Twitter’s a fantastic platform and a great place to build important connections with like-minded people and of course, potential customers! However, sometimes people can feel lost in the noise and hence I’m going to help you understand how to increase your Twitter engagement.
In this blog I’m going to provide you with some context on why engagement is important, give you 7 ideas for increasing engagement, answer some common questions on Twitter and then show you how to find your engagement metrics – sound ok?
Good, then let’s begin.
Table of Contents
- What is Twitter Engagement?
- Why is Twitter Engagement Important?
- How To Increase Twitter Engagement?
- Common Questions On Twitter Engagement
What Is Twitter Engagement?
Engagement, in social media terms, is a measure of how many people interacted with your content in some form. Typically, this might be via one of the following actions:
- Liked your post
- Retweeted your post
- Replied to your post
- Expanded your post
- Played Media
- Clicked a link
- Viewed your profile
You post to Twitter for a reason, as we do on all social platforms. It could be to generate awareness, invite conversation, share a link to some new content or many other reasons.
No person ever posted to a social media channel and proudly stated, “I hope nobody interacts with that!”. No, you want engagement.
You want your content to resonate with your audience. You want them to like it, share it or comment on it – you measure this via engagement metrics.
Why Is Twitter Engagement Important?
There are numerous reasons why a business has a presence on a social media channel. You and your business will have a purpose for being on Twitter and usually the reason is detailed in a Social Media Strategy. If you are on Twitter, it’s probably for one of the following reasons:
- Raise brand awareness
- Share a message
- Sell a product
- Provide customer support
- Connect with like-minded individuals
- Increase web traffic
There are more examples, of course, but my point is you’ll have a purpose.
For almost all of these reasons, engagement is important. Engagement is important for two reasons:
Firstly, engagement means that you are posting something which is causing people to feel something, it’s causing a reaction.
If your content is not resulting in engagement then it means you’re not connecting with your audience. As a business, your audience could mean your clients and as a charity this could mean your supporters.
Hence, if you want to build a following of fans, advocates or potential clients who love you, it’s important you create content that generates engagement.
Secondly, engagement increases reached impressions
A lot of people focus on reach and impressions because they want to know how many people saw their content. However, is reach without engagement really that useful?
If this happens, the only conclusion you can draw is that a bunch of people saw your tweet. In reality, this means a bunch of people scrolled right past your tweet because they were looking for something more interesting to engage with.
If you create engaging content on Twitter more people will see your content.
The more people, like, comment & retweet your content the more people will see it. Not only that, your content is being advocated by other people and this is really powerful.
To see this in action you only have to look through your Twitter feed and find the first post you see from someone you don’t follow.
You’ll notice because it’ll show ‘Joe Bloggs liked’ just above it. When you see this you’re being shown a tweet from someone you don’t know.
You may then decide to engage with the post yourself or follow the account. This is good content and high engagement in action.
Creating engaging content is not only valuable for your own audience, it’s valuable for putting you in front of people who probably wouldn’t otherwise know you existed.
How To Increase Twitter Engagement?
I’m going to share 7 ways for you to increase engagement on Twitter.
1. Create Great Content
This is essential for engagement on any social media platform. If your content is dull, uninspiring and lacks personality then any attempt to generate engagement is going to be futile.
For example, if you look across the majority of your tweets do they cover at least one of the items below?
If your content doesn’t tick one of these boxes then it’s unlikely to result in engagement. This is the starting place for any question on how to improve results on social media.
2. Tag People In Your Tweets
Tagging people in your content is a great way to increase engagement. You can tag people in a photo used within a tweet or you can mention them within your tweet, both are equally effective.
When people are tagged in a social media post they typically engage with it. When they engage with it other people will see the content. This isn’t the *only* reason to tag people, and it sounds a bit sneaky, but really you’re inviting those people to engage with your content and that’s a good thing.
- You take a photo of your team and share on Twitter. Tag the team in the photo.
- You take a photo of a client. Tag the client in the photo.
- You want to ask a question about your industry. Tag or mention other thought-leaders in the industry.
- You want to ask a question to some experts. Mention the experts in your tweet.
Note: Please do not ever tag someone just for the purpose of generating engagement. Whilst the focus of this article is on engagement, all examples given are with the primary purpose of building connections and the upside being an increase in engagement.
3. Use Polls
Polls are an excellent way of generating engagement. People will vote and often comment on the topic being discussed.
However, a poll falls into the same category as content – it has to be interesting. A poll which isn’t interesting will not create engagement.
Task: Brainstorm topics around your business or industry. Think about how you can use a poll to get insight or input amongst your followers.
When it comes to surveys and polls remember this – those which do well are those which are relevant to most people.
