twitterToo many social media marketers ignore Twitter. It doesn’t make sense, because the site has over 320 million active monthly users.

If you hope to generate profitable leads, you’ll need a sound strategy to engage with your target audience. A number of social media mavericks have given excellent tips to make the most of Twitter. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Keep Your Own Voice

Many marketers try to mimic gurus like Neil Patel. Unfortunately, copying the voice of other marketers only comes across as disingenuous.

Mari Smith, a social media strategist from San Diego, argues that Twitter marketers should share valuable content in their own voice.

“Ideally, you want people to read your tweets and feel naturally compelled to click on your links and retweet you,” Smith told Social Media Examiner. “You just want to add value and have no agenda or attachment to “making the sale,” yet you’re strategic and mindful about how you tweet. Then you’ll see a marked improvement in your retweet and click-through rates.

Curate Wisely

There are a couple major benefits of content curation:

  • It’s a more efficient way to share content with your followers.
  • It’s a smart way to piggyback off of thought leaders in your industry, since your post will show up when people search for their names.

However, not all content is worth sharing, even if it originated from an established expert. If you are curated content, you need to:

  • Make sure it’s highly relevant to your followers.
  • Add your own voice and thoughts. Simply retweeting content doesn’t cut it anymore.

Follow thought leaders in your industry and search for content that resonates with your own followers.

Prioritize Engagement Over Exposure

There are plenty of ways to get more exposure on Twitter. Adding trending hashtags is among the easiest. Unfortunately, hashtags can also be very distracting.

Your priority should be to make sure your posts are as engaging as possible. If hashtags or unnecessary links detract from it, you may need to remove them from some of your more important posts. You’ll generate more profitable leads if you stay engaged with your followers.

Use Lead Generation Cards

You should have two goals when engaging with followers on Twitter:

  • Building your brand reputation
  • Generating quality leads

The first goal is easier to achieve if you share quality content and are responsive to your followers (although it takes a while). However, generating quality leads isn’t easy. The good news is that there are some great tools to make the job easier.

Consider taking advantage of generation cards. These are links that allow your followers to opt-in to your email list without having to go through a long funnel on your website. They have great opt-in rates, so try adding them to your Twitter profile.

Don’t Pad Your Twitter Follower Count

There are a lot of ways to boost your Twitter follower count. You can use a variety of strategies to promote your social media presence, as this blog post discusses.

However, you need to rely on white hat strategies to attract real, engaged followers. Attracting spammy, dormant or fake accounts can make you look less trustworthy.

Don’t use black hat strategies to make your profile seem more popular. You are much better off building your follower count organically, by sharing quality content and engaging with your current followers. It’s also much cheaper in the long run than paying for useless services.

This isn’t to say that paying for exposure is bad. Paying for retweets can actually make a lot of sense. However, you need to make sure that they come from real accounts with an engaged follower base.