10 Twitter Tactics to Increase Your Engagement

social media how toDo your tweets get noticed?

Are you getting enough engagement on Twitter?

Twitter’s true value is in its engagement. Unless people are engaging with you on Twitter, you’re wasting your time.

In this article I’ll share 10 tweeting techniques that lead to better engagement.

#1: Keep Tweets Under 110 Characters 

Twitter’s legendary character restriction seems short, but if you’re maxing out your character count, your tweets are too long.

Shorter tweets with around 110 characters get 17% higher engagement, and there’s a reason for that. When you leave room in a tweet, it makes it easier for people to retweet you and add their own commentary.

10 twitter tips

Learn 10 tips for increasing engagement on Twitter.

Jerry Low says:

If you are using all 140 characters in your tweet, your followers will need to edit your tweets before they can add in theirs and retweet. And, that’s not cool. People are lazy. Tweets that need extensive editing work simply get fewer retweets. Ideally, you should limit your tweets to between 80–110 characters.

#2: Tweet During Daytime Hours 

The Twittersphere is active during the 11-12 hours of daytime in your audience’s time zone. Between 8am and 7pm, your tweets will have 30% higher interaction. (To find out exactly when your audience is most active, you can use the free tool from Tweriod.)

shutterstock time zone clock image 204951679

Be mindful of where your audience lives. Image: Shutterstock.

That means you must keep your target audience in mind and adjust your timing as needed. If your company’s social media person is in Bangalore catering to a West Coast USA audience, she will need to adjust or schedule her tweets accordingly.

#3: Tweet on Saturday and Sunday

Weekends are not the time to take a break from Twitter. If you want engagement, schedule tweets for Saturday and Sunday. According to the data, engagement is 17% higher on the weekends than it is on weekdays.

Salesforce’s research determined that there is an inverse relationship between brands that tweet on the weekend and the engagement rates on the weekend.

shutterstock days of the week image 187128800

Weekends aren’t the time to take a Twitter break. Image Shutterstock.

But doesn’t this data conflict with the point above, regarding tweeting during working hours? Not exactly. As the data crunchers observed, the daytime tweet engagement is high even during weekends. Salesforce reported,

When brands tweet during “busy hours” (8am–7pm), they receive 30% higher engagement than tweets that fall during “non-busy hours” (8pm–7am). This even includes tweets published on Saturday and Sunday.

#4: Share Images 

Twitter’s rich Tweets give you higher levels of engagement for images and videos (e.g., Vine videos). You can get a 150% increase in retweets just by including images.

Buffer conducted an A/B test of tweets with pictures (A) and tweets without pictures (B). In each test, tweets with pictures won by a huge margin.

Now sold on the idea of using images, Buffer is toying with the ratio of image to non-image tweets. They’ve settled on a ratio of 70/30 (pictures/text).

In-stream images aren’t anything new, but few users are making the most of the feature. It’s a lot easier to pop a few words into a tweet than to use images. However, if it’s engagement you want, you can’t afford to ignore the data.

#5: Ask for Retweets 

People are understandably shy about asking for retweets. In fact, less than 1% of brands have asked for a retweet. This is a huge missed opportunity.

When you clearly ask your followers for a retweet, you have a good chance of getting one. Salesforce reports that asking results in 12 times more retweets.

Here’s a tip: Make sure to spell out the word retweet in its entirety, rather than using the abbreviation RT. The retweet rate for “retweet” requests is 23 times higher than the engagement rate for “RT” requests.

I would encourage caution, though. Don’t bombard your audience with constant requests to spread your message.

#6: Use Hashtags 

Hashtags double your engagement rate—they are their own implicit call to action. Plus, they create higher visibility on Twitter.

What surprises me is that only 24% of tweets contain hashtags. I would caution you to limit yourself to two hashtags per tweet.

Tweets that use more than two hashtags have a 17% drop in engagement. You don’t want that to happen.

Stay in tune with trending or industry-specific hashtags to make sure you’re cashing in on a valuable source of engagement.

#7: Include Links 

Using metrics from Buddy Media, Salesforce reports that 92% of all Twitter interaction (retweeting, replying, etc.) happens when readers click links. In fact, tweets with links get way more retweets—86% more, according to research!

tweet with a link and a hashtag

Links and hashtags make it easy for others to interact with your tweets.

Since tweets with links have higher engagement metrics, you’d think sophisticated marketers would be using links a lot more. Surprisingly, the percentage of tweets with links is around 36% (compared with 25% in 2010). Clearly we need to tweet links more often.

How often? Twitter whiz Dan Zarrella’s analysis suggests you include links in 60-80% of your tweets as the “sweet spot for retweets.”

