Connecting with people on TwitterFor Twitter to work means having followers. And having followers means creating tweets that compel people to follow. While some people automatically follow everyone back, some take the time to review your tweets before deciding. These could be the people you want to connect with because they care about having relevant connections.

Companies using Twitter as an announcement tool won’t find much success. Maybe a few will click the links. However, not many will follow the company when they see most or all of its tweets are self-serving.

Before following more people, work on posting tweets that your ideal followers want to see. Then when you’ve built a nice stream of tweets, they’ll more likely to follow back. So what works today in connecting and engaging people in Twitter? Although no single formula works for everyone, the following tips will start conversations that matter.

1. Monitor your business, competitors and industry. The most basic thing companies should do is listen for mentions of their brand, products and name. This ensures you respond whenever someone says something, good or bad.

A problem can turn into an opportunity when you swoop in and help solve the problem or acknowledge it. Watching for competitor mentions gives you intelligence you may be able to use. Industry-related tweets reveal what people think about your business in general. It may also help you find people who have questions that you can answer to present your company as experts.

2. Curate and share valuable resources. Dan Zarella, author and social media scientist at Hubspot, analyzed over 2 million tweets that contained links. He found that most people will retweet links without ever clicking it. Successful curators check every resource before tweeting them. With many companies diving into content marketing, there’s a lot of wasteful content. Curators don’t want to waste your time with those.

3. Be mindful about self-serving tweets. How many valuable tweets that have nothing to do with your business should you post before you share a self-serving tweet? No one rule stands out, but here are some suggestions: Chris Brogan suggests 12 useful to 1 self-serving, another says 1 self-serving for every 9 or 10 tweets, Pareto principal says 80/20 with 20 being self-serving and the 4-1-1 rule recommends sharing 4 resources, 1 relevant re-tweet and 1 self-serving tweet.

4. Tweet to individuals. Sharing resources, inspirational quotes and thoughts make great tweets. Engaging involves having a conversation, not just broadcasting useful information. If someone asks a question or shares something interesting, respond to that person and include the person’s Twitter ID. You can also be proactive in starting a conversation with an individual.

5. Help others. This Zig Ziglar quote says it best: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” People will remember you when you help them. So look for opportunities to help even if it isn’t related to your business.

What other ways can you connect with people in Twitter?

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