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In the first quarter of 2019 alone, Twitter drew in 330 million active monthly users which further translated into 134 million active and monetizable users daily, based on Twitter’s own Q1 Earnings Report

HubSpot reports 80 percent  of users have mentioned a business in a Tweet, but since the average Twitter user follows just five brands, the competition is fierce to make your account more noticeable than others and earn the support of your target audience. 

Don’t allow this to deter you, however, Twitter can be one of the broadest, most influential and effective social media platforms to market on when you use these four tactics to increase follower engagement.   

Be Smart about the Timing of Your Tweets

While the type of content you publish on Twitter can make an impression on the audience, WHEN  they encounter one of your Tweets is also important. Certain times of day are more optimal for engagement than others. Buffer analyzed 4.8 million Tweets across 10,000 profiles to determine when you should post to maximize the bandwidth.

Their research found Tweets in the early morning hours tend to receive the most clicks; 12 –1 PM is when the highest volume of Tweets are posted, whereas 3–4 AM is when the fewest number are sent. Tweets in the night hours are more likely to be “favorited” or “retweeted.” 

Buffer advises scheduling content for these peak hours when users are most active, but also keep in mind this could differ based on which time zone your target audience is located in. It’s best to experiment until you find what the majority of followers resonate with. 

Use Pithy and Enticing Call-to-Action Words

In the simplest terms, a call-to-action (CTA) is a concise but persuasive and actionable phrase urging your followers to do something. Whether that means click a URL, watch a video, share a post or join a conversation, CTAs will make your content purposeful. Twitter has ranked the most successful CTAs to use and how they can boost metrics.  

  • Ask for a download. Promoted Tweets requesting that users download a content link boost URL clicks by 13 percent.
  • Ask for a retweet. Promoted Tweets requesting that users share content boost your number of retweets by 311 percent.
  • Ask for a follow. Promoted Tweets requesting that users follow your account boost the rate of followers by 258 percent.
  • Ask for a reply. Promoted Tweets requesting that users answer a question boost direct conversations by 334 percent.

Since this platform is geared toward social interactions, Twitter recommends that you balance strong CTAs with “other kinds of useful and entertaining content,” as well as relevant hashtags or @handle mentions if applicable.    

Offset the Text with a Visual when Possible

Just because a Tweet is limited to 280 characters does not mean that your message is restricted only to text. Buffer explains, when Tweets also contain multimedia such as videos, memes, GIFs, emojis, polls and other images, they receive 18 percent more clicks, 89 percent more favorites and 150 percent more retweets than posts which lack a graphic element.

When enhancing your Tweet with a visual, be sure the image makes sense with the caption and that users are able to understand its function and purpose without you having to explain or contextualize.  

Buffer continues, “We found that writing a Tweet which gives context to the image itself and simply including a link for followers to read more” is an effective retweet strategy. Users also want diversity in the format of each Tweet, so add interest to your captions with quotes, link tweets, factoids and questions.  

Show People the Human behind Your Brand

If you interact on Twitter as an authentic human being—not just a faceless, inaccessible business—this will create a sense of rapport with the target audience which leads to trust. “As a result of [this] trust built through social media, 67 percent of people indicated they have made a purchase,” confirms a 2019 poll from The Manifest 

As the survey also points out, this offers “an insider view on unrevealed aspects of the business—including commitment to social responsibility, work culture and upcoming events—ultimately humanizing the brand.” In order to create this human touch, your Tweets need some personality, so define what this means for the business and use it to hone a unique, distinct voice. 

SproutSocial enumerates, “Would you rather be informal and upbeat or informative and sophisticated? Whatever you choose, make sure to keep the personality consistent […and] naturally converse with people on Twitter. Respond to their comments, ‘like’ what they [Tweet] and show the audience you value them.”

There is a massive pool of users across the globe who frequent this platform daily and have the potential to become your followers—not to mention, potentially your customers. Take advantage of Twitter as one of the most crucial resources in your social media arsenal and utilize these best practices to build awareness, connections and engagement with the audience of consumers you aim to reach.