Tweeting in 2014It can be the thing of nightmares for anyone managing a social media account: your Twitter activity has screeched to a halt.  After a few minutes of panic, you have come to realize that it’s all your fault. If you are anything like me, you may start diving head first into books or articles to learn more about marketing on social media, and then feverishly start trying to implement something new.

While it may be hard to look back at your Twitter stats for 2013, with just a few tweaks and a little strategy, you can make a New Year’s resolution to bring your sluggish Twitter account back to life.  Here are some ideas for getting the engagement you’re looking for.

Create and Share Quality Content.
It’s great to retweet other user’s quotes, images and articles.  What’s better? Creating your own quotes, images and articles.  Social media users follow brands because they are either seeking deals on a product or information about a topic.  By sharing relevant content that your users find interesting and useful, you will be seen as an industry leader – a trustworthy and reliable source.

Make Like My Toddler and Be Polite.
My 19-month-old tells us thank you all of the time: when we give her something, when we do something for her, when she hands us things, etc.  All. The. Time. I love good manners and such courtesies have a place on Twitter.  Handing out a thank you or responding to a tweet is an easy way to engage with your followers. Another bonus: you look less like one of those automated robot accounts.

Change Up Your Style.
What do your tweets look like? How many characters are you using? Do you include pictures or links? Tweets that are repeatedly too similar in style are going to bore your users to death.  They may even get so bored that they do the dreaded and unfollow you.  What can you do to liven up those tweets?

An easy way to make any tweet more interesting is to add an image.  According to Quicksprout, engagement for tweets with images is 200% higher than those that don’t include images.  If you aren’t using links, that’s another way to increase engagement for your tweets.  There is an 86% retweet rate for tweets with links and 92% of engagement of a brand’s tweets came from link clicks.  Another way is to keep your tweets under 100 characters – easy peasy.

Timing Is Everything
There isn’t much point in posting on Twitter when your followers aren’t even there to see your posts; this will ultimately prevent you from getting the retweets and @mentions you seek.  It’s good practice to know the best posting times and when your followers are most likely online.  There are several tools you can use to track this information, such as Tweriod or Buffer.  There are also lots of handy infographics on the topic, like this one.

A new year is a clean slate and a chance to make things better.  If you experienced a slow-down in your Twitter engagement during the holidays, changing up your method could be all you need to see the results you want.