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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.
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.
— CoSchedule (@CoSchedule) August 14, 2016
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.
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.
You had a hard week! Relax today…it can wait till Monday! pic.twitter.com/I7NyU9ON2A
— CoSchedule (@CoSchedule) August 12, 2016
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.
To create a Twitter 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.
We have to ask! How is the word “Gif” pronounced?
— CoSchedule (@CoSchedule) June 16, 2016
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.
A6 Being present! Make sure you’re involved with your twitter account everyday & sharing content that’s worth looking at #ContentWritingChat
— CoSchedule (@CoSchedule) August 2, 2016
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.
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:
Plan and promote your chat via Twitter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t forget to take care of the little guy pic.twitter.com/x8YQ4Loq4q
— CoSchedule (@CoSchedule) August 22, 2016
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%.
“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.
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. One report found that 82% of marketers 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Recent studies have found that Twitter ads consistently deliver higher click-through rates (even higher than Facebook ads).
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 the using emoticons will boost the share and comment rate of your posts, and can help increase favorites by as much as 57%.
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.
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