5 Steps To More Twitter Engagement

#yourockA few weeks ago, a friend sent me an instant message: "Hey Camie, how do I get more Twitter followers?"

For those of us who've been avid social media users for some time, we understand there is more value in a small number of engaged users rather than a large number of quiet users.

Bottom line: having an engaged following is MUCH more important than a high number of followers.

So I now rephrase this question to "How do I get more engaged Twitter followers?"

This is something that the vast majority of Twitter - and all social media users - struggle with. But, in reality, if you follow just a few simple steps, you'll be on your way to some great conversations. Here are a five simple suggestions to help you get started:

1. Decide what you will tweet about. Come up with a plan. The easiest way to approach this is setting up three buckets of information that you want to focus on, and tweet about just that. My buckets are: social media nerdery, running, and geeky b-school topics including leadership and articles on introversion. 

2. Tweet, often and consistently. This may seem like a no brainer, but so many people get a twitter account, send out one or two tweets each week, and then are surprised that they aren't getting any engagement. Just last week, I heard a statistic that the life span of a tweet is 18 minutes. Summary: you need to be tweeting daily for folks to see you in their Twitter stream!

3. Supplement your tweets with hashtags. Real hashtags. Hashtags that other folks in your industry use on a daily basis. Having trouble locating relevant hashtags? Try hashtags.org.

4. Fill our your bio completely. A quickie on who you are with a hint at what you'll be tweeting about is perfect. Include a few hashtags so that folks who are searching for specific topics will easily find you.

5. Start a conversation. You've been there before: that awkward party where everyone is standing around, sipping their drinks, and starting at their phones because they're too afraid to start chatting up a complete stranger. Instead of joining the wallflowers, get up your courage and start talking to others at the Twitter party. Answer someone's question, ask a question, or comment on something that someone else tweeted. You'll be surprised at the response you'll get!

Getting engagement on Twitter is relatively easy: you just have to put forth a little effort on a daily basis. These are just 5 short suggestions that work for me: what's been working for you? Let us know below, and we'll pass your suggestion along!