Twitter: 15 Ways to Stay Interesting

By: Guest | November 22, 2010 | 

Guest post by Elena Verlee, founder of Cross Border Communications.

If you’ve been on Twitter a while, you’re probably stuck in a rut. We all know we’re supposed to engage, share links to valuable information, and re-tweet others. What else is there?

If you want to spice up your Twitter feed, here are 15 ideas to get you going.

1. Twitpic something – Photos of you and other Twitter friends, a painting you like, almost anything will do. A picture is worth a thousand words, or in Twitter’s case, 140 characters.

2. Events – #Hashtag a conference you’re heading to and you can meet someone new even before you get there. Sometimes the most powerful thing about social networking is taking it to the next step – and meeting in person.

3. Comments on a story – Leaving a thoughtful comment on a reporter’s or blogger’s story, then tweeting it out and spreading the word, may help you get that media attention you’ve been seeking. You might just be a source for their next story.

4. All your favorite blogs, all at once – Create a My Alltop page with all the blogs you follow and tweet it out. Building this page also gives you a great resource for interesting links to share.

5. Ask a question – Promote discussion and different perspectives and you’ll get to know who’s in your community better.

6. Ask for help – Whether you’re fixing a technical snafu on your blog or hiring someone for your team, try asking your community for help. You’ll be surprised at the speed and quality of response you’ll get.

7. Be helpful – Tweet a cause or charity and how people can help out. You can create a ripple effect to change the world, one tweet at a time.

8. Share your opinion – Go ahead, let it out! Especially if you can share a lesson about business, customer service, or whatever expertise you have, that your followers don’t.

9. #FollowFridays, #ThankfulThursdays – Promote another brand or person unabashedly. It’s a great way to introduce some of your favorite people and get known as a connector.

10. Share your success – Yes, there is a “ME” in Social MEdia. As long as you don’t go over the top, people are more than happy to congratulate you. Do the same for others.

11. Announcements – Speaking at a conference? Launching a new product? Writing a book? Tell others as you go along and build up anticipation at the same time.

12. Groupon, giveaways, and discounts – Share the news and the savings. Everybody loves deals.

13. Foursquare – Tweet where you are at the moment and maybe a Twitter friend you’ve been wanting to meet is at the exact same location. Meet up!

14. Be quotable – Who doesn’t love an inspiring quote? Share some life wisdom with others and remember: “Be Yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” (Oscar Wilde)

15. Share a video – A funny video or your favorite song can add personality to your account. Here’s one of my all-time faves: 8 Irresistible Principles of Fun.

Still stuck? Then tweet about your loves – have fun with Twitter and share your passions. We can never, ever, have enough of that.

What else do you like to tweet about?

Author of the blog PR in Your Pajamas, Elena Verlee is a passionate publicist, professional coach, and entrepreneur who has sold two businesses. She is also the founder of Cross Border Communications, which helps companies use both traditional and digital marketing strategies to achieve their business goals.

  • FashionistaChik

    Wonderful Wonderful ideas. Great way of making long lasting relationships on twitter.

  • Thanks for this list. I’ve still yet to truely find “who” I am and what I should talk about on twitter. I really appreciate ANY and all advice that experienced people find.

  • Justinguzman

    Thanks for the post over this past weekend I decided I was going to use the hastag. #teamfollowback, #Ifollowback and other variations to gain followers. What I noticed was that there are thousands of people doing the same and building up these great following audiences. The problem is everyone doing this is not really interested in what you have to say they want you to just trade follows to build a bigger followership. Coincidentally i spent the last half of the weekend unfollowing people just to get rid of the freaking spam. I will now put your suggestions here to good use and just post valuable content to gain followers of me and my blog.
    thanks for the post.

    Justin Guzman

  • ElenaVerlee

    @FashionistaChik Thank you – it’s all about the relationships, online or offline in building a business!

  • ElenaVerlee

    @mcmullen_greg Hi Greg – Talk about what interests you and to people that interest you. We are constantly evolving and finding out who we are – and sometimes by engaging with others and their ideas, that’s what ends up shaping us.

  • ElenaVerlee

    @Justinguzman Thanks Justin. I consider myself a fairly new blogger so that’s what I tried to do – share valuable content that DIY entrepreneurs would find useful in doing their own PR, in language that they would understand! Good luck with your blog!

  • lisagerber

    Hi Elena, I have to laugh. I think you were talking to me in this post. I have been in a twitter rut lately and have therefore been neglecting it. I realize why. I need to take the time to change up my following a bit. I’m too heavy in certain segments and need to vary it.
    However, I decided, as I was reading this, to put idea #1 to the test, just for kicks. I posted a picture of my Bernese Mt Dog sitting happily in 5 degree weather buried in snow. It immediately generated about 5 conversations! and reminded my why I do love Twitter so much. : )

  • HowieSPM

    Very nice rules to tweet by Elena. I think the fastest way to an unfollow is insincere, boring posts. It is something Brands deal with every day. You can’t automate, you need to bring value. And it’s hard enough as a person. Now Brands have to try to be people like or risk be ignored on a great engagement platform. Nothing like a massive company having a person be it’s Face vs carefully crafted commercials and websites.

  • Great list, Elana! I think I utilize most of these, but there are certainly a few I can add. Thanks for helping to make the Twittersphere a better place for all of us! 🙂

    Amber @WordsDoneWrite

  • D’oh! There’s not a way to edit my comment. So sorry I spelled your name incorrectly, Elena!

