Nine Ways to Boost Engagement For Your Brand On Twitter

Twitter is a great social network – great for chatty consumers, and arguably even better for businesses. But despite its overall effectiveness as a marketing tool, not all marketers are having great success with Twitter. The problem? Well that depends on a variety of individual factors, but what many are struggling with is engagement. They crank out tons of tweets yet no one is responding.

While Twitter may be categorized as a social networking site, it’s an entirely different animal in comparison to Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms. If your brand is struggling to engage its audience, these tips should help turn things around.

1. Tweet at the Right Time

In the land of the Twitter, the action moves in fast and furious fashion. There’s so much content shuffling through the typical user stream that tweets published mere minutes ago can easily be buried within a matter of seconds. This is unlike Facebook, where a user might see random posts made yesterday pop up in their stream. Monitor your audience to see if you can determine when they’re at their most engaged.

2. Don’t Go Overboard

One of the worst things you can do to try to boost engagement is start tweeting like crazy. You’ll increase the visibility of your content for sure, but you also risk overwhelming and alienating your audience. In fact, a recent report by Buddy Media shows that engagement actually decreases the more you tweet in a 24-hour period. Needless to say, finding balance is key.

3. Take Advantage of Hashtags

Hashtags exist throughout the social space, but arguably have the biggest presence in the Twittersphere. Not only do they help people find the conversation, they also have a way of boosting engagement. The Buddy Media report showed that tweets that contain hashtags generate two times the engagement as those without them. On that note, it’s important to not go overboard and keep your hashtags to a minimum per tweet.

4. Sprinkle in Keywords

If you use hashtags in every tweet, you might start to look suspicious to your audience. Even when you’re not using them, trying to insert keywords as much as possible. Whether it’s Google, Bing or Twitter, all search tools are trained to hunt for keywords. By using keywords, you can boost visibility in the Twitter search results and connect with your audience through relevance.

5. Incorporate Images

Little by little, Twitter has been moving away from the 140-character limit it’s so well known for. Images have become a default feature that can be added to any tweet. Although users have to take the extra step of clicking an image to see it, it’s a step many are willing to take. According to research, tweets armed with images deliver engagement rates that are twice as high as those that are published without them.

6. Call For Engagement

Photo Credit: ivanpw

It’s easy to over-think your strategy when something isn’t working. In some cases, getting the Twitter engagement you want is as simple as encouraging users to take the specific actions you desire. A quick call to action like “please retweet” could be all it takes to convince your followers to make a move.

7. Tweet Good Stuff

Backing your tweets up with strong calls to action can be surprisingly effective. However, your requests will fall on deaf ears if you don’t deliver strong in the content department. If people see something interesting, there is a very good chance they will take the initiative to share it with or without being encouraged.

8. Leverage Links

There’s plenty of action going on within the walls of Twitter, but if you’re a marketer, you may be trying to get your followers to another destination. When this is the case, links are your best friend. Research shows that tweets bolstered with links garner up to 86% higher retweet rates than those without them. When going this route, it’s best to use a link shortening tool as it gives you more real estate to work within that cramped 140-character window.

9. Split Test Your Tweets

Split testing not only comes in handy for email marketing and web design initiatives. It can also prove pretty useful for boosting engagement in the world of Twitter. For example, you can take one tweet with a link and another with an image and see how each performs throughout different times of the day. Be on the lookout for engagement boosts and tweak your strategy accordingly.

Twitter is an excellent opportunity for any brand, but making it work isn’t necessarily easy. There is no magic formula to boosting engagement or improving your marketing performance. Having said that, applying these tips to your individual strategies can provide good results if you put in the effort.

Francis Santos is a writer for Benchmark Email Marketing, a best practices email marketing company. Follow him on Twitter: @emailfrancis

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