As far as social media marketing goes, Twitter is one of the major players. With over 320 million monthly active users on the site, it’s easy to see why Twitter is one of the platforms most businesses and marketers could benefit from joining.
But here’s the big question: how do you get some of those 320 million monthly active users to engage with your posts and click on your content?
Almost every brand has been in the position where they’re churning out a boatload of content and no one ever seems to interact with it, and it’s easy to get frustrated when those last three genius tweets you posted didn’t get so much as a like.
While building followers and social media presence takes time, there are strategies and techniques you can use to increase your Twitter engagement and your CTRs.
In this post we’re going to take a look at what Twitter engagement is, why it matters, how to measure it. Plus, we will suggest you 23 strategies to increase both your engagement and your CTRs on Twitter.
What Is Twitter Engagement?
Twitter engagement is when someone engages with the content that you post. There are multiple different ways customers can interact with your content, including:
- Favoriting your tweet
- Retweeting your tweet
- Responding to your tweet
- Mentioning you in a separate tweet
- Clicking your link (though some marketers categorize this purely under CTR and not engagement)
This engagement, therefore, is one of the main purposes for posting on Twitter at all —to send interested, engaged traffic to your site.
What Do We Know about Twitter Engagement?
Before we get into how to boost engagement and CTRs on Twitter, it’s good to know what we’re all working with, on average. When it comes to important information on Twitter usage and engagement, here’s some of the general statistics you should know:
- 15% of Twitter users will unfollow a brand within 3 weeks if a brand hasn’t made a strong enough effort to keep them engaged early, such as by posting content relevant to them or engaging with them.
- As of July 2015, Twitter’s active engagement rate was 300 people engaging out of one million followers. By September, this number had fallen to .027%.
- Out of all of Twitter’s active users, about 27% use the platform at least once a day.
- 49% of Twitter’s monthly users are following brands, compared to 16% of all combined social network users who follow brands.
- 19% of users on Twitter will seek customer support there.
- Visual content (images, infographics, and videos) get more engagement on average.
This all points to one fact: there’s a lot of content being posted on Twitter, and though there’s a ton of active users at any given point, it’s difficult to get them to engage with what you’re posting.
Hope is not lost, however. In addition to these general Twitter usage and engagement statistics, there’s a ton of information about how different factors affect engagement, like how the number of hashtags can increase or decrease it. We’re going to look at those more closely when examining specific tactics.
Why Twitter Engagement Matters
Twitter Engagement is how most brands measure how their marketing efforts on the platform are performing, but that’s not why brands are looking to increase the engagement; interactions with other users offers a great deal of benefits that affect your business off Twitter, too.
The first benefit is that any engagement on Twitter (except when it goes really wrong) will help to build and foster a relationship between your brand and the user engaging with you. If they’re interacting with your content, they’re interested, and they might even be sharing it. That’s a good step. This is especially true when you respond to your users, generating a conversation, even if it’s a brief one.
Engagement on Twitter can also help to forge a relationship between you and other industry peers and experts. If you share their content, they might repay you at some point by linking to you or even sharing some of yours.
Clicks on your content can drive more traffic to your site and blog, increasing your leads, visitors, and sales.
When other users retweet your posts or mention your brand in their own tweet, you’re expanding the reach of your content to a new, likely-to-be relevant audience —and you’re doing it for free.
Twitter engagement can drive results; in many campaigns, the engagement sometimes are the results being measured.
How to Measure Twitter Engagement & CTRs
When you want to measure Twitter engagement, Twitter Analytics can provide most of the reporting that you need. You can find your analytics by clicking on your profile picture in the right-hand corner and clicking “Analytics” in the drop down.
Under Twitter’s Analytics, you can see data on your:
- Number of impressions over a 28 day period
- Your engagement rate over a 28 day period (which divides your number of engagement by your impressions)
- Which of your tweets got the most engagement, how much engagement they got, and their engagement rate
- What types of engagement you’re getting (you can find this by clicking on specific tweets)
- Your average number of link clicks, retweets, likes, and replies a day
- The number of video views your videos have gotten (this is still in beta)
- Conversion tracking, which will track engagement and responses to your Twitter Ads
When measuring engagement on Twitter, you want to look at all types of engagement separately and see how users are engaging, because how they’re engaging matters just as much. If your content is getting a lot of likes but not a lot of clicks or shares, that’s something you’ll want to know.