#8: Stay Away From Lifestyle Tweets

While celebrities can get away with tweeting about their personal life, brands cannot. Twitter is less of a personal-life journal and more of a professional marketing platform. Be real, but don’t be banal.

Dan Zarrella compiled a list of the top 20 least engaging words on Twitter. These words—such as work, home, watching, tired and tomorrow—are nauseatingly narcissistic.

Your followers aren’t interested in your personal actions. Few people are going to engage with a tweet that declares that you’re bored or are going to bed.

#9: Use Strong Calls to Action 

Zarrella also listed the most retweeted words, which have a high innate sense of engagement and most are calls to action. Words like please retweet, help, follow and how to are focused on the reader of the tweet rather than on the sender of the tweet.

Your followers are much more likely to interact if they are the focus on your tweet and you’re clearly asking for an action.

#10: Send One to Four Tweets a Day 

There is a mistaken belief that the more you tweet, the more ROI you’ll get from Twitter.

salesforce twitter grapch

Salesforce data shows you can get more engagement by tweeting less.

Actually, tweeting too often can result in very poor engagement. This is particularly true for brands, which need to be careful about coming on too strong with their marketing.

To up your engagement, constrain your tweeting. While you should actively respond to DMs and @s, you don’t need to spew forth multiple tweets all day long.

Conclusion

These 10 powerful Twitter tactics will help you regain momentum on Twitter. By implementing these data-backed actionable tips, you’ll be able to create a compelling presence on Twitter in a very short amount of time.

What do you think? What Twitter techniques do you use to create engagement? Do you have additional advice for others? Please leave your comments below.

World business or travel concept photo, Colorful paper stripes with titles of days of the week photo from Shutterstock.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, Stride, and KISSmetrics. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. Other posts by »




More Info
  • http://beta21.circussocial.com Avtar Ram Singh

    Nice stuff Neil, but I also feel that a lot of this stuff is very gimmicky. I was reading a report earlier today which said that you get the most amount of retweets at night, and since the shelf life of tweets is usually very low – that would mean you should tweet a little more at night, whereas here it says you should tweet during the day.

    Second, the one about the tweets length being 110 characters and all of that – sure, there’s a significant amount of research to back that claim up, but quite often you’ll see that tweets that are even 130 characters get a lot of engagement – it all comes down to the content and what you’re tweeting.

    Images + Links + Tweet Frequency and all of that we’re all hopefully following – so the rest is a great checklist. :)

  • http://www.activia.co.uk/blog/ Ashley Andrews

    I definitely agree with #3, I always get more replies on weekends. But I can only echo what @beta21:disqus said before me, I don’t think shorter tweets perform better. And a lot of people simply hit the retweet button without adding any kind of commentary, so they wouldn’t need those 30 characters anyway.

  • http://www.fundafunda.com Meryl van der Merwe

    I just started intentionally tweeting more frequently and try and have about one tweet per hour – and since I have done that, my followers and engagement have gone up. If you only tweet 3 or 4 times each day so many of your followers will miss your tweets if they aren’t on twitter round the time your tweets appear.

  • VirtualAlex

    Send only 4 tweets a day advice and support is pretty misleading. It should look at TOTAL engagement rather than average engagement over many tweets. Let’s say for example you have 4 tweets. You could tweet them and get 10 engagements. Or you could tweet each one three times, morning, afternoon and night. Now you will probably get 20+ engagement, although your average is down.

    It also depends on about a hundred things like are all tweet original? Are they duplicates? How frequently are they going out. I have had great success with Tweet More = Get More

  • Dave MacKayu

    Thanks Neil, I will take a couple of those suggestions and put them to use.. I would like people to retweet but my tweets have too many characters….. lesson learned.! I have been reluctant to ask for retweets until reading your article.

    Thanks again for the insights.

    daveM

  • Dave MacKayu

    I agree that a tweet has little in the way of shelf life, especially for a reader who follows 100 people and the tweets are coming so quickly that they can not be read.

  • Dave MacKayu

    I am going to conduct some research….. I have had no retweets for a few days, I will change my tweets and examine the results. Maybe shorter tweets would allow people to insert hashtags easily.

  • Dave MacKayu

    I have 17 tweets, well now I have 34 as I added ‘Please Retweet’ and made duplicates. I agree with ‘Tweet More = Get More” but I try to be conservative with frequency as Twitter may get annoyed. I tweet every 2 or 3 hours 24/7

  • Pingback: 10 Twitter Tactics to Increase Your Engagement » The Business Coach In A Box()

  • http://www.ourbuildhandyman.com.au/ James Mason

    As always guys, great tips to swipe and deploy! Under 110 characters too :)

  • http://www.janicemobsby.com/ Janice Mobsby

    Thanks for sharing your tips..I have started using
    Banners in my Tweets, not everytime..Have noticed
    a great inprovement..

