.
- Tag people who’d find the article interesting — in an authentic way, not to simply drive clicks.
The people on the receiving end of your tags will see your tweet in their Notifications area. Often, they’ll engage: click, like, retweet, reply, etc.
Bonus Tip: Forget the Links
I have a pretty active mind, one that goes into overdrive during long walks or long showers. Often a random thought will surface and I’ll share it on Twitter. Sometimes the random thought is a joke. I’ll use Twitter as my test audience (ha!).
It’s one of my favorite aspects about Twitter: put some randomness out into the universe and see what happens. Here’s an example of a random thought (e.g., about writing) that got some reactions:
I’m finding that writing is a lot like curation.
You have this unstructured pile of information in front of you (e.g., notes from an interview) and your job is to pick out the best (or most relevant) segments and weave them together into a narrative.