15 Tactics To Boost Twitter Engagement Backed By Research

15 Tactics To Boost Twitter Engagement Backed By Research Imagine standing in a room full of people while presenting a speech. Now keep in mind, this is one of the best speeches you’ve ever given. It’s filled with creative ideas and useful information you know your audience will love. The only problem is...nobody in the room is listening to you. Now imagine you are publishing content on Twitter. This is the best content you’ve ever produced. Except this time, no one is clicking on the link you provided or even bothering to look at the graphic you’ve designed for it. This is what the content marketing world likes to call "engagement". When it comes to using Twitter, your job is to maximize engagement on every piece of content you send out. But how? By the end of this post, you will become a Twitter engagement mastermind.

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15 Tactics To Boost Twitter Engagement Backed By Research

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1. Use Images To Increase Retweets By 150%

In order for your audience to engage with your posts and click on your content, they need to actually see what you’re posting. One of the best ways to make your content stand out is by adding an image. Buffer found that sharing images on Twitter increases retweets by 150%. Including a large image with a short summary of text on Twitter is more visually appealing than a text-only post. In fact, research shows that users engaged at a rate 5X higher when an image was included. https://twitter.com/CoSchedule/status/764955018072055811?lang=en

2. Use Memes and GIFs To Show Personality

Aside from adding an image to your tweet, you can use memes and GIFs when publishing your content on Twitter. This adds a fun spin to your plain post and will be too irresistible for your audience to scroll past. “GIFs are a great way to showcase your brand's personality, stay trendy, and have fun” -HeyOrca. Twitter has made it easy to add GIFs by doing all the work for you within the tweet box. All you have to do is choose an appropriate GIF from the drop-down menu or search for a specific genre in the search box. Compose new tweet window Memes and GIFs are becoming extremely popular among top companies. At CoSchedule, we’ve recently started using memes and GIFs on Twitter and have found that they receive far more likes and retweets than regular images.
  • Use real-life pictures of employees to show a true look inside the company, versus internet memes, gives a personal feel and helps build the story behind your brand.
  • GIFs are a great way to promote special offers and events.
  • Memes and GIFs help you connect with your fans and followers in a new way because they sometimes convey emotions much better than text or photos or even videos.
  • Use the correct sizing for GIFs and memes and don't forget to add a witty caption.

3. Create Twitter Polls To Engage With Followers

People are often willing to provide you their opinion—and this is especially true on social media networks. Twitter polls are a great way to engage your followers and obtain valuable information about your customer base. It also shows your followers that you care about their opinions, which in turn helps to build trust and loyalty, further strengthening your brand identity and reputation. screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-11-49-40-am To create a Twitter Poll:
  1. Open your Twitter page on a web or mobile device, click the Tweet button in the top navigation bar.
  2. Click the Add poll icon located in the bottom left corner.
  3. Type your poll question into the main compose box.
  4. Insert your first poll option into the Choice 1 box, followed by your second poll option into the Choice 2 box.
  5. Click + Add a choice to add additional options to your poll. You can have up to four options per poll.
  6. A poll automatically defaults to run for 1 day. You can change the duration of your poll by clicking 1 day and adjusting the days, hours, and minutes. The minimum amount of time for a poll is 5 minutes, and the maximum is 7 days.
  7. Click Tweet to post the poll.
We recently ran a poll asking our followers the burning question of how to pronounce the word "GIF." To our surprise, we received an overwhelming amount of responses.
  • Keep your poll questions short and sweet. Your audience is more likely to respond when you keep your poll simple.
  • Ask questions about your services, products, and brand in general. Be sure to mix in a fun Twitter poll every now and then about an office debate or what color to use for you next blog post.
  • Store a list of potential Twitter poll questions and post a new poll every week for consistency.

4. Participate In Twitter Chats To Promote Your Brand

A great way to build engagement for your brand is to communicate with people who are interested in similar products or topics. Instead of posting Tweets or sending direct messages, you can have conversations using Twitter chats. What is a Twitter chat? It's a conversation around one unique hashtag. This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it. Twitter chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with these interests. Participating in Twitter chats allows you to have real-time conversations with hundreds of different users while promoting your expertise and building your authority on a topic. Be on the lookout for different hashtags to find Twitter chats relevant to your brand. From there, all you need to do is join in on the conversation happening and include the hashtag. The goal of joining Twitter chats is to gain interest in your brand from Twitter users who aren’t part of your follower base yet.
  • 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitter.
  • Choose a Twitter chat that is relevant and beneficial to participate in.
  • Look to leading brands in your industry and reach out to them to co-host with you to expand your network.

