With millions of users sending out millions of messages on Twitter every day, getting your own tweets to stand out and get noticed is not always easy. It’s like trying to be heard in a crowded market square in which everyone’s been given a soapbox and a megaphone, and they’re all shouting at once.

The solution is to craft your tweets to make them as appealing and attention-grabbing as possible. The following are a few easy tips that you can put into practice right away and should instantly help to increase the engagement of your followers.

1.    Add Photos

The instant nature of Twitter, with many users scanning through their feed in a few spare minutes, makes it ideal for photos. This is great for businesses, as it means anyone with a half-decent smartphone can take a picture and instantly share it with potential customers. If you own a restaurant or cafe, tweet a few snaps of whatever’s on the specials menu that day, or if you have a shop, let your followers see the latest products that have just arrived in stock.

Make sure you add a bit of teaser copy in the tweet telling everyone what is in the picture, and why it’s worth their while clicking on it.

2.    Ask Yes/No Questions

Questions are a great way of letting your followers know that their opinions are important to you. Questions like “what do you think of our new lunchtime menu?” may get you some good responses, but a simpler yes/no question such as “do you like the look of our new lunch menu?” is likely to do even better. This is because the latter question is asking for less thinking and effort from your followers, and so it’s likely to return a greater number of responses.

3.    Ask For Retweets

This might sound obvious, but it’s worth reiterating – if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Of course this isn’t a good idea for all your everyday tweets, but if you have something that is particularly new or unique that you want to share, then it’s not too forward or pushy to ask for a retweet from your followers. Example: “Retweet if you’re excited about the new iPhone 5, newly arrived in our store today!”

4.    Time It Right

As I’ve written in the past, how much engagement your tweets generate depends in large part on when you send them. Ideally you want to hit the times of day when the maximum number of your followers are online and have the time to respond to you. You can research the optimum times to tweet using tools like Xefer and (the unfortunately named) Tweriod.

Remember you can also use Hootsuite to schedule tweets to go out at a time of your choosing rather than actually having to wait to do it in real time, which may not always be very convenient.

5.    Keep It Short

Twitter is already the most concise social network (allowing just 140 characters per tweet), but it’s a good idea to make your messages even smaller if you can. The reason is that adding a link will take up 20 of your characters straight away, and you may also want to leave space for other users to add a comment of their own when they retweet you.

6. Offer A Solution To A Problem

At a copywriting conference in Bournemouth earlier this year, I listened to one of the UK’s leading business speakers explain that the key to persuasive writing is identifying a need/problem (a ‘point of pain’) that your audience might have, and positioning your product as the solution to that problem.

To apply this logic to Twitter, when you tweet a link, that link is effectively your product, and you must persuade your followers that by clicking it they will get a solution to a problem of theirs. An example of this would be something like “Struggling to drive engagement with your tweets? Here are 6 easy tips to help you”

Have a go at putting some of these tips into practice this week, and feel free to let us know how you get on. You can leave us a comment at the bottom of this post, or you can tweet me at @mrchrisredhead