This article will introduce you to Signal and our new feature, Beacon. Before getting to Beacon, we will cover a little lesson in social psychology and how we can start social epidemics to help our articles and other content reach more people on Twitter by creating and leveraging small, close-knit groups to seed engagement.
TL;DR: Studies have shown that tweets that have seeded engagement attract more engagement. Team up with other people who are interested in the same hashtags to retweet and like one another’s content automagically using signal beacons to drive more engagement to your tweets.
Helping you create, maintain, and leverage small, close-knit groups is what Beacon specializes in.
Using Signal Beacon to Seed and Drive More Engagement on Your Tweets
Signal auto-tweets your articles on repeat, on your schedule. Pair it with Beacon to get more retweets and likes by teaming up with other people around hashtags you tweet about. First, familiarize yourself with Signal, by scheduling your first tweet, because Beacon works with tweets sent via Signal. Once you understand Signal, you can join or create a beacon.
How does Beacon work?
Once you join a beacon with hashtags you’re interested in and also tweet with, when any member of the beacon sends a tweet via Signal, all members of the beacon will like and/or retweet the tweet depending on the beacon’s settings. For you to benefit from the beacon, you need to schedule your tweets via Signal and include at least one hashtag that matches those of the beacon.
That’s it. Sure, there’s more details, but that’s really all you need to know to get started. Read on for the details.
Answers to questions that will be frequently asked
This section covers selecting beacons for your tweets, what flares are and how engagements are executed on tweets, and strategies for using beacon and creating winning teams.
Selecting beacons when scheduling a tweet on Signal
When you schedule a tweet on Signal, just include hashtags that match any of the hashtags in any of the beacons you’re a member of. Given that, Signal will send out flares (explained below in What is a flare) to the beacons your signal’s tweet qualifies for. Take a look at the form below:
In that screenshot, I have entered an article link, Signal suggested the perfect tweet, and the hashtags match some beacons I’m a member of. How do I know? At the bottom of that same form, you will see something like this:
My tweet has the hashtags #SocialMediaMarketing and #Penname (case insensitive), so it qualifies for any of my member beacons that have either of those hashtags in its criteria. It’s not important which beacons match, but once you click “Schedule”, you will be able to see the flares that will be sent to the matching beacons:
From those screenshots, I can see that my signal’s tweet qualified for two of my member beacons: “Content Marketing” and “Penname Profiles”. Both of those beacons only like tweets. If one of them were set up to retweet tweets, it would show a green retweet icon.
What is a flare
Again, lets look to the real-world for guidance here. In nature, when you need help, you send out a flare as a call for help. Usually, there’s a beacon set up elsewhere to act as a guide. When someone in a beacon notices your flare, they take actions to get you the help you need. In some cases, the person and their team will send out broadcasts to other people, perhaps a rescue team, who are able to help you.
In Signal, you setup or join a beacon before you need help — in this case, the help you want is engagement on your tweets. When you schedule your tweet, Signal creates flares that will be sent out to matching beacons whenever your tweet is sent. When a beacon receives your flare, it instructs its members to schedule staggered broadcasts. The broadcasts that are created each have a specific action: one broadcast may like your tweet, and the other might retweet it.
Member engagement is staggered
Of course, to ensure all engagement isn’t sent at once, we space out each engagement a minute after the previous. You will never engage with a tweet more than once, even when the same content is tweeted more than once by Signal. When joining or creating a beacon, make sure you understand the kind of engagements that will occur.
Not all beacons are created equal
Some beacons will only like member tweets. Some will only retweet. And others will do both liking and retweeting. Everything is based on the hashtags you choose. When scheduling a new tweet on Signal, you will see the hashtags of beacons you are a member of at the bottom of the form. If your tweet includes any of the qualifying hashtags, that signal will qualify to be engaged with my the appropriate beacon members as described above.
More members equals more engagement
It’s better to join a beacon matching your target hashtags than to create a similar beacon on your own. Sure, everyone could make their own beacon, but what’s the strategy in that? Think about it. If everyone creates their own beacon, no one will join another person’s beacon. Each beacon will have only one member and no engagements will be executed. In other words, there would be no reciprocity going around, and everyone will lose.
The best strategy is to join a beacon that has target hashtags you’re interested in if such a beacon exists. That way, you will have more people who are willing to engage with your tweets in return for the same from you. If no such beacon exists, then you should go right ahead and create your own beacon. Regardless, the choice is yours.