Twitter is like a never ending cocktail party, with conversations happening all over the place and sometimes it can be hard to be heard, especially for business owners trying to be heard above the competition.
Here are 10 tips to help improve your engagement on Twitter and increase your reach, so your business can be heard and get more visibility.
- Keep Tweets Under 110 Characters
Shorter tweets with around 110 characters get 17% higher engagement, with a lot more shares than the full 140 character tweets. Why? Because when you leave room in a tweet, it makes it easier for people to retweet you and add their own commentary.
- Use Images and Video
Twitter’s rich Tweets give you higher levels of engagement for images and videos (e.g., Vine videos). You can get a 150% increase in retweets just by including images.
Buffer conducted an A/B test of tweets with pictures (A) and tweets without pictures (B). In each test, tweets with pictures won by a huge margin.
- Use Hashtags (#)
Hashtags double your engagement rate—they are their own implicit call to action. Plus, they create higher visibility on Twitter. These are especially useful if you are taking part in Twitter hours (see below). Only 24% of tweets actually contain hashtags, so picking an industry related hashtag could increase your reach dramatically. Just stick to 2-3 hashtags per tweet.
- Take Part in Twitter Hours
Several groups have started up special hours generally dedicated to certain areas or industries, where businesses can share their wares and services while interacting with other business owners. Some request you like at least 3 new profiles per twitter hour and this can help your interaction with local businesses. There are lists all over the internet for Twitter hours but here is one we find most useful – Design That Fits Twitter Hours
- Use Links
Tweets with links to further information receive up to 86% more retweets than any other tweets. These retweets can spread the reach of your business and get you seen by even more potential clients. Twitter whiz Dan Zarrella’s analysis suggests you include links in 60-80% of your tweets as the “sweet spot for retweets.”
- Use Strong Call to Action
Dan Zarrella researched and compiled a list the most retweeted words, which have a high innate sense of engagement and most are calls to action.
Words like “please retweet”, “help”, “follow” and “how to” are focused on the reader of the tweet rather than on the sender of the tweet. Your followers are much more likely to interact if they are the focus on your tweet and you’re clearly asking for an action.
- Tweet up to 4 times a day
The more you tweet the higher your engagement and reach rates – Total Myth! Research has shown that between one and four tweets a day guarantee you the highest engagement, including retweets and comments, than any other number of tweets. It can appear you are coming on too strong and potential consumers can be put off.
- Engage with Industry Influencers
Find out who in your industry is a major 'Influencer' and then follow them. That way if they tweet anything of interest not just to you but possibly your consumers too you can retweet and show a bit of credibility to your tweet. Some influencers like regular interactors and will reply to tweets or even retweet something you may tweet.
- Keep it professional
Although Twitter is a much more relaxed social media platform than LinkedIn people still do not want to hear about what you had for dinner - unless it is a thanks to another business, which could then get you a retweet and a reply back. Your business profile is for just that, your business, so keep the tweets related to your products, services or to the industry. If you have any grievances with other businesses do not publicise it on Twitter, it does not reflect well on your business either.
- Flexibly plan
If you have regular tweets that you plan to post make sure you have researched the best times to post for optimum engagement. However also be prepared to change those tweets if something happens, or to add in additional ones, such as industry breaking news that your followers may be interested in. Using automated software can save you lots of time however jumping on to twitter yourself and sharing what others are talking about can also help.
Twitter can be the biggest marketing tool you have just make sure you use it right.