As I see new Twitter accounts pop up and new people trying to engage with others as a way to build followers, there’s one thing I notice too many people doing that they shouldn’t: retweeting too much.

Retweeting is important. In fact, I devoted an entire article to the practice. But it’s not the only way to engage. In fact, after favouriting tweets, only retweeting them is the laziest thing you can do to engage with others.

Why it’s problematic

First, it’s problematic when someone wants to thank you for your retweet by retweeting you back and they find nothing original to retweet. Sure, you’ll get notified that someone retweeted your retweet, but you’ll never receive public recognition for it, and it’ll do next to nothing to build brand awareness.

Second, if you like something you come across, retweeting it gives credit to the tweeter, who often isn’t the author.

Finally, it doesn’t create a conversation. Retweets often kill conversations.

So, what’s the solution?

Here are 4 ways other than retweets for engaging with others on Twitter

  1. Comment. If you see something you like, tell the tweeter why you like it. Don’t just say thanks, either; be specific.
  2. Craft your own tweet. If you truly like something someone tweeted, take the extra few seconds to craft your own tweet, citing the author (if s/he has a Twitter account) and mentioning the original tweeter.
  3. Curate. Related to the second suggestion, look for content that you can share. Check out Facebook pages, popular websites, RSS feeds, newsletters, etc. Don’t limit yourself to just Twitter for content.
  4. Create blog posts. Much of the popular content out there is found on blogs, so you might as well start your own. If you’re going to share industry-specific content with your followers, make some of it yours, and drive some of that traffic your way.

By using a multi-pronged approach in your engagement, it won’t be long before you become a social media master.

What are some ways you have successfully engaged with others on Twitter? Let me know in the comments below.

About Kim Siever

I am a copywriter and copyeditor. I blog on writing tips mostly, but I sometimes throw in my thoughts about running a small business. Follow me on Twitter at @hotpepper.

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