E.g. if your poll is only relevant to 5% of your followers then it’s unlikely to gain much engagement. If your poll is relevant to a much wider audience and is interesting then it’ll typically get a good response, good conversation and of course provide you with some valuable data.
4. Create Videos
I know, the V-word. Seriously, creating a video is a key way to generate high engagement on Twitter.
Let me demonstrate why.
Recently (May-July 2018) I’ve been creating native videos on Twitter. What I mean by native video is I go into Twitter and compose a new tweet as a video and record something there and then. I’m not sharing a video via YouTube or some other source.
The data on those videos shows an average engagement of 18%.
If I look at my tweets for the same period I see an average engagement of 2%.
This is a huge difference in engagement.
Firstly, video grabs attention more on Twitter because it’s not typical. It stops the scroll.
Secondly, it’s human. There are many forms of content on Twitter and quite a lot is automated. However, the video is human and hence people are far more likely to engage with it – especially if it ticks one or more items on the content checklist.
5. Reply to people
You’ve just fallen off your chair haven’t you?
I wasn’t sure if I cross a boundary when I suggest this as a technique to increasing engagement but I still think there are a lot of businesses out there who don’t get this.
We need to put the social element of social media right in the middle of what we do.
This is still not understood.
Replying to people increases engagement and builds relationships. My average engagement for replies on Twitter is higher than my average engagement for tweets.
Going back to your purpose for being on Twitter. Almost all of those purposes involve talking to people. To be successful on Twitter and build an engaged following you simply must converse – it’s the most conversational social media platform there is.
6. Create Twitter Lists
Lists are the secret weapon of Twitter.
Twitter can be busy, very busy. This makes it hard to engage with the right people. When you engage with people they’ll reciprocate, hence improve your engagement.
But how do you engage with people if you can’t see their tweets? This is where lists come in.
Lists allow you to segment people and view tweets from only those people.
I suggest implementing some (all?) of Carly’s suggestions and then for the next 28 days make a point of engaging with people in those lists & observe how that starts to form new relationships on Twitter.
7. Be Funny, Be informative
Seriously, when I did a survey of my Twitter data across a 3 month period I analysed my tweets and put them into categories. I then looked at what generated the most likes (note: not all engagement, just likes).
Outside of video, which was a clear number 1, it was content that I classified as either informative or funny which were next highest on the list.
Being personable and humorous on social media can be key for the right brand. This isn’t to say that you need to try really hard to be funny as that’ll be false but bring your own personality to the party and don’t be afraid to show who you are.
Of course, I must add, this depends on the nature of your business and whether this fits your brand persona and voice.
Be informative. People typically visit Twitter to be informed or to learn something.
In my study of my own Twitter analytics, I had high engagement from tweets in which I’d shared something informative. This could be content from another source, a blog of mine or a tweet sharing some hints + tips.
Therefore, consider how you bring personality to your tweets and whether you’re sharing something informative in your content.
Common Questions On Twitter Engagement
What Does Good Engagement Look Like?
In terms of a number, 2% appears to be a target you might want to aim for.
This number is a calculation of the number of engagements divided by the number of impressions (i.e. what percentage of the people who saw your post in their timeline chose to interact with it).
Putting the number to one side, what does good engagement feel like?
- People share your content with their audience
- People ask you questions about what you do
- People thank you for sharing some insight, knowledge or perhaps retweeting their content
- People come to you for advice or input
- People suggest you to their audience
- People like what you have to say
That’s how it feels. As a business, I wonder how it would feel if you replaced “People” with “clients” or “potential customers”? It would feel great wouldn’t it? That’s why engagement is important.
What Type Of Posts Get The Most Engagement?
One thing I truly love about Twitter is the analytics. They’re presented in a clean, easy-to-understand format and you can also export them and do all kinds of geeky things like creating pivot tables to analyse your own posts….which is what I’ve done!
My Twitter data over a 2-3 month period always highlights the same four types of posts when it comes to high engagement.
The types of post are:
- Video. I mentioned this above but video tops all tables when it comes to engagement.
- Informative. Content which shares valuable information and insight perform well. Twitter is a platform where people go to learn and find new information.
- Humorous. Real-life, funny, self-deprecating – whatever the form. A lot of my posts with highest engagement fall into this category.
- Kudos. Saying “thank you”, “well done” or some other form of appreciation results in good engagement on Twitter. I almost didn’t call this out because really, rather than suggest it’s a form of engagement tactic, I wanted to make you ask yourself when you last said thank you to someone on social media?
Should I Always Post With a Picture Or Video?
Not necessarily. It is a well known fact that pictures generate more engagement than text-only posts on social and videos trump pictures, or do they?
When I surveyed my own data I did indeed notice a correlation between tweets with images/gifs/videos and high engagement. However, over 50% of my highest performing tweets do not contain anything other than text.