While Twitter Analytics is great, I still heavily recommend Google Analytics, too. Google Analytics has in-depth reporting that can tell you not only that users are coming from Twitter to your site, but also what they’re doing once they’re there.
This can help you not only monitor clicks, but see the ROI, value, and the off-site impact that the engagement is providing.
23 Tips to Increase Twitter Engagement & CTR
Now that we’ve completely covered what Twitter engagement is, why it matters, and how to measure it, we can focus on how to increase it. Strategies to increase engagement and your CTRs on Twitter include strategies for how you engage with other content, the words you choose to create your post, and how and when you post your content.
Ultimately, you’ll want to test the strategies you choose for yourself and see what works best for you and your audience to increase both clicks and engagement.
1. Engage with Other Users Content
If you want other users to engage with your content, a good way to start is to always interact with theirs first. Like, respond to, and retweet your users content when you can, and following them can also help.
When you respond to other users or engage with their content, they’ll be more likely to pay attention to what you’re posting, too. This is especially true considering most brands don’t take or have the time to interact with a lot of followers, so it can mean more when you do.
This can also help to build social proof over time, which is valuable across all social media marketing platforms.
Not only will this increase engagement, it will help you start to build a relationship between you or your brand and the users you’re interacting with, expanding the benefits more concretely—and off Twitter.
2. Retweet Other Users’ Tweets
You want to do this early and often. I’m singling out retweeting as engagement because this is what most users value the most; not only are you liking their content enough to validate it, but you value it enough to share it.
Reciprocity is an important part of why people choose to follow and engage with you, psychologically speaking.
Retweeting can be some of the most powerful engagement you get on a post, since it will carry your content to that users’ audience. By retweeting your users’ content first, you could have much better luck when trying to get them retweet and share your own content.
3. Keep Your Tweets Brief
We are all forced to keep our tweets relatively brief automatically, with Twitter limiting our posts to 140 characters. This can be challenging enough as it is, but limiting our posts just a little more can actually increase engagement.
According to multiple different sites and data, the sweet spot for the number of characters for shareable tweets is between 80 and 110 characters, including hashtags and user tags, especially if you’re looking to increase retweets.
When your tweets are between 80-110 characters, they’re more likely to offer value in whatever form you’re aiming for (whether that’s to entertain, inform, or share an opinion), while still being brief enough that users can easily retweet them. When at this length, users will have enough room to briefly add in their own thoughts or hashtags, while still referring back to you. If you were to use all 140, on the other hand, users would have to edit your tweet and cut it down so they could add their text, and for many, this is just too much work.
You want users to share your content; make it easy for them to do so.
4. Share a Variety of Links
If you want to get clicks to your site, the best way to do so is to put links in your Tweets.
While you want to share links to your most valuable content, sending traffic to your site, you also want to share content from others, too. With social media, you never want to make it all about you and your brand; Twitter is no exception.
If you find great content off Twitter, share it there and tag the brand/user who created it if possible; they’ll appreciate it, and some of your users might, too.
Sharing links that you find valuable—and that aren’t your own—can encourage users to pay more attention to what you’re posting. Even better, it can build relationships between you and your users and other industry leaders whose content you’re sharing, and they might later share your content in return.
This can help increase engagement and send more traffic and new visitors to your site as an added bonus.
5. Respond When Someone Tweets to You
This can be particularly challenging for large brands or brands that have a large amount of engagement (even if it’s just when major content goes live), but doing your best to respond in some way when a user tweets to you can go a long way.
Sending an actual response Tweet can be the most powerful and effective, especially if they’ve tweeted you or tagged you in a post that could generate a conversation (such as thanking you, asking you a question, or sharing a thought they had about your product or post). When criticism or upset customers are involved, make sure to respond to them as soon as possible— this should always take the priority.
Responding when someone tweets you not only increases the chance that they’ll respond in some way to your reply, but also that they’ll engage with your posts in the future.
6. Know Your Peak Hours
Just like with Facebook, there will be certain times of the day or days of the week when more of your users will be active on the site or more likely to engage with your content. By being able to find those peak hours and posting during them, you’ll get more views and you’ll be more likely to increase engagement and clicks on your post.
Some studies have shown that posting between 12:00-3:00 on Mondays through Fridays is among the best time, while others have found slightly different peak hours; adweek found that 5pm had the highest retweets, while posting between 12 and 6 pm provided the highest CTR.
Most studies were consistent in the findings that posting during day hours yielded the most engagement and highest CTRs.
A lot of brands use scheduling tools like Rignite, Hootsuite, and Buffer to distribute content to social media; using these tools makes it easier to schedule content to be posted during your peak hours, especially if your audience’s prime usage hours aren’t during your work hours.
Ultimately, your peak posting times may different from the suggestions here; testing how your content performs at different times will be the best way to determine what times work best for you and your audience.
7. Use Twitter Ads
When you’re looking to best engagement quickly, Twitter Ads can be a good way to do so, especially if you don’t have a lot of followers or followers that frequently engage with your content. Twitter Ads do cost money (and can be more expensive than Facebook Ads), but they can still help increase engagement when you need it. Promoted tweets work best for this purpose.
Though Twitter Ads can be on the more expensive side, some users have found that Twitter’s click-through rates are actually superior. Particularly when you want to drive traffic offsite, this makes Twitter Ads a good, albeit not free, solution.
You can create Twitter Ads by locating the tab on the same dropdown menu where you can find Twitter Analytics, which offers reporting for engagement and conversion tracking.
8. Use Twitter Conversational Ads
Conversational Ads are currently in beta so not everyone has them just yet, but some people do, and I think they’re going to be a powerful tool to drive engagement.
Conversational Ads are designed purely to increase engagement and brand influence. They follow the idea of promoted tweets, but come with the addition of CTAs that encourage users to tweet with hashtags the brand can customize and choose.
When a user clicks on the CTA, the tweet composer opens with a “pre-populated brand message” that users can then customize and share, after which they’ll automatically be thanked.
Part of the reason these can be so powerful is because you’re not just getting engagement on your post, but your paid post will ideally spawn and inspire multiple organic posts that are tied to your brand.
Though it’s still in beta testing, keep an eye out for these; when they roll out, they’re going to be a great tool to have.
9. Always Provide Value
Social media, for many, has become an environment where many users are inclined to share every thought that pops into their heads. While non-brand users can get away with letting the world know that they can’t decide if they want a coke or a lemonade, brands definitely cannot.
Brands can offer value in different ways; posts can seek to provide value by entertaining, informing, inspiring, or persuading users.
Providing value, in whatever form you choose, is among the most important factors to success with content marketing. Value will keep users coming back and staying interested, and—best of all—engaging with and clicking on the tweets you’re posting.
10. Always Use Hashtags
Hashtags are an essential part of Twitter usage; just like with Instagram, you pretty much expect a Tweet to come with at least one hashtag attached to it. Not only do hashtags offer the benefit of helping a relevant audience find you when they search the hashtag you’re using, but they can also increase engagement.
Tweets with hashtags are 33% more likely to get retweeted than those without them. This makes sense, considering the additional eyes you may get, as well as hashtags fit into the culture of Twitter usage.
However, less can also be more: tweets with only one hashtag are 69% more likely to get retweeted than those with two hashtags.
Whether you’re using a specific, branded hashtag or one that’s just relevant to your audience or industry, you should aim to always have one on each tweet. Tapping into trending topics via a popular hashtag is also a great way to increase both engagement and impressions.
11. Share Images
Images are an important part of social media; this is particularly true when we’re limited to 140 characters.
If you’re not posting images on at least some of your tweets, you should be; some case studies have shown that tweets with images get 313% more engagement.
Images are more dynamic, whether you’re sharing an infographic, a graph to display data, or a photograph. You can share up to 4 images in a single tweet, but even using just 1 image is all it takes to drive extra engagement.
Plus, when in doubt, you can always add text to your images if you need to get a few extra characters in; no 20% rule applies here.
12. Post Videos
While images can get more attention than text, videos continue the trend and can outperform images. Twitter Video, released about a year ago, allows you to either record a new video from your smart phone or upload an existing video if you have an iPhone. The time limit is 30 seconds, but since you’ll lose most viewers after 30 seconds, that’s ok.
82% of Twitter users watch video content on the social media platform. It’s also good to note that studies have shown that native video on Twitter tends to drive significantly more engagement than those from third party players (resulting in 2.5x more replies, 2.8x more retweets, and 1.9x more favorites).
