How to Provoke Engagement and Interaction


You heard about Twitter, signed up for an account, and got hundreds of people to follow you. Now what?

All Natural High

Do you know what Oxytocin is? It’s the hormone produced by mothers while breastfeeding. It’s shared by friends when embracing. It’s what you feel when you see a notification in your social media apps. That’s no accident. Social Media “data scientists” are experimenting with designs within your newsfeeds and alerts to trigger different emotional responses from you. The goal is to get you to come back for more of what makes you feel good.

Who do you follow and why? How often do they interact with you and how? Are you addicted to certain social media interactions? Do you know if anyone is getting a high from interacting with you?

Behind the Scenes

Maybe you’re tweeting with someone so much, that you are thinking of moving those lengthy conversations to Direct Messages (DMs). People who engage with you in tweets, may want to reach out privately. Leaving that door open can lead to interesting friendships. Check your settings to see who can DM you. Usually only people who you follow and who follow you can send you a Direct Message.

My favorite part of being able to DM is the ability to create groups. This is when you start a private conversation on Twitter with a select group of people. What you share is not seen publicly in the form of tweets. In many cases, we have used these group conversations as planning rooms for work-related projects. Had you thought of Twitter as an enterprise collaboration tool? Mostly, I use group DMs for fun, so as not to fill my Twitter stream with too many conversations meant for a limited audience.

Caring Long-Term

Whether publicly or privately, you’ve got to make people care. If they don’t care about you, they’re not going to engage with you. This is why it’s important to share original content. You’ve got to let your personality shine through. Show what makes you special.

Some special people I check on regularly:

Always driving the conversation on diversity and welcoming new participants to chats. #WomenInTech

Living in the most exciting city in the world, and sharing real moments with us. #Disruption.

Without a doubt the nicest manager I’ve ever had! She’s one of my best friends. Often we start a conversation on Twitter, and finish it on the phone. #Kindness

Some friendships will end. Don’t be heartbroken for too long. Here’s some timeless Twitter advice from @adamsconsulting

Digging for Data

If you’d like to get to know your audience better, I recommend that you take a look at your Twitter Analytics dashboard. You may be surprised at who follows you, and what they’re interested in. These insights will help you fine-tune the content you share, so that you can reach the topics and people that interest you.

While data is helpful, you should not limit yourself to reacting to it. Constantly changing tactics in an effort to please too many different segments will paralyze your efforts. Stay true to your original message, even if the data tries to take you away from it.

Enjoyment and Fun

How do you provoke engagement and interaction?

  • You ask questions
  • You reply and celebrate other people’s updates
  • You give of yourself

Are you prepared to do that?

And if it stops being fun…
Will you take a break?

What will it take to get you to come back?
From my experience, you’ll come back to help a friend, and it will make you feel good.

Photo credit: Ben Matthewsjshj

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Silvia Spiva
Silvia Spiva
Silvia K. Spiva is a Multicultural Marketer, creating content for global audiences, from the heart of Silicon Valley. Her passions include children's literacy, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), and finding ways to bridge if not crush the #DigitalDivide.
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