Twitter’s a social network. It’s easy to forget the “social” aspect if you’re using it for business, but if you’re serious all the time, your followers think that they know what to expect from you and will tune you out.
Why not surprise them?
Build some fun into your tweets. Chances are that you’ll get more attention and followers.
Let’s look at six fun Twitter tricks.
1. Humor always works, but keep it clean
You can be funny on Twitter. Here’s some advice from Parks and Recreation writer Megan Amram:
Usually the tweets that I do are like one-liners with some kind of twist that fits in a very small area. I’ve definitely tweeted things, though, that then became blog posts.
She suggests that puns and wordplay work: “jokes that are popular on Twitter are very often wordplay or even jokes that have funny spelling or whatever.”
Tip: be aware of the branding connotations of your humor. Even if you’re posting on your social Twitter account, rather than a work account, keep it clean.
2. Brand yourself with eye-catching images
Dan Zarrella studied 400,000 randomly selected tweets, and reports:
Tweets with images uploaded to pic.Twitter.com were nearly twice as likely to be retweeted while the use of Twitpic increased the odds by just over 60%. On the other hand Tweets that used Facebook or Instagram links were less likely to be retweeted.
Image marketing’s huge. You’ll get more attention in your Google+ stream with large images, and Pinterest’s image-focused.
Start collecting attention-getting images now. Take your own photos with your cell phone, and explore stock image libraries.
3. Tell me a (short) story
Everyone loves stories.
Alan Rosenblatt suggests:
Now that Twitter displays images within the timeline, hashtags can gather a story timeline easily and present on a single webpage, complete with illustrations. And the story comes with a narrator (the tweet text), a visual (the image) and a dialogue (the caption).
Consider how you might share your brand’s stories on Twitter, in 140 characters or less. Tip: keep your tweets well UNDER 140 characters, to leave room for retweets.
You could tweet:
- Customer stories:
- Staff stories;
- Stories about your brand’s history.
4. To be continued… Tell a long story
Andrew Fitzgerald’s TED video on Adventures in Twitter fiction gives some excellent examples of novelists and storytellers using Twitter creatively.
@RealTimeWWII live tweets World War II, for example.
City of Kharkov, heart of the USSR’s military industry, has fallen to the Wehrmacht. Watch German newsreel: http://t.co/uQxCLkFIeh
— WW2 Tweets from 1941 (@RealTimeWWII) October 26, 2013
You can use the live tweets strategy too. Why not live tweet your product launch? Your webinar? Many events lend themselves to live tweeting.
Make a list now, of events you could live tweet.
5. Use a funny hashtag to stand out
You can get attention with hashtags you create – especially if they’re humorous. (A hashtag is the “#” pound sign in front of a word; it makes the word searchable.)
- Can consist of words and number squished into a single word;
- Should be unique (use them to identify your brand or event);
- Should be short – if they’re too long, you’ll run out of characters, and won’t leave room for retweets.
Here are some examples of funny hashtags on which you can model your own.
6. Create a humorous persona for your brand
Remember the “Get a Mac” advertising campaign?
… against a minimalist all-white background, a man dressed in casual clothes introduces himself as a Mac (“Hello, I’m a Mac.”), while a man in a more formal suit-and-tie combination introduces himself as a Windows personal computer (“And I’m a PC.”).
These personas were hugely successful.
Consider creating a humorous persona for your brand.
Not sure how to create a persona? From Lee Davis:
A fun, easy way to get to know your potential customer and understand how to engage them is to conduct an Empathy Map* exercise. All you need is a whiteboard, plenty of post-its and markers and about two hours.
Once you’ve created at least one persona, put a humorous twist on it, just as I’m a Mac/ I’m a PC did. (Empathy is vital.)
So there you have it – fun Twitter tricks to get more attention and followers. Try one of these tricks today.