  • Pingback: Marketing Day: Pinversations, Facebook Events Get Insights & Google Lifts Secure Site Rankings()

  • http://www.joycespencermusic.com/ Joyce Spencer

    I thought it was just me! I agree. Although I don’t tweet daily, I never understood why or how you can tweet too much since the tweets fade away so quickly & gone forever. Like many, I’m not on twitter 24/7 & see very few tweets. Well I guess if someone would tweet 100 times in a row that might be a little too much lol, but I’ve never seen anyone do that. Besides, there is no way to measure how many people saw your tweets. And, how many people actually count how many times you tweet and/or how many of your followers actually see each tweet? Maybe I’m missing something :)…

  • http://www.massivewealthtosuccess.com/ Alexander Ang

    Thanks for the wonderful sharing. Love it!

    Warmest Regards,
    Alexander

  • http://beta21.circussocial.com Avtar Ram Singh

    Hey @disqus_wN0Q7KAPdo:disqus – Have you checked out Twitter’s new analytics reporting? They’ve got it in their ads section (you don’t have to pay to get the analytics though) – it’ll help you see how many people saw + engaged with your tweets etc. Some other tools like SproutSocial and what not will let you dive into Twitter analytics a little more as well. Worth looking into. :)

  • http://www.joycespencermusic.com/ Joyce Spencer

    Hey thanks!! I will definitely check it out!!!

  • http://www.activia.co.uk/blog/ Ashley Andrews

    And many people follow a lot more than 100 people. :-)

  • http://www.activia.co.uk/blog/ Ashley Andrews

    It’s important to change your message, though, otherwise who do see your tweets will find them repetitious.

  • http://www.arttechint.com/ Suraj Rai

    Thanks Neil to share twitter tactics. These are very useful for me because I don’t have good number of followers.

  • Denis Smith

    Thanks for the article. But what number of followers do we need to start with? I have some hundreds and doesn’t seem to get clicks though I post strong to action words. I read some marketers saying that twitter is almost irrelevant when we come to business – how far is that true?

  • colmhanratty

    Couldn’t agree more – began tweeting a client’s own content every two hours and saw a significant increase in traffic.

  • colmhanratty

    Some good tips here. Looks like I’m not the only one who thinks the ‘tweet 4 times a day’ isn’t a great one though. I doubled the number of tweets for a client recently to a lot more than 4 a day and saw a significant increase in traffic.

    I don’t think there’s a ‘one rule does all’ for Twitter. While reports might show that tweeting 4 times a day works best, it might not work for your audience. To see what works best you need to test, test, then test again.

  • Cassandra Hayes

    I disagree on Tweeting during the daytime only, we generally higher engagement on Tweets that go out after hours or on weekends… It’s different for every blogger, brand, user so your optimal number of Tweets a day depends on your audience and the timing does too. We use SocialBro to help us with find our ‘Best Time To Tweet’ it also provides info about our audience and what they’re talking about that helps us improve the level engagement by designing tweets around particular content.

  • http://www.vilaku.com vilaku

    if everyone follows more tweet frequency, would it not create more noise and cause the same problem we begin with? (I stick to tip #1 here)

  • http://stancebranding.com/ Justine Espersen

    Interesting point about asking for RTs. Something to consider. Thanks for sharing!

  • Guest

    Thanks for the feedback @beta21:disqus ,

    In the end of the day the strategy needs to be tailored to your audience. If they engage more with your tweets at night, then tweet more at night.

    As for Tweet length, posting concise Tweets allow your followers to add personalized additions during retweet. On average, personalized retweets does better than generic retweets.

    (Of course, assuming the content in your tweets is good.)

  • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

    Thanks for the feedback Avtar,

    In the end of the day the strategy needs to be tailored to your audience. If they engage more with your tweets at night, then tweet more at night.

    As for Tweet length, posting concise Tweets allow your followers to add personalized additions during retweet. On average, personalized retweets does better than generic retweets.

    (Of course, assuming the content in your tweets is good.)

  • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

    Hey Dave, keep me updated, would love to see the results! :)

  • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

    Thanks for the feedback Joyce.

    According to TrackSocial, response per Tweet drops off after 5 Tweets.
    http://tracksocial.com/blog/2012/10/optimizing-twitter-engagement-part-2-how-frequently-to-tweet/

    According to SocialBakers, engagement drops after 3rd Tweet.
    http://www.socialbakers.com/blog/1847-tweeting-too-much-find-out-the-ideal-tweet-frequency-for-brands

    It is true that your overall engagement will rise if you Tweet more often, (for example Buffer Tweets 14 times per day, and they have someone full time on that). This makes sense if you have lots of time to craft many Tweets. Otherwise keep it under 4-5 Tweets per day to get the most ROI out of your time.