  • candyspender

    this is a great list, very clear and simple…thank you!

  • PhilGoose

    Great list. Short and to the point

  • CLGraphics

    Dead on list – with one exception. I have to disagree with #13. While foursquare is nice for retailers, I’ve knocked people off of my feed for overdoing it. It’s hard for me to convey how much I don’t care that you’re at Target, Walgreens, B&K or StarBucks or where you are every single time you make a stop throughout your daily excursions… because… I don’t.

    But … the rest of your list, FANTASTIC! 14/15 = 93% – On the curve you still get an A so grab a magnet and put that on your fridge! 🙂

  • ElenaVerlee

    @lisagerber Lisa – I’m going to print this list myself where I can look at it and remind myself to stay interesting (and interested) on Twitter LOL. Glad you got out of the rut!

  • ElenaVerlee

    @HowieSPM Howie, in this day and age, people buy from people, not logos! the most successful profiles are the ones where we know we are connecting with “Tony” from the company. Thanks for stopping by!

  • ElenaVerlee

    @WordsDoneWrite No worries, glad you found something new!

  • ElenaVerlee

    @CLGraphics Woot! I’ll take that “A”! I think at the end of the day we have to add value as well as make Twitter fun for ourselves and others – or we won’t use it. No action = no results 😉

  • MarkMcIntyre

    @CLGraphics Agreed on Foursquare. I don’t need to know where people are having lunch or getting coffee or shopping . . . If people want to play the game, great, but don’t link your twitter to it. It is TMI

  • ElenaVerlee

    DUH, I realized my Twitter profile is not in my bio! Do say hello to me on Twitter @ElenaVerlee

  • I think a good strategy is: Seek to be helpful first.

    I’d argue that you remain interesting by being (genuinely) interested in others. Share content that you think is helpful and mix it up every now and then, by using media like photos via twitpic, etc. Get social when you’re meeting at events and actively participate in back-and-forth dialogue with your network.

  • ginidietrich

    Elena, thank you so much for the guest post! You were a new find for me and I’m so happy danielhindin invited you! Please stop by anytime for another post!

  • ElenaVerlee

    @RicardoBueno Oh absolutely Ricardo. If you’re not genuinely interested, people see right through it. And some of the best relationships I have now started in Twitter that we took a step further – either meeting in person, or even if it was just a skype video!

  • ElenaVerlee

    @GiniDietrich danielhindin Thanks Gini, I’ve been following you for a while and been learning a ton from you so it’s a real privilege to meet some of your awesome community! I’ll definitely take you up on that offer! Have a great thanksgiving.

  • 3HatsComm

    @MarkMcIntyre @CLGraphics I hear ya, but don’t mind a few Foursquare updates now and then, mixed with good tweets. But there is too much of the random check-ins.. moderation.

  • 3HatsComm

    Elena, nice guest post. I do need to think outside the box more with Twitter, share some different content like pictures. Like some others, I don’t 100% agree but still give you an A ;-). There are too many Foursquare updates, too many random pics, and too many pithy quotes on Twitter.. too much of a good thing if that’s all someone shares. It’s the mix of it all that keeps it interesting for me. FWIW.

  • Great ideas! I’ve only done a few of these, so adding a few more to the arsenal will definitely help. I love seeing great things like these in my Twitter feed, so being more active in sharing them as well will benefit both myself and my community. Still haven’t met anyone in person through Twitter yet, but I’m hoping I’m lucky enough to break in my soon-to-be-acquired roadbike with the blogging AND cycling master, ginidietrich

  • MarkMcIntyre

    @3HatsComm @CLGraphics Agreed that I should not overreact. Moderation is the key. Thanks. -Mark

  • ElenaVerlee

    @3HatsComm Thank you. I’m a sucker for A’s so I appreciate it! And you’re right, too much of one thing can be tooooooo much. Shake and stir, shake and stir, all the time. 😉

  • ElenaVerlee

    @JonHearty ginidietrich when you two do meet up, make sure and Twitpic it LOL. I’m going to TEDxVancouver this weekend so looking forward to meeting up with some new tweeps there!

  • LindaMachado

    I really enjoyed the video!

  • ElenaVerlee

    @LindaMachado Check out his other ones too – all fun!

  • Amynoelle

    You have definitly come up with some great ideas. Although, you gave these as recommendations to long time users who need to spice up their twitter page it is also very good advice for someone like me who is new to twitter. I do however need to still learn how to do a few of the suggestions that you offered such as creating an All top page,posting pictures and four square advertisements. I definitly want to get more involved with twitter and think more outside the box and hopefully become a more avid user. Who knows maybe one day I will become a twitter pro!

  • ElenaVerlee

    @Amynoelle Glad you found it useful as a Twitter newbie! There is a link in the article to a video tutorial I did on how to use Alltop – it’s like a magazine rack of blogs and really useful to find great bloggers to follow as well, to share out those links!

  • tettyschoe

    very informative, thanks!

  • G0utham

    You gave more ideas. That’s really awesome. 🙂

  • Pingback: Top 10 Posts of 2010 | Spin Sucks()

  • Pingback: Careers 101: Tweet Your Way to Success | The Opportunities Project()

  • amylaceous

    @TweetSmarter #rcmds$::?? chrome://credits

  • CelestarCorp

    RT @TweetSmarter 15 Ways to Stay Interesting On #Twitter: