One thing we’re constantly being asked is how to increase engagement on social media platforms, specifically with regards to Twitter. Many people struggle to really engage others, feeling that the character limit’s holding them back from making a good impression.
Rumours still abound that Twitter are going to increase the limit, so in theory, the problem will cease to exist. However, the reality is that most people aren’t failing to engage their audience because of the amount of words they’re using. They’re either saying the wrong words, or all they’re doing is talking at their fans and followers.
Here then are our top ten tips for getting more out of Twitter.
#1 – Keep it short
It might seem counter productive, but shorter Tweets i.e. those that don’t max out at 140 characters, get 17% more engagement than those that push the limits.
Leaving room in a Tweet allows people to add their own comment when they RT, and people invariably won’t both if they have to reduce your original content.
#2 – Get your timings right
Think about when your audience is online. There is no point in Tweeting at 11pm when everyone’s gone to bed! If you keep your posts during daytime hours i.e. 8am and 7pm you’re going to reach more people with your posts, and therefore increase the chance of engagement.
Audiences vary, and there is no one right time to post – so think about them and what they’re doing, and when they’re going to be online when you’re doing your scheduling.
#3 – Don’t forget the weekends
So many of our clients don’t bother Tweeting at the weekend, and it makes no sense. Social media does not stop just because your offices are closed, or you think your target audience have gone home for the weekend.
#4 – Encourage your fans
Take some time out each day to scroll through some of your fans’ timelines. Look at their content and get up to date with what’s going on in their world. You might find that someone’s just got engaged, bought a new house, got a promotion, has developed a new product … whatever. The Twitterverse moves so quickly, chances are you’ll have missed these announcements throughout the week.
Go find the good news, and react to it yourself. Offer words of encouragement, say congratulations, support your fans. Don’t forget that behind every single profile or account is a real live human being – and we all just crave interaction.
#5 – RT other people’s content
This follows on from #4. Your fans have taken the time to create their own content, validate them and show them you appreciate what they’re putting out there. Relationships often work on a reciprocal basis, and you may find they’re more likely to look out for your content and share it themselves if you start the ball rolling.
Now, that’s not to say you should RT or like every single post your fans produce – that would be madness. Pick specific things that you think your audience could get benefit from, remember your audience is still the most important thing here.
#6 – Include hashtags
If you add hashtags to your content, you’re automatically going to be able to reach more people. Of course the key here is to always keep it relevant.
Encourage others to get on board with your #hashtag and interact with it. Offer incentives, a free piece of content, or a personalised message … anything you think your audience would be interested in.
#7 – Provide solutions
What problems do your audience encounter on a regular basis? Are they overworked professionals who don’t have time to prepare their own meals? Are they cash rich, time poor? If so, find things that will make their lives easier.
Ideally, some of that content will be your own, linking directly to your website or blog. However, sharing other people’s content is another good way to increase engagement. It shows that you care about your audience, and you’re happy to help other people out.
#8 – Ask for RTs
Generally speaking, people are really shy about asking for RT’s. In fact, less than 1% of brands do it. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea, it just means people feel uncomfortable about it, and we get that. However, research shows that where people do actually ask, there’s a 12% increase in RT’ing! It makes a difference!
That’s not to say you should ask for a RT in every single post you share, but it’s worth adding in to the mix every now and then. Especially if you have something important to say.
#9 – Don’t over do it
Some people subscribe to the believe that the more you post, the more you’re likely to get back. It makes sense, on some levels – the more that can be seen, the more people will see it. However, the more you Tweet the more you’re likely to be ignored as spam. It is essential you avoid coming on too strong when it comes to your marketing.
The best way to increase awareness, reach and engagement is to post between one and four Tweets a day, throughout your chosen hours.
#10 – Keep it real
Too many brands seem to forget that they are people, trying to do business with people. Stop sending out automated, personality-less posts that are impossible to engage with.
Keep it real, and share some of your news, views and struggles. People want to hear how other people are getting on, not just what you’ve got to sell to them.
If you have any questions about Twitter, or any other social media platform, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always happy to help. Call 0161 883 2024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.