With more than 500 million tweets being sent on a typical day and 115 million active Twitter users every month, your tweets could easily be buried under the pile. So how can you make sure your account doesn’t go unnoticed? Here are 10 easy to follow tips to improve your Twitter engagement by getting more retweets and mentions.
Have you ever heard of an image being worth a thousand words? That also applies to Twitter. Since it changed its layout, visuals have become a lot more predominant, which means that tweets with images get retweeted a lot more compared to others.
Bonus tip: make sure your image is at least 440 by 222 pixels otherwise it will appear as a simple link which is so 2013!
Content is king
Twitter might have started off as a platform where people tweeted what they had for lunch, but these days are long gone. The way Twitter has evolved, you need to make sure you tweet some top notch content to make your account stand out.
Writing in 140 characters can be a challenge. But there are definitely ways to help you optimize your account. Your tweets should always contain a link to an interesting, trustworthy source. In fact, tweets with links are retweeted three times more than tweets that don’t, according to Dan Zarrella’s research. If you feel like sharing some wisdom in the form of a quote (yours or someone else’s) make sure it’s awesome and go for it. Tweets with quotes get 10% more retweets than others.
Bear in mind that tweets that trigger feelings or are newsworthy and contain the element of surprise, breaking news for example, always work. Here’s a legendary tweet that got the most retweets in the history of Twitter and incorporates some key elements. Newsworthiness? Check! Image? Check! Element of surprise (if you are a Republican)? Check!
Four more years. pic.twitter.com/bAJE6Vom
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012
Mention others in your tweets
It