Twitter provides an excellent opportunity for you to improve the user engagement status of your brand. However, your tweets are only going to be seen by your audience if they are engaging.
How can you benefit from the full value of Twitter as a marketing tool?
Twitter has almost one billion users. This means, technically, you have the opportunity to reach out to one billion people.
Tweets offer businesses the opportunity to not only amplify their message but also actively interact with their audience.
Understanding how the Twitter Algorithm works is essential to being able to tweet more efficiently and improve the user engagement status of your posts.
Step 1: How to Play Twitter’s Algorithm at its own Game
The first thing to keep in mind is that Twitter sees itself as a news site rather than a social media platform.
Twitter prides itself in being the best place to find out what is happening right now. It favors the here and now rather than what has happened over the last week, which is the realm of the Facebook news feed.
This means that the Twitter algorithm will show you newer tweets and forget about older ones unless they get attention early on.
However, you must also understand that the main Twitter timeline is not chronological. Although it is always timely, it decides what to show you based on your interests.
The other section of Twitter is called “In case you missed it”. This is a collection of tweets that have appeared since your last session that Twitter has determined as important.
Twitter may also include tweets from an account you don’t follow if it thinks they will interest you.
The goal of these two Twitter feed components is to make the user experience relevant and interesting.
If you want to use Twitter in your social media marketing campaign, you need your tweets to appear in the most recent part of the feed. As most people aren’t going to scroll down too far, this is the key to getting the Twitter algorithm’s attention via user engagement.
This will make your tweet appear popular and thus open you up to the opportunity of appearing in the news feeds of people who don’t even follow you, yet.
Twitter favors engaging tweets as its aim is to make users spend as much time as possible on the platform. The longer you stay, the more ads you get exposed to and the more money Twitter makes.
The most engaging Tweets are the ones that offer entertaining and enjoyable content that users comment on, like, and retweet. The more user engagement a tweet receives, the more power it gains to reach an extensive audience.
Step 2: Keep Tweets Short and Sweet
That means under 110 Characters.
Twitters’ infamous character restriction seems short, but it is there for a reason. It is no accident that tweets must be kept to a 280 character minimum.
Along they have conceded in lengthening their limit slightly, the creators of Twitter formulated the platform in order to keep users hooked. Short snippets of information stimulate the human brain to release dopamine and keep us wanting more.
What’s more, shorter tweets with around 110 characters get 17% more engagement than longer tweets.
This leaves room for your followers to retweet you and easily add their own commentary. People are busy and people are lazy, if they have to go to the effort of editing your original tweet, they are less likely to bother retweeting it.
If you’re reaching the character limit, your tweets are too long. Ideally, you should aim to keep your tweets between 80 to 110 characters.
Step 3: Remember, Timing is Everything
It is important that users engage with your tweet as soon as possible. Every comment and like will increase the tweet’s lifetime.
If the tweet doesn’t receive much attention in its first few hours, it won’t be shown to more people.
In a nutshell, there is absolutely no point tweeting if no one is awake to see it.
According to Buffer, in general, tweets receive the most clicks in the early morning hours. It makes sense, checking social media is part of most peoples’ morning routine.
However, evenings and late at night are the times when tweets receive the most favorites and retweets.
So, a basic guideline you could follow is that you should tweet in the morning to get peoples attention, provide news, updates and important information.
However, for an improvement in your posts’ engagement status, you should save your more thought proking tweets for the evening. The evening is the ideal time for making statements or asking questions.
In the U.S, the peak tweeting hours are 8-9 am for Pacific Time Zone, and 12-1 pm Central, Mountain Time and Eastern Time. Maximum exposure will amount to maximum active engagement.
Don’t forget, you need to figure out when your unique audience is online to optimize your tweets and make sure they are reaching the most people possible.
The most effective times to tweet for optimal user engagement differs across time zones and demographics. You should experiment and monitor reactions to your tweets to figure out the times when your audience is most engaged.
Step 3: Don’t be Afraid to #usehashtags
Using hashtags can really speak to your audience and spark conversation around your brand. Hashtags can double your user engagement rate as they are an implicit call to action. In addition, they create higher visibility on Twitter.