In the Middle Ages freelances were soldiers who fought for anyone who would hire them. They were literally free lances.
Well, I didn’t know that.
— Simon Godfrey (@SimonSocialMM) July 3, 2018
So, to answer. Yes it’s always good advice to include some form of media in a tweet (or any social post) because it will stand out more and it will grab attention (especially video). However, there is also value in a well formatted text-only tweet.
Tip: Use the extra character limit to format text-only tweets into short paragraphs rather than using a block of text.
How Often Should I Post On Twitter?
The full question was, “How often should I post on Twitter when the post-life is so short?”. This is referring to the fact that Twitter is a busy platform and tweets can disappear amongst the noise.
Generally speaking the more you tweet the more impressions you’ll get. It’s acceptable to post the same post numerous times per day on Twitter because it’s unlikely any one person will see the same post more than once due to the volume of tweets.
The more good content you tweet the more engagement you’ll get…probably.
It’s worth factoring in the algorithm as well.
Twitter will always show you the tweets it thinks you want to see first.
What does this mean? It means the algorithm will try to show you what you might want to see based on your previous interaction with the author or the type of post you’ve engaged with before (thanks to Buffer for part of that insight).
So, yes Twitter is noisy BUT it will also show your tweets to people who either:
- Engage with you frequently, or
- Engage with content similar to what you’re posting
This means tweets aren’t always lost in the noise. It’s also why good content is important.
Back to the question. I’ve heard gurus with 20-100k followers state that you should post 50-70 times per day.
I personally post 10-20 times per day.
If you’re only tweeting a couple of times a day you’re going to struggle to make an impression and build connections. It’s kinda like being at a conference.
If you don’t say anything to anyone you aren’t going to make any new connections but if you’re going around talking to people, asking questions, giving input then you’re going to get a lot more out of it.
What’s The Best Type Of Engagement?
Let me answer a question with a question, what’s your goal?
- Do you want conversations? If so, include questions in your tweets and you’ll get replies.
- Do you want link clicks? If so, share your blog/videos and people will click through.
- Do you want retweets (increase awareness)? Provide value in your tweets so that people feel compelled to share them.
There is no single answer to this.
You have to think of engagement in terms of the objectives you have at a particular point in time.
Using the example above. If I want to get people to read my latest blog then I really want link clicks and retweets when it comes to engagement. That tells me:
- People are going to my website (link click)
- Those who read it wanted to share it with their audience (retweet)
- By retweeting it more people might visit it (result of retweet)
It all comes back to what you’re trying to achieve.
Engagement. Isn’t it all just vanity metrics?
Well, no. Almost all of the engagement metrics are some form of positive action when you look at them. A reply, a retweet, a media play, a link click and a profile click – they’re all someone taking some action based on your tweet.
Likes? You could argue that’s a vanity metric. I mean, what’s the value of a like?
But as a business, how much could a like mean to you in the long run? How do you put a value on a like?
For example, a potential customer might like your occasional tweet (which could be anything, right? maybe some information, a blog, a joke about something which happened in the office, whatever) but not buy your product or service….yet.
What about when they get to a point where they need your product or service and so they come to you? They come to you because they’ve followed you on Twitter, they’ve liked what you’re tweeting and the content you’ve shared and in their mind they’ve already decided they like who you are and what you say.
For them, by the time they want to speak to someone about resolving that problem they’ve got – they come to you.
That’s the potential value of a like. It’s maybe not as immediately tangible as some of the other metrics but do not assume there’s no value to be had from the humble like.
How Do I Find My Twitter Engagement Numbers?
For a single tweet you can select the graph icon below your post (next to the reply, retweet options). This will look different on mobile but for browsers it’ll look like the image below.
You can see impressions (number of people who saw your tweet), total engagements and then an individual breakdown.
For your account you need to go to https://analytics.twitter.com/ and this will open up a whole world of Twitter analytics.
To find your engagement average you need to click the Tweets link at the top of the analytics page and on the right hand side (note: at this point I’m assuming you’re on a laptop or computer) you’ll find this image:
This will show your daily average engagement as well as your average engagement for the last 28 days, or whatever is selected in the date range box to the top right of the screen.
There are some ideas for you to implement in to your own Twitter activity and an understanding of how to find the data so you can measure progress.
I’d love you to write down the average engagement at the point of reading this blog and then compare it again in 28 days after implementing some of the ideas above. Come back and tell me what the result was? Either via a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter.
Remember, first and foremost Twitter is a conversational platform. Having conversations, creating great content and being genuinely interested in other people is the ultimate way to increase your engagement on Twitter.
Feeling Like You Need Some Help?
Send me a message via my contact page and we can arrange a free 20minute Zoom or Skype call to help you move forward with Twitter.
Good luck tweeting!