The marketing industry loves large, flashy numbers because they provide easy-to-understand metrics and allow for 1:1 comparisons. How do you know you’re choosing the correct numbers that add value? Let us help you: The number you should aim for isn’t followers. It’s engagement! Your interactions are much more important on social media than your follower count. Twitter, in particular, needs conversation and interaction. But how do you boost Twitter engagement?
Engagement measures how often your audience interacts with your content. Engagement can include retweets, replies, follows, link clicks, likes, and mentions. You calculate the engagement rate by dividing the number of engagements by the number of followers. If your follower count is inflated, your engagement rate will tank.
Why does engagement matter?
High engagement rates mean users are seeing your posts and finding them valuable. You don’t want your audience to scroll by your posts passively—or worse yet, drop you out of the algorithm entirely. An active audience of 5,000 is much more powerful than a passive audience of 500,000.
High engagement will help you in the Twitter algorithm. Once you boost your Twitter engagement rate (of 0.09% or more), each new post will increase its reach exponentially.
So how do you spur this metric as high as you can?
1. Catching the audience at the right time
Unlike other large platforms specializing in artsy but relaxing content, Twitter is regarded as the platform for “breaking news.” As a result, its “active times” are slightly different than on other social networks.
First, Twitter activity is very responsive to the news cycle. If there is a significant news event happening, Twitter will be busy. That’s just the nature of the platform. It’s essential to Respond to news and events in real time.
On average, Twitter sees the most activity (and the highest amount of readers) on weekdays during working hours—especially before 10 AM. The specific “best times” will vary depending on your target audience and industry. Such specifics are too hard to calculate manually—but that’s where TrueAnthem’s AI scheduling comes in.
2. Retweet relevant content
It’s easier to keep a conversation going than to start one out of the blue. One of the best ways to prompt people to engage with your content is to engage with theirs first.
How? The easiest way to engage others is by Retweeting and replying to relevant Tweets about your product or niche. Also, you can add insight, context, or opinion in a quote Tweet. This is a way to engage while still adding value. And whenever you are sharing an important headline, make sure you tag the author to boost both of your engagements.
3. Celebrate or create a themed date
Regular content feels more meaningful when there’s a reason behind it—even if that reason is a made-up “holiday.” Currently, the Twittersphere has many day-based hashtags that you can use to inspire your content. Concepts such as “Travel Tuesday” or “Feel Good Friday” are already well-established, and many people will look out for those hashtags.
You can boost Twitter engagement further by creating your recurring themed date with something that fits your brand better. Be sure to invite others to play along!
4. Organize contests and giveaways
We’re all more likely to do anything (even just clicking that RT button) if there’s something in it for us. This is why contests and giveaways can create a rapid burst of engagement—especially if you tag them as a “challenge” or “game.”
Ongoing challenges, asking followers to submit their content and tag you on it, are compelling for new content and product launches. They generate a lot of content for you and help create a bit of hype around a specific date.
5. Launch a poll
Depending on your company’s budget, ongoing contests and giveaways may not always be feasible. They’re also a lot of work! However, if you don’t keep them up, you risk watching your engagement numbers deflate quickly after the contest is done. It’s the nature of the beast.
An excellent way to keep the contestants active on your feed and to trigger more low-effort interactions is to follow your contest with a poll. Polls open up the opportunity for followers to provide their input, but without the pressure of coming up with a witty response. Click on the preset options, and dangle a tangible result at the end.
6. Cross-promote your Tweets
If you are already well-established on a different social media network, you can use your existing followers to expand your Twitter audience.
By sharing your Tweets on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll get an easy graphical post and display your handle discreetly but effectively. Do this with your best or funniest Tweets, and you will help position your Twitter feed as one worth following. If you are running a challenge or launching a new contest, cross-promotion is a mandatory step: it will instantly increase the number of participants.
Increasing engagement rates on Twitter is notoriously tricky: unlike Facebook, Twitter’s fast-paced nature makes it easy to get lost in the noise. With the tips presented here, you will offer your followers a natural way to “talk back” – and put your brand closer to the center of the conversation.