Video can be a great way to break new stories, offer a behind-the-scenes look, evoke emotion, and give extra life to your posts on Twitter. Videos are dynamic, and it only makes sense they can drastically increase engagement and CTRs.
13. Ask for Retweets
If you want something, it never hurts to ask. Believe it or not, asking for a retweet directly within your post can increase engagement in the form of retweets. It sounds simple, but it works.
Some examples for how to ask for retweets include:
- Just asking for it. Some brands tack on a “please share” or “please retweet” (or simply “Please RT”) to the end of their posts. There’s a great list of the 7 best variations of wording here.
- Offering an incentive. Some brands will offer an incentive, like a prize, discount, or giveaway if users retweet a certain tweet. Depending on the incentive, this can be highly effective.
- Asking for help to spread the word. While this can definitely work if you’re looking to “spread the word” about your sale, new product, or exciting news, this particular approach can also work well if you’re helping a cause. Many brands and small businesses work with at least one nonprofit organization or cause, and asking users to spread the word about something involving it can get massive engagement and make you look really good in the process.
This is a great tactic, but only when used sparingly. If a rare CTA is proposed, people will be more likely to take action on it. If you post it all the time, it will feel like spam and users are much more likely to ignore it.
14. Don’t Tweet Too Much
Even though it can be difficult to get eyes on your content, you don’t want to send out too many tweets and drown in your own content. If you post too many, you’ll not only see your engagement not increase, you’ll likely see it drop pretty quickly.
Multiple case studies have shown that tweeting between 1 and 3 times a day was the ideal frequency for brands and offered the highest engagement levels. Once they posted 4 or more in a day, however, engagement actually decreases.
This is another great benefit of scheduling tools, many of which make it easy to see how many Tweets you’ll be posting that day.
15. Space Out Your Tweets
When you’re sending those 1-4 tweets a day, don’t send them all at once; space them out evenly, either through your peak hours or throughout the entire day. This will increase the number of audience members who might see your posts, helping to increase engagement because of it.
This is a simple and straightforward strategy, but it’s a good one, and when done deliberately it often has good results.
16. Use Clean, Straight Forward Language
When it comes to getting engagement, don’t be ambiguous or overly complicated; sometimes the best method is to say exactly what your link is if you’re sharing one; there’s no need to be coy or clever. You only have 140 (or 80-110, if you’re following our earlier strategy) characters to get a click and engagement, so you want to be as to-the-point as you can be to get relevant clicks while still accurately describing your content in a way that’s alluring relevant readers.
It can be difficult with so few characters, but make sure that your thought makes sense on the page; add in punctuation where necessary, make sure there aren’t typos, and use language and terminology your audience will be likely to recognize.
17. Ask Questions
This is one of the most classic engagement-building tactics in the marketing book, but it’s still making this list because it still consistently works.
People love to give their opinions and share their experiences, especially if they think the brand who’s asking might listen.
You can ask everything from what they think about your new product to what they’re doing for St. Patrick’s day. The first offers the opportunity to learn what your customers think while simultaneously promoting your product, and the second is an easy way to build engagement with users and help promote a relationship with them.
As a freelance writer and social media marketer, I’ve asked users if they had to get rid of one social media platform as a user, which would it be? (For the record, my answer is Snapchat—love it for marketing, hate it as a user). I could also ask what their favorite blog is, or how they think a new Facebook change could impact businesses. These questions aren’t all about me or my product, which can make it easier to generate conversation and start to build relationships with both customers and peers in my industry.
Not only can this increase engagement, asking questions about what your customers want can provide valuable insight into your audience that could cost a lot of money to get through market research.
18. Use Power Words
Using power words and superlatives in a blog headline can increase clicks on it; the same can be said for tweets.
Which sounds better: Increase Your Followers on Twitter, or The Best Ways to Increase Your Followers On Twitter Fast? Both titles are actionable, but power words and other adjectives like “best” and “fast” are likely to increase some clicks on your link.
In some ways, crafting your tweet is similar to creating a post or article headline; you don’t have a lot of space for either one, and you want to make it as appealing as possible while proving it offers value of some sort. Certain words work, and certain words do not.
Examples of good power words include:
- How to
Power words and superlatives can help draw users’ attention right to you, making it more tempting to click on the link you’ve shared or watch the video you’ve posted.
19. Talk About Big Names
When you interact with a major player in your industry, it can help get some eyes on you. On Twitter, even talking about or tagging an industry leader or peer can be enough to get extra eyes and engagement on your post.
Whether you start a conversation with them directly or just write a post and tag them in it (in a way that makes sense, like by sharing their content or saying you liked their product), they may notice and engage. Especially if they respond or retweet your content, you can continue to get higher levels of engagement if their audience is active.
Again, this can also help build relationships with big names in your industry, and they could be more inclined to share some of your content or posts later on, likely helping you to get more engagement when they do.
20. Use Twitter Cards
Typically when posting on Twitter, we’re limited to those 140 characters, and it can be tough to fit everything we want into it and to make it count. That’s where Twitter Cards come in.
Twitter Cards offer an opportunity to add in more content to your tweet, whether that’s a summary card, photo card, product card, or any of their other options. It will make your tweet larger, garnering more attention to it, and makes it more dynamic and rich.
Twitter Cards requires you to validate your website with Twitter and add Twitter Card meta data to your site, but it makes your posts more dynamic and can greatly increase CTRs. You can see a great guide on how to install them to your site here.
21. Use Shortened Links
Since Twitter only has so many characters, it only makes sense to use abbreviated, shortened links to the content you’re posting. You don’t need your whole website address to be listed as long as users are clicking.
Some services and software, like Buffer or different social sharing bars, will automatically shorten the link to your content when they post it. If you aren’t using any of these tools, however, Google’s URL shortener can help you do the trick manually in just a few seconds.
Using shortened links will give you more characters, have your Tweets look more clean, and can increase retweets.
22. Recycle Great Content
If you posted great content once and it did well, that doesn’t mean that the shelf life for that content is over; you can extend it by using it again.
A lot of big brands frequently recycle their best content, if not most of their content; this enables them to get more eyes on high-quality tweets, videos, and links that many users may have missed the first time. I can say from experience that content that performed well once is likely to perform well again.
The idea of recycling content and posts was something that I hated and thought would never work when I first heard about it upon entering the field, as I was sure people would notice and it would drive them crazy; and then I was proven wrong. So much content is being pushed out on so many different platforms, people often miss it the first time, and even if they see it on multiple postings, few notice the replication.
Sometimes you can keep the entire tweet the same as it was before down to every last punctuation mark, though it doesn’t hurt to change things around a bit if you’re worried, like the description for a link you’re sharing.
When you’re recycling content, try to stagger it at a different part of the day or week, adding the space of a few weeks later if possible.
Note: While most great content is recyclable, there are some exceptions; content that relies on timeliness (breaking news, holiday/event related, and some trending topics)
23. Have a Call to Action that Isn’t to Share
Twitter, as we all know, can be used for objectives increasing downloads of an ebook or mobile app, lead generation, and driving sales. When used sparingly, creating posts to drive these objectives can have great results on your engagement, specifically when you include a call to action to accompany it.
While having a CTA to share your posts can be effective, it’s not the only CTA that can help drive engagement and CTRs on Twitter.
We’ve talked about power words; this is where we’re going to look at using action words. Action words, unsurprisingly, are placed to inspire and commonly evoke users to do something. It’s why CTAs are so powerful. Some good action words and phrases that can increase engagement include:
- Learn More
- Follow Us
- Please Help (particularly when paired with charity/nonprofit causes)
- Visit Our Site
- Shop our Sale
While it doesn’t quite qualify as an action word, using “free” whenever you get the chance is also a good idea—everybody likes a freebie.
Not only will using action words and different CTAs you get more engagement and major CTR increases, you can send more traffic to your site, generate more leads, drive more app downloads, and potentially even make more sales.
Almost all of these strategies are free or close to it (with Twitter Ads being the exception), and only require a little extra time and an adjustment to the content you may already be creating for Twitter. There are 320 million monthly active users, after all—you just have to find the right strategies to get them to interact with you and your content.
As you continue to drive engagement and increase your CTR on Twitter, you’ll almost certainly reap the benefits off-Twitter, too, by sending traffic to your site and helping you increase your leads, your rapport, trust and positive relationships with your customers, and your sales.
What do you think? How do you market and get engagement on Twitter? What type of content gets you the highest CTRs? Do you use any of the strategies discussed above? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!