Why Your Twitter Engagement Sucks (and How to Fix it with One Click)

Does Your Twitter Engagement Suck?  Do you think Twitter is a waste of Time?  

Mine did.  And I also thought it a waste of time once, too.  But that all changed when I started to do this one simple action.

So what changed?

How did I go from someone who just didn't “get” Twitter to someone who thinks it totally rocks.  Because I do. I think Twitter rocks.

By using this simple action (consistently) on Twitter, things started to change. I met great people. I had great conversations…and most of all….I stumbled across great opportunities. Those opportunities ranged from attracting followers to my list to fans becoming clients….to speaking and guest blogging opportunities. It also extended to some amazing joint ventures.

What was it?

I clicked.  

Clicked?, you say.

Yes. I clicked.

Let me put it this way. I decided to find out about people.  Rather than just letting a simple “follow” or @mention happen, I took it upon myself to do a 2 step process:

I would thank the person in a simple Tweet but before I would reach out to the person, I would click on their profile.  I would read their profile description, notice who they were, notice where they worked, notice what they are tweeting about.

I would check out any links, look at the hashtags in their profile, take note of their personal interests….Twitter Stalking (but in a good way).  These people have bothered to put their information on their profile for a reason – so that you can find out more about them and connect with them. Then (and only then) would I thank them. With the background information that I need to thank them with a personal touch. 

Why do it this way?  

Because if you stop at doing a simple RT (or thanking a person for an RT or mention) without bothering to find out who the person is, how can you truly engage with them?  How can you connect with them?

I want to share with you all the good stuff that happens when you do click on someone's profile and take the time to find out about them…and if you stick with me, be sure to check out the tweets at the end of this post which showcase (rather embarrasingly) what happened when I didn't do it one day recently – the reason why I felt compelled to write this post for you.  

If you do not click on their profile, how can you know that they are the one that will:

  • provide you with a service you have been looking for?
  • put you in touch with an influencer you have been wanting to meet?
  • interview you for their new show?
  • be a great person to network with because they live around the corner from you?
  • be attending the same conference you will and end up being a friend?
  • turn out to be an an Academy Award Winning Hollywood Director that you hugely admire? 
  • turn out to be the Fashion editor of Cosmo and judge on Project Runway with an audience of over 500,000 followers (and even though you don't write about fashion, her sharing of your infographic on Pinterest gets airplay for a big audience of fashion-loving Pinterest users)?
  • be organising an amazing conference that you will end up speaking at?
  • be the owner of a growing start up company that you can possibly do joint ventures with?

Guess what?  All of the above and more have happened to me.  Even the Academy Award Winning Hollywood Director.  Yep.  And had I not clicked on the profile of these people I would have missed these opportunities.  Got your attention yet?

What happens if you don't do this strategy?

It's pretty simple really. You risk missing out on some awesome connections. If you aren't convinced that it is worth taking the time, let's take a look at what happened recently, when I got a nice RT of my guest post on the blog of Social CRM, Nimble. I was flat out working, had to get to an appointment, and I quickly responded to some RTs, neglecting to click on the profiles as I usually would:

Here is the RT I received and I replied with a simple thank you for the RT, not checking the profile first:


and then Jon gracefully replied:


It was only later, that I clicked on the profiles I had missed out of curiosity. Guess who Jon was?

The CEO of Nimble.

Yep.  Had I not checked I would never have realised. I actually did recognise Jon's name when I stopped to think about it, but that couldn't really undo the fact that I had missed it in my haste.  Right then and there, I did two things:

  1. Decided to write this post.  
  2. Replied to Jon again to extend the conversation, as I should have initially, acknowledging his great CRM and also one of their team members, Alyson, who had helped me to organise the guest post:


If you don't click, how can you get to know the person you need to meet? or your ideal client? or the person that will become a fan, client or raving brand advocate for life? So the next time you are on Twitter, take some extra time to find out about people. You will be glad you did.

….and yes, I will be tweeting Jon to let him know about this post. I am sure he will find it amusing.  

