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Capture Your Audience’s Attention on Twitter

Posted byFri, Jul 5, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

Capture your audience's attention small_http---www.flickr.com-photos-fosim-8502372244- copyYour next customer is online, likely one of the 200 million active users on Twitter. So how do you capture their attention, engage and bring a desiredbusiness result?

It helps to get specific about your goals: what you want to do and who you want to reach. For many small businesses, establishing your brand and growing its presence is the starting point. Other possibilities include:

  • Educating and informing customers about services.
  • Increasing the number of conversations.
  • Seeking feedback on inventory or new product ideas.
  • Promoting a sale or an event.
  • Driving traffic to a website, blog, landing page.
  • Increasing leads/sales.

Once you are clear on your mission and audience, the trick is to provide access to compelling content that speaks to them. You want the right bait to catch the right fish.

Your Brand

Before you let the tweets fly, double check your brand presence: do you have a strong profile and cover photo, description and link back to your website?

Here’s an idea I just heard on a webinar: in your brand’s profile, include a link that leads to a dedicated page on your website that says, “Thanks for following us from Twitter.” Or something to that effect. The idea is to make this your Twitter landing page, where you provide information specific to your Twitter audience.

How to Tweet

Birds of a feather typically flock together, so use Twitter to signal your interest. When you follow, retweet, talk and listen to the people you’d like to do business with (or the influencers of a certain group, like small business reporters, analysts, industry associations—even executives leading respective markets), they’ll notice and are apt to respond in kind.


  • Be you: tweet like you were talking to a friend.
  • Think about how your audience will receive value from your interactions: what’s in it for them?
  • Tweet in a timely way: is your brand associated with events, local or otherwise? It may take creativity, but how can it become relevant before, during or following an event?
  • Give them something good: make some content exclusive to your Twitter audience. It could be behind-the-scenes or how to videos, photos, interviews—anything that would provide value.

Tweet in order to:

  • Direct traffic: include a shortened URL and send your visitors somewhere!
  • Build anticipation: try telling a story using three to five tweets.
  • Develop relationships: ask and answer questions.
  • Join a community: create or use an already established #hashtag, which consolidates conversations into one stream. The public nature of your question makes it all the more likely that others will respond.
  • Capture the attention of influencers: add @influencername to the tweet.


Hashtags, by the way, are easy to create. Just add a # in front of a unique word. Make sure you do a quick search to see if that phrase is currently in use.

Sometimes you can find standing meetings and Twitter chats via hashtags. It’s a great way to build a community and create momentum.


Content creation is time consuming. But here are ways you can maximize your time and still make a splash on Twitter. It is a distribution channel, so tweet:

  • Great content others have created. This is more about building an audience than generating website traffic – promoting others helps you get noticed.
  • Your favorite tidbit from a weekly newsletter.
  • New, popular and evergreen blog posts.

Note: I haven’t tried promoted tweets yet (advertising on Twitter), but I’ve been told to think of them as a way to reach a new audience. Organic tweets are great ways to engage current followers.

Here are some other interesting ways to widen your audience base.

Promote offers

  • Daily deal: give a percentage off to the first, say, 50 people who retweet.
  • Exclusive: provide something unique only to Twitter followers.
  • Feature new inventory: try tweeting a picture – it tends to encourage clickthrus and foot traffic to retail outlets.


  • Get the word out early with teasers, save the date tweets, sign ups and incentives.
  • Keep activity going, tweet during the event. Make it interesting: share photos, videos.
  • Post-event intrigue: anything fun to showcase, like backstage moments, feedback, interviews? These things are inclusive to non-attendees.
  • Post-event info: I always love receiving the presentation decks and notes after an event. There are only so many notes one can take during! And for the speakers: make sure you include hashtags on your presentations. These days, most people are tweeting as you speak.
  • Check out who is at the event: in some large venus, it’s easier to see who’s there by checking the event hashtag!

Tweets that use pictures result in twice the amount of engagement, so guess how well video does on Twitter? It’s hugely popular. I haven’t tried it yet, but word on the street is that Vine is the bomb. Give it a try and tweet me the result!


 Sidebar_Cover_SEO_Checklist_Related links:

Just getting started on Twitter? Brush up with this overview: How to Grow With a Limited Ad Budget? Use Twitter.

Interested in other ways to boost website traffic from prospects? Get HI’s 10 step checklist.

Terrra Hoskins is the principal of inbound marketing consultancy, Hoskins Interactive. She tweets at @terrahoskins

Photo credit: FOSM via photopin cc