A Twitter Change That Boosts Engagement and Gets Us Out of the Dark Ages

I’ve owned up before to how little I use or like Facebook. As seems to be the case for many people, this is not for personality reasons, however. Mark Zuckerberg bothers me no more or less than any other teen entrepreneur-turned-gazillionaire.

No, it has more to do with my rule that my social media investments need to be short, sweet, and easy. My biggest problem is the constant changes in Facebook’s functionality, which absolutely does not fit into my criteria. (In fact, I felt very vindicated after reading this confessional post by a social media guru.)

So I was a bit irked when I learned that Twitter, my favorite go-to social media platform, had made changes. It took me a little time before I decided to stop being in denial and get the new lay of the land—and I’m glad I did! The changes are neither onerous or numerous. You can learn more about them here. But here’s the biggest one that in my mind will produce more engagement for crowdfunders rather than the interrupted, jagged conversations that simple RT or Favorites brought.

What was:

Arguably the most trigger-happy button on Twitter is the Retweet button. So easy! All you have to do is click on that blue baby and you are good to go. People know you’re there for them, right?

Yet the biggest complaint in the crowdfunding universe is how to get any social media interactions to go from a knee-jerk click to actual engagement that has the best opportunity to convert to a contribution.

What is:

When you click on the Retweet button if you’re a lazy susan or stuck in the Dark Ages you can still broadcast back a tweet and call it a day. But don’t do it! With the advent of the Add a Comment function, why would you?

What happens now when you click on Retweet is that you are presented with an Add a Comment box. In this box you can basically add personal commentary to what ever the original tweet says. And you’re give a generous 116 characters to do so.

Why this is so important:

This is revolutionary for crowdfunding because it builds on engagement possibilities by telling your followers why you’ve elected to retweet. If everyone adds their own personalized comment what this change has potential to do is actually get a conversation going. Here’s a small example of how I used the comment section when I spotted a tweet about a group trying to raise money to start a crowdfunding platform in the Philippines. The island country caught my imagination seven years ago when I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of going on assignment there. (It was for a spa magazine and oh it was a blast. Please don’t hate me for that!)

This was the original tweet:


Here’s what I wrote back and their response.


Now this is a real conversation! Others, I believe, will pick up the thread and engagement is sure to follow. And even if no one else chimes in with their own reason for loving the Philippines anybody who’s already reading my tweets and retweeting them (thank you, all you loyal followers who are helping me help other crowdfunders) will actually be able to follow the flow of the conversation—and that can’t be bad. In fact, I really think this is a big step forward toward interactions of quality that will produce more quantity—both the sharing and giving kind.

So be sure to stop that trigger-happy finger from simply retweeting and add your own two cents to the conversation. You will be helping us all out of the social media Dark Ages.


By Rose Spinelli. Reprinted with authorization from The CrowdFundamentals: “A Twitter Change That Boosts Engagement and Gets Us Out of the Dark Ages.”


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