However, I caution you not to go overboard. With hashtags, less is more so keep them to a minimum of three. They are also a great opportunity to incorporate an element of humor into your tweets, just make sure it’s relevant.
You can even go a step further and start your own hashtag campaign. Before doing this, forge out a goal.
Custom hashtags are ideal to be used for promotional campaigns, events, to help people track, and to connect and spread your message easily.
Also, ask yourself the question; is this hashtag relevant to my customers? Find out what your audience is talking about and use this information to come up with a hashtag that they will identify with.
Hashtags will also strengthen your SEO, especially if you use them consistently across all of your social media campaigns and website. They let search engines easily make the connections.
Step 4: Don’t be a Narcissist
If you’re a celebrity, then maybe your followers might be interested to see what you had for breakfast, but if you’re a brand, just don’t.
Your company’s Twitter should not be used like your personal Twitter. Although adding a voice and face to a brand can be useful, you need to keep reminding yourself to use Twitter as a professional marketing platform, not your diary or as a place to vent. I’m sorry, but no one wants to hear about how boring your day was.
However, there’s a fine line between being professional to the point of seeming automated and keeping it professional and engaging in a human way. Find that line and don’t cross it.
Avoid being nauseatingly narcissistic at all costs but don’t be afraid to add a personal touch here and there if it’s going to help showcase your brand or company in a positive light.
Step 5: Use Strong Calls to Action
Calls to action are the most effective way to improve your user engagement status.
Calls to action can range from asking followers to ‘retweet’, and ‘help’, to ‘follow’.
Using ‘How to’ or asking questions are also simple hacks to increase engagement on Twitter. You’ll notice that these shift the focus from the tweeter to the reader. When people feel like they are important and could have valuable input, they are more likely to become invested in the cause.
Whether it’s raising awareness about your brand, sharing important information or even just demonstrating what you have to offer; Reach out.
Encourage sharing of information, and make your audience feel not only that they can but like they should be getting involved.
Step 6: Interact
Engagement can go beyond retweets. Holding contests will also enhance user engagement and make people want to keep following you.
Another key element of user engagement is interacting via questions.
Ask your audience questions. This can range from how they would like to see your product improve, how they use it to improve their lives, or even what they would like to see your company do in the future.
If followers see you asking questions, they will see the conversation as open and feel like they can ask you questions too.
It is so important to respond to followers when they initiate engagement. This will make them feel valued and demonstrate a high level of customer care on your company’s behalf. Ask questions and answer questions to keep the conversation flowing.
Questions can also prevent your tweets from coming across as automated or spammy. Be a human voice that your audience feels like they can actually talk to.
If you are lucky enough to see that users are mentioning your brand, re-tweet them. This will make them feel acknowledged. If you want to go one step further, a quick ‘thank you’ message to show you appreciate them mentioning you can work wonders.
Interaction is simple but it works.
Step 7: A Picture Can Say a Thousand Words
Especially when Twitter only gives you 280 characters.
So, when words are limited, let pictures do the talking. Fully-featured images (440 x 220 px) are not only eye-catching but can effectively relay a lot of information at a glance.
Whether it’s graphs or GIFs, adding media is a great way to improve your user engagement status on Twitter.
Thanks to tools like GIPHY, you can even create your own line of GIFs and access them whenever you need. This will also forge an original and recognizable image for your brand or company.
Step 8: Make Your Account Look Credible
Of course being credible is the ideal, but it’s not enough. You need to actively show Twitter’s algorithm that you are credible.
This is as easy as taking a little bit of time to fill out all of your profiles details and adding a bio, profile photo, location, and graphics.
Always steer clear of any tactics that will make you look spammy. That means avoid broken links and don’t send automated direct messages. Basically, avoid doing anything that will cause users to report you for spam or abuse.
Using Twitter to your advantage is simple. You just need to think like its algorithm and act accordingly. Although these simple hacks will help you to make the most of user engagement on Twitter, the main thing is that you make sure your page is user-friendly, engaging, and credible.