5. Host Twitter Chats To Reach A Larger Audience

Once you get the hang of participating in Twitter chats, you can choose to host your own. Here are a few key points from Buffer to keep in mind before jumping into your own Twitter chat:
  • Decide on a clear and brief hashtag that represents your brand.
  • Choose a day and time that you can consistently hold Twitter chats.
  • Come up with an appropriate topic and questions.
Plan and promote your chat via Twitter. Tweet promoting a Twitter chat Make sure you choose a topic that is relevant to your audience. If you are a content marketer, choose a topic relating to social media, SEO, marketing, or something similar. Before beginning your chat, asks everyone to introduce themselves and where they are tweeting from. Engaging with your participants is the most important part of hosting a Twitter chat. After asking each question, reply to a few responses to remain in the loop.

6. Pin Tweets To Boost Your Best Content

Do you have an awesome Tweet you want all of your followers to see? You can pin tweets to your profile that will remain on the top of your page until you removed the pin. Example of a pinned tweet It’s a simple tactic with big results to boost engagement. Just select the tweet you want pinned, click the “...” icon, and then click Pin to your profile page. Pin to Profile Page
  • Pin a Tweet that has an eye catching image to boost retweets by 35%.
  • A pinned tweet is similar to an ad, except you don’t have to pay for it. Take advantage of this free advertisement by having a strong call to action.
  • Include a URL in your pinned tweet to receive 86% more engagement.

Pin tweets to boost your best content.

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7. Use Standalone Graphics To Share Information

By now, we all know that using images in tweets will increase engagement, but what about adding an image without any links? We tested this theory out on our CoSchedule Twitter page and found that in fact, it does have a positive affect! Not just any random image, but a standalone graphic. A standalone graphic is an image that gives useful information on its own without needing a link back to something. For our standalone graphics, we give tidbits of information and quotes from well-known marketers. Research shows that posting a standalone graphic with a quote increases retweets by 19%. 
  • Use a graphic with text that gives quick information to your followers.
  • Grab small pieces of information from your blog posts to put in your standalone graphic.
  • Use tools like Canva to create a standalone graphic.

8. Social Listening Helps Build Loyalty

“Research shows that customer emotions become permanent with time. It’s best for an effective intervention to take place as close to the experience as possible,” says Baba Shiv, Stanford Professor of Marketing at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. When users respond to your posts on Twitter or mention your business name, respond quickly. If you don’t, then it’s going to seem like you’re not very active on your own Twitter page—or you simply don’t care. It’s been found that 72% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour so it’s your priority to respond as fast as possible. Our team uses the Mention app to respond to our followers quickly and efficiently. Mention is monitored several times throughout the day by our team to ensure each and every person is responded to promptly. Many of our followers have questions that need urgent answers, so it’s important to reach out to them to resolve the issue. Or to simply thank your followers for sharing your content.
  • Your followers will be much more likely to post comments if they know that you are reading them and that you will respond to them in a helpful manner.
  • Use first names when you are responding. Addressing your followers in this way makes them feel more appreciated—not to mention that people love to be acknowledged. Small gestures like these help to build loyalty.
  • If you respond right away, there’s a chance that the conversation will continue since they may still be on your page.

9. Curate Content To Increase Traffic

Are you only tweeting your own content? Sharing the content of others is one of the best ways to show that you’re not all about you, and that you value the work of others enough to share it on your own Twitter feed. If you can create content you can curate content. At CoSchedule, we curate our content with our Chrome extension tool for fast curation that can be schedule ahead of time. Curating content is a widely known tactic for a reason -- because it works. Over 50% of marketers that curate content indicate that it has increased their brand visibility, thought leadership, SEO, web traffic and buyer engagement. Next time you post on Twitter, mix in a few curated pieces along with your usual content to increase engagement among your followers to expand their experience.
  • Find the best content, the content you enjoyed, the content your audience members are sharing and talking about, the content that is actually helpful.
  • Connect with influencers. You’re going to be sharing content by the leaders in your industry, opening the doors to communicating with them.
  • Plan your curated content ahead of time for consistency.

10. Use Hashtags To Double Engagement

Twitter didn’t invent the hashtag (#), but it certainly popularized it with the masses. Hashtags are proven to double your engagement rate and help users to easily search for a topic or trend on Twitter. They are a great way to join in a conversation already happening or organize a conversation, like a Twitter chat. Hashtag tweet from Social Media Examiner   Hashtags identify the subject of your content, making it easier for Twitter users to stumble across your page when searching for similar subjects. Because of this, using hashtags is an incredible way to boost social media engagement among both followers and non-followers since you’re making your content more visible.
  • A good hashtag is memorable, unique, and relevant to your content.
  • Try not to use more than two hashtags per post to avoid being annoying.
  • Always use a hashtag when participating in or hosting a Twitter chat.

11. Use Video in Tweets For A 28% Boost

While images perform better than text, Twitter users love videos. 82% of users watch video content on Twitter--that’s a big number! Simon Rodgers found that adding a video to your tweet will give you a 28% boost in engagement. video-types-twitter-by-brand
  • You have 10 seconds to win over your followers. According to research by Visible Measures, 20% of your viewers will click away from a video in 10 seconds or fewer.
  • Promote and educate your followers about your brand using video. Adding in a weekly tip to your page is a sure way to engage with new followers.
  • Include people around your office in Twitter videos to give a personal touch to your followers.

