Improving Twitter Engagement

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We talk a lot about engagement, but what is it really and how can you get more of it? If you’ve been on Twitter longer than 2 months, you’ll know that there’s no one fool-proof formula for nailing engagement rates. So this week on the chat, we invited media strategist Sarah Clarke to talk about engagement and what we can all do to build a more engaged community on Twitter. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Sarah Clarke
Topic: Improving Twitter engagement
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: What is engagement on Twitter?

Engagement is action in any form. On social media, this usually refers to likes, replies, link clicks, retweets, and video/GIF expands or clicks. Anyone person being social and interacting on Twitter is considered engagement.

As our friends from Social Media Pulse pointed out, aside from those standard engagement metrics, is one of the most important engagement metrics: the number of conversations you initiate or participate in. This usually refers back to replies, but unlike just one reply to a tweet, a conversation is more interactive and involves quite a lot of back-and-forth. The result is that you engage with a lot more people when you’re having a meaningful conversation.

Q2: Why should brands care about Twitter engagement?

Engagement is the main indicator of your audience’s opinion. If your content’s getting a lot of engagement, you’ll know that whatever you’re doing is working. But if you don’t get much engagement, then it’s time to change things around because your content isn’t as effective as it could be.

That said, however, if you don’t actively engage with other people’s content, you’re missing out on a lot too. Engaging with others’ content is a great way to get your message out to your audience.

Dorothée added to that point, saying she wouldn’t support businesses that don’t engage with their audience because it shows that they don’t care about developing that relationship.

Q3: How should you handle negative engagement?

It depends on the type of negative engagement. Sometimes, you’ll have people using the reply and tag features to bombard you with negative comments because they don’t know how to solve a problem. Other times, you’ll have people berating you on social media to escalate a question or concern they’ve already contacted you about. Depending on what type of person you’re dealing with and the specific problem they’re experiencing, your reaction should be varied and appropriate. A good way to establish the how-tos of operation is to have a clearly-outlined social media policy that tells all your social media managers how to react in certain situations.

Normally, it’s ideal to gently acknowledge the situation and steer the conversation away from Twitter and into an email or direct message. However, if someone’s being a bully, just delete or block them.

Our friends from VirtuDesk reminded us that disagreements and disappointments can quickly turn into nasty arguments on Twitter. If you sense that happening to you, just leave politely. That’s completely ok.

Q4: What type of content gets the most engagement on Twitter?

Videos are always the most engaging piece of content, followed closely by GIFs. Asking open-ended questions, creating polls, and sharing photographs of the people of your brand are all great ways to increase engagement with your content. Check out this blog Sarah wrote, discussing 22 ways to improve engagement.

Whatever type of content you’re posting, don’t forget to include a clear Call to Action (CTA), as Amna said. Whether it’s a “click here” or a “register now” or a simple “learn more”, give people a clear direction and they will oblige.

Q5: How can you measure Twitter engagement?

Twitter’s built-in analytics is a great way to keep up with your engagement rates. It gives you a comprehensive analysis of how people are engaging with your content, whether it’s for each tweet separately or on your profile as a whole. You can get daily, weekly, and monthly statistics. It’s also free, unlike other analytics tools you might come across. Just go to:

But they’re so many other tools that give you similar analytics, as Pavel pointed out. He mentioned Sprout Social and Hootsuite—both of which are fairly popular among social media managers.

Carla also told us how she uses the Twitter Studio analytics dashboard, which offers similar statistics to the default analytics, with some additional data on how your media elements are performing. Not everyone has access to Media Studio, however, and if you’d like to know more about using the Media Studio, have a look at this page from Twitter’s help documentation.

Q6: Which is better: One viral tweet or average engagement on all tweets?

Our guest suggested that having steady engagement across all your content is more sustainable than having one massively successful tweet. As for what makes a good engagement rate, it depends on your industry and business reach, but anything between 1% and 5% is really good, with anything higher meaning you are crushing it!

Madalyn echoed Sarah’s opinions. Going viral is exciting and gives you immense exposure immediately. But know that it’s also short-lived. If your content goes viral, that’s great. However, don’t stress about making every piece of content go viral. Instead, focus on building up a community that’s genuinely excited about the content you share.

Q7: What are some do’s and don’ts for when you’re trying to grow your engagement?

First off, make sure what you’re posting is interesting and engaging. Then engage with others in your community. If someone’s replied to your content, always respond and continue the conversation. If you come across a piece of content that’s relevant to you and is interesting, respond and initiate a discussion. You can’t expect engagement without engaging yourself first.

As for don’ts, it’s fairly simple: don’t be sporadic, don’t ignore replies, mentions, and discussions, and be overly aggressive on controversial topics.

Alyx also shared some really good advice: don’t jump on trending topics just because they’re trending. Focus on building conversations and building relationships with people and brands that are genuinely relevant to your brand.

Q8: Share your favorite tools for managing and monitoring Twitter engagement.

Sarah’s favorite is the built-in Twitter analytics. Aside from that, she also uses Tweetdeck and Sendible Analytics. Google Analytics is an industry favorite as well—especially to track who’s clicked through from Twitter and how they’ve navigated through your website.

Our community members voted for Agorapulse, If This Then That (ITTT), eclincher, Later, and Brand24.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks a lot for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Sarah, have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together for us. If you think this summary is pretty good, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us every Thursday at 1pm ET on #TwitterSmarter. We also hang out on Twitter Spaces at 5pm ET to continue our chat. Catch you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa:

I write all the things—marketing stuff so I can pay the bills; haiku and short stories so I feel wholesome. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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