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Former Member

It’s that time of year again. We’re all getting ready for the holidays, maybe planning to travel to our families, or, like in my case, preparing for some relaxed days at home with the wife and kids. And, admit it, we’re all thinking about what to put on our wish list for Santa.

If your professional life requires you to think about social media in any way, your wish list might contain something like this:

All I Want for Christmas Is….Two Good Retweets.

In today’s world, hundreds of billions of impressions about product and services are made through social media. It's more important than ever to stay relevant in the online world. One way of getting (or staying) there is to focus on real customer engagement through social media. Building brand advocates through social media is a key ingredient. (For more on this topic, watch the replay of a thought leader panel I moderated at The Social Shake-Up event in Atlanta earlier this year). Another crucial component is to make every interaction through social media meaningful – think quality before quantity. Otherwise you risk being dismissed as a spammer. I am constantly amazed when I see a company send out multiple tweets at once. This is not engagement through social media, this is spam. I’m not even paying attention to those tweets any more, and I typically stop following those accounts.

Here’s my list of thoughts on how to make social engagement more meaningful – and thus get more retweets.  (Adapted from Jerry Low’s list of 10 Easy Way To Get More Retweets).

  1. First and foremost: Be relevant
    Don’t just tweet about daily activities. No one is really interested in what you had for breakfast. According to Dan Zarrella’s The Science of Retweets, the 20 least retweetable words are “game – going – haha – lol – but – watching – work – home – night, bed – well – sleep – gonna – he
    y – tomorrow – tired – some – back – bored – listening.” Most (if not all) of these words are common-use words for conversations or to describe mundane activities.
    On the other side of the spectrum is a list of words that lend themselves for more retweets: “you – twitter – please – retweet – post – blog – social – free – media – help - please retweet – great - social media – 10 – follow - how to – top - blog post - check out - new blogpost.”
  2. Tweet at the right time
    With 58 million new tweets daily (as of April 2013), it’s easy to see that a tweet’s half-life is pretty short. You want to make sure to time your updates wisely (taking into account time zones of your target audience).
  3. Share links
    A recent study from Microsoft showed that 52% of the retweet samples contain a URL. And this is not surprising at all – most people look for news updates or help with something when browsing their Twitter feed.

I am sure there are more winning factors than those listed above. Care to share your experience? I would love to hear them.

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a great start into 2014!

May all your Christmas wishes – including the one above -- come true.


Kai Petzelt is Senior Director Product Marketing at SAP. Follow Kai on Twitter @kaipetzelt.

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