Use video in tweets for a 28% engagement boost.

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12. Use Twitter Ads For Higher Click-Through Rates

If you’re looking for a fast and guaranteed way to boost Twitter engagement, than Twitter Ads are something to look into, especially if you don’t have a lot of followers to engage with. To set up Twitter Ads:
  1. Choose between promoted tweets and promoted accounts. According to Hubspot, promoting tweets will allow your tweets to appear in users’ Twitter streams or in Twitter search results, whereas promoting your account will display your username under the “Who to Follow” section in users’ homepages.
  2. Choose your target audience. You can target a specific audience based on demographics and psychographics. Targeting the right audience will ensure that your ads are seen by the right people who would benefit from your brand.
  3. Create your tweets. Now that you've chosen what type of ads you want and the type of audience to target, you can begin creating your tweets. You can either select from existing tweets in your account, or create new ones from scratch. Be sure to assign your Twitter ad campaign a daily budget and maximum spend limit before setting it live.

Low Twitter follower count? Try running Twitter ads.

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Recent studies have found that Twitter ads consistently deliver higher click-through rates (even higher than Facebook ads).
  • Plan ahead by choosing a Twitter ad campaign that fits your brand's goals.
  • Use interest targeting and keywords to target the right audience for the best results.
  • Create visually appealing images for your Twitter ads to reach more people and boost engagement.

13. Tweet At The Best Times

The number of people you engage with is directly related to followers viewing your tweets. In order to maximize engagement, you must post at the best possible times. After doing some research on 10 different studies about the best times to post on social media, studies show a few ways to make every tweet get a little more engagement:
  • Wednesdays at 12 p.m. and 5-6 p.m.
  • Mondays-Fridays at 12-3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Any day of the week from 2-3 a.m., 6-7 a.m., and 9-10 p.m.
Ideal posting times on Twitter Use these times as a guideline. Test out different times and find out when your audience is the most active on Twitter. You can also check out Twitter Analytics to see when your specific audience is most active.

14. Use Twitter Cards To Drive Traffic To Your Website

You may be asking, "What are Twitter Cards?" Twitter Cards allow you to go beyond the 140-character limit and attach different forms of media. According to Forbes, they add visual interest through images, product info, videos, and other expanded content. All you have to do to get started with using the feature is add a couple lines of code to your site. Refer to our post on Social Media Optimization to get set up.

There are seven distinct Twitter Cards to choose from:

  1. Gallery cards featuring a number of images
  2. Single photo cards
  3. Summary cards which let you post a link with further information
  4. Summary cards with images
  5. App cards
  6. Player cards which showcase videos
  7. Product cards
Below is an example of a Summary Card which includes a title, description, thumbnail image, Twitter account attribution and a direct link to the content. Example of a Twitter card
  • Test different types of cards. Every site is different, and Twitter Card analytics will help you measure which cards yield the most engagement with your content.
  • Engage with Influencers. Twitter Card analytics make it possible determine who is sharing your content with the most velocity - make sure to engage with these accounts to promote further interaction!
  • Add a few lines of HTML to your webpage. Users who Tweet links to your content will have a “Card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.

How can Twitter Cards improve your engagement?

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15. Use Emoticons To Increase Favorites By 57%

Instead of having a plain block of text, consider breaking up the text with an emoticon. Emoticons show a certain element of playfulness that provides your brand with a bit of personality. In fact, statistics show that using emoticons will boost the share and comment rate of your posts. For example, Facebook posts with emoticons get 57% more likes.  screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-11-58-32-am
  • Choose one or two emoticons per tweet. “Think of emojis as the ultimate elevator pitch for your business: you have one or two symbols to let people know exactly what value you’re bringing them with every Tweet.”
  • Use emoticons when responding to your followers to add a personal touch and show appreciation.
  • Emphasize specific parts of your tweet with a correlating emoticon to intensify engagement.

What Twitter Engagement Tactics Work For You?

Analyzing engagement rates allows you to see how much of an impression your brand is leaving on your audience. Look at engagement as a stepping stone that leads followers to view your website, subscribe to your newsletters, and purchase your product. Without engagement you will be tweeting to a black abyss. Building a strong relationship with your Twitter followers will bring forth high engagement. Implement these tactics the next time you post on Twitter and watch your engagement rate skyrocket.

Now What? 

You have some awesome Twitter engagement tactics in your tool box, but you may still feel like you’re missing something. You have bits and pieces to build a successful social media strategy, but not EVERYTHING you need. Actionable Marketing Institute has the perfect course to educate students on EVERYTHING Social Media Strategy. This course will fill in the knowledge gaps and allow you to create results focused Social Media Strategy. Enroll In AMI’s Social Media Strategy Certification Today

What are your favorite Twitter engagement tactics?

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About the Author

Halle is the social media intern at CoSchedule. She likes community management, scheduling social messages (with CoSchedule, of course), and music.