  • Dave MacKayu

    I will be pleased to generate some results, however, I need to learn some techniques and probably acquire some software to gather the metrics. I do have some tweets with ‘Please Retweet’ on them but no real way of measuring their impact. The only measurement I have as of today is the number of daily page visits which seems to be constant. I suggest that a test of this method will have to be over a few months as seasonality could be a strong influence. I will look to see what software is available for the metrics and attempt a method to gather results…

  • http://arttrap.com Louis Trapani

    I agree with it all except for #5. A sure way I will not retweet something is to ask for someone to ask for it. If the tweet and/or subject is compelling enough or interesting enough, I will retweet it. One doesn’t need to ask for it.

  • http://tpooi4lworkfromhome.blogspot.com/ Maurice Bernier

    Great tips which are definitely worth sharing. I use the free “ClickToTweet” service for my daily Tweets. According to your rule of no more than 1 – 4 tweets daily, this fits in perfect for anyone’s daily Twitter schedule. They allow you 5 Tweets for free. Might be worth considering since they also track the performance on your tweets.

  • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

    Glad it helped @janicemobsby:disqus!

  • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

    Thanks @alexander_ang:disqus!

  • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

    Happy to hear the tactics helped @Surajrai83:disqus.

  • http://neilpatel.com Neil Patel

    Exactly @colmhanratty:disqus! You must adapt strategies in the context of your business and test to make sure it works for you.

    As for # of Tweets per day tip, it’s about ROI versus amount of time invested. For those who have the resources and time to Tweet more, I fully encourage it. However if you only have limited time and resources,then you’ll get the most ROI from Tweeting 4 times a day.

  • marklongbottom

    Good luck with number 10, what if you have something to say and you’ve done 4. Some people can only follow rules and then they become like headless chicken wanting to say that fifth thing.

    There are some good points above, but quite often these guidelines miss out on suggesting people be ‘themselves’ not someone else. They wouldn’t enter a room and only talk 4 times, they wouldn’t only talk between the 6th and 8th minute of entry and they wouldn’t stay away from something that made sense for them to say it.

    For me it’s about being relevant and making sense when talking to the people you want to engage with as well as finding those who you don’t know yet. Rules will inhibit reality, our perception and instincts work far better than life and business coacheswould let us believe.

    Good starting points but time for people to just get out there and enjoy being sociable like they have for 1000’s of years.

  • http://www.nextweblink.com Ankit Chauhan

    Hello Neil, I just followed point no. 2 and 4. Within a week I got more followers. But I wonder to see their twitter profile, it looks fake sometime. Is there any way to get real followers?

  • http://www.nextweblink.com Ankit Chauhan

    Hello Neil, I just followed point no. 2 and 4. Within a week I got more followers. But I wonder to see their twitter profile, it looks fake sometime. Is there any way to get real followers?

  • http://thesocialmediapanel.com Karlyn Bishop

    Could it be possible that it depends on what part of the world is also looking at your tweets Avtar?

  • http://beta21.circussocial.com Avtar Ram Singh

    Yeah, for sure. I mean, over time we gather followers that are from various parts of the world of course, and that’s where tools like SocialBro and Sprout Social come in handy when they tell you when the best time for you to tweet is – when your followers are online the most and the more sophisticated tools also give you times when your tweets are more engaging, mash that with the amount of followers are online and give you optimal tweeting times.

    I think Sprout Social has a pretty snazzy algorithm for posting tweets.

  • Dangerous Lee

    I feel like I’ve tried it all, but what the hell, I’ll try this too starting today.

  • Aura Fedora

    Not bad, but everyone (or every company) should be monitoring their own results to determine when their followers are engaging. For example, an org I’ve been assisting with twitter was doing a great job of posting during the supposed “peak times” during the day, but we found after some experimentation that many of our followers engage with content posted early in the morning and early in the evening and not much on the weekends. So, while those statements are *generally* true, they aren’t always the case. As the saying goes, “your mileage may vary.” One question, though. As far as including rich media, do you think it’s good to include a photo in addition to a link to content? For example, do you think the same is true on twitter as other platforms, where people are more likely to click on an article link if they are enticed by a photo? Or is that too much stuff in one tweet?









Pinterest
Join our Social Media Marketing Networking Club
Get Your FREE Copy of the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
Wondering how your peers are using social media? Get this free report (50 pages, 80+ charts) and never miss another great article from Social Media Examiner.
Check out the Social Media Marketing Podcast!