I am going to call it.  For me, Twitter gets more engagement than Facebook… if you do it right.  Leave a comment below and tell me about a connection you have made on Twitter.  And don't forget to leave your Twitter Username in the comment so that I can check out your profile!  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About in 2019". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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34 Comments

  1. Author Bek Mugridge

    This is great Donna!
    I am a recent fan of twitter, even though I had an account for quite awhile and I have been blown away by the connections you make and things that come your way when you engage properly.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      That’s great Bek – the best part is that I don’t necessarily spend a lot of time on Twitter and although I don’t have a massive following, the people that do follow me tend to be relevant to my industry. You are right – the connections you can make are great and noticeably different to the connections on other platforms – not bad for 140 characters!

      Reply
  2. Katy Potaty

    Thanks so much for this, Donna. It has kinda come along at a great time for me, it’s where my head is at regarding social media and ‘what to do next’. Will definitely click-through next time!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Oh great Katy – glad it helped! I am sure I will see you on there ha ha

      Reply
  3. Francene Stanley

    You’re right. I don’t connect enough. Yet each time I do, I’m amazed by the wonderful feedback I get. @FranceneStanley.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Francene – I think we all need a reminder to connect a little more and sometimes there are time constraints (as happen to me too!) but you are right, when we do take the time (and it doesn’t take much time) the results can be quite pleasing!

      Reply
  4. Tamsin Young

    I haven’t fathomed Twitter out yet ……… so this will certainly help me when I get up and going on Twitter – well, I do have a Twitter a/c, just haven’t got to use it much!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Hi Tasmin – I wouldn’t hurry and the best piece of advice I can give is to make sure you focus on the platform that suits you best and helps you to reach your target market (plus maybe one other) ie for you it might be your blog and facebook etc. Then add others as you are comfortable with handling the first one. But when and if you do use Twitter, be sure to keep it simple and try this, for sure! Thanks for your feedback!

      Reply
  5. Joel Gascoigne

    This is fantastic advice Donna. Sometimes it is easy to slip up and try and rush through replying to people (any reply is better than none, right?) however as you say, that single click can make a massive difference. The distinction between a “thanks” and a super personal message with genuine appreciation is a key one to remember. Thanks for the reminder, Donna!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Joel! Thanks SO much for your feedback – much appreciated. Just quietly I LOVE the way your mind works and I LOVE your blog posts (especially the recent posts about the marketing of color and the science behind stage fright). Thanks so much for stopping by – I sometimes think “is this too simple?” when posting on topics like this, but in reality, the simplicity of human engagement is what we all need to come back to. And you raise a VERY good point – any reply is better than none, absolutely, but as you say when you add a super personal message to the mix, great things can happen. It’s so wonderful to see Buffer growing up and you guys doing so well – you deserve it. I don’t know where I would be without it! Have a great day!

      Reply
  6. Leanne Chesser

    Wow. Awesome tip. I always just do the basic “thanks for the RT” thing. I’m going to save this info and give it a try. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Leanne! Hello! Thanks so much for your kind words – I am sure you will do well with this – even just start with the RTs and @mentions – you can always extend it to followers, but it works a treat! Have an awesome day!

      Reply
  7. gena livings

    It really does make a big difference to take a little time out and really connect with someone on a personal level. Reading a persons profile doesn’t take that much time and shows that you genuienley care about what they have to say.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Absolutely Gina! Thanks for the feedback! Glad you liked it!

      Reply
  8. Good Story

    Thanks for the great suggestion Donna. Like Tasmin, I’m still working out how to make the most of Twitter. I will definitely take the time to lfollow your suggestions and am now going to follow your future tweets.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks! That’s great – and the best advice I can give for Twitter is to just get on there daily, start following people and engaging. It doesn’t take much and if you do it that way, even if you have a small following, they will be “relevant” – a small list of targeted people is better than a massive list of people that don’t care. Have fun with it!

      Reply
  9. Neil Ferree

    Good advice Donna! I echo your approach on how to be social vs. do social on Twitter. The metric I look at before I Follow someone on T is their most used hashtags that my Twitter mgmt tool generates. This is only after their profile has triggered one of my social monitoring signals. Its cumbersome since I serve B2B and B2C clients Ӣ but it the long run, its a huge time saver

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Neil – that is a great idea to check out the hashtags – Twitter management tools definitely help and especially if you use them “socially” like that. thanks!

      Reply
    • Vanestella

      Hi Neil, which tool are you using please?

      Reply
  10. Christy Kiltz

    So simple & yet profound! You touched a deep key – how easy is it to forget the “social” in social media. I’d never thought about it before ~ truly sparked a “well duh!” moment for me 🙂 Thanks for turning the lightbulb on! @DesignByKiltz

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Christy – that’s so great. I always think “is this too simple?” for posts like this, but funnily enough they are often the ones that I get the best response from – we all need an occasional reminder to get back to the basics of communication! Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
  11. Cian Heffernan

    To be honest I’ve been pushing Facebook massively and just getting all client’s facebook posts pushed to twitter but now I really see the value of using Twitter as a standalone platform! One thing I’m having trouble deciding though is … is a more personal profile like the one I have better than a branded profile?! I barely use it at all because I’m not sure which way to dive in! Big fan from the Emerald Isle!! @bian999

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Oh awesome! That just made my day – partly because I am a fan of everyone in your entire country. I lived there in the late 90s and worked in Skibb…and some of my best friends are still there. Have to get back soon for a pint! I will say hi over on Twitter. My best advice for starting out on Twitter is to start following people regularly in your niche/area of interest and setting up some lists to organise people you follow – actually check out this article that I wrote – http://socialmediablog.es/7-ways-to-attract-and-engage-followers-on-twitter/ – it has some good, simple tips in there. As for your profile, you can brand it (as in the @username is the business) but if it is your company or a smaller company try to have a person’s name if you can as Twitter is about the person more than brand…however, it can work both ways – If it is a bigger brand and that is not possible then have the logo but put in the bio the names of the people that are tweeting on behalf of the brand – makes it personal. I think there is some info about this in the article. Let me know if it helps! Donna

      Reply
  12. Lauren Thomas

    I connected on Twitter with someone who was local to me and like me – was in to running. We talked a lot about our shared interests and when I mentioned I was doing a marketing qualification, he introduced me on Twitter to a friend of his who ended up becoming my unofficial mentor! She had done the same qualification as me and offered me so much helpful advice and feedback. I’m not sure I could have done it without her, and we’re now all good friends who tweet each other most days and meet up when we can! Twitter, is an awesome thing to be part of. And I *always* check out bios!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      That’s awesome Lauren and thanks for sharing – It is amazing what can happen from 140 characters with a little personal touch. Good on you!

      Reply
  13. Ian Cleary

    Hey Donna, it’s a great tip. I was at social slam conference and we were due to go to a meet up in a bar. I reached out a guy called Chris who was tweeting but before I reached out I looked at this profile. In his profile he mentioned he liked wine. So I sent him a tweet and said I’d love to meet him at the event and asked if he would have a glass a wine in his hand…. of course this got us chatting over twitter, it just broke the ice.
    People that put effort into social media stick out like a sore thumb!
    Ian

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      That’s great and you my friend, are the ultimate example of someone who makes an effort! That’s a great story. Love it! By the way the Academy Award Winning Director won for Brave this year – go the Celtic Legends!

      Reply
      • Ian Cleary

        Cool, I must go and see it! Thanks for a great post. Looking forward to catching up with you again soon.

        Reply
        • Donna Moritz

          How old are your kids? It’s a great Disney Pixar movie – with a female as the heroine for once (set in Scotland). I am a huge Disney Fan and a fan of Ireland and Scotland so I loved it. I have a 4 year old Princess fan!

          Reply
          • Donna Moritz

            and yes, definitely catch up soon – haven’t forgotten about the interview! Just in writing phase of the program but coming together…

          • Ian Cleary

            10,4 and 2! I’m sure I’ll have to go!!

          • Donna Moritz

            Yes they will love it – especially if any of them are girls (actually it’s a good mother/daughter flick too).

  14. Cdiazreixa

    Thanks so much for the post! I’m so happy to know that a simple refollow it’s not a good idea, even if a lot of “Twitter gurus” recommended it. People you follow are even your treasure, not only your followers. Isn’t it? 🙂 @cdiazreixa

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      You are very welcome – glad you found it useful – and yes it is worthwhile engaging rather than just following. People love to chat on Twitter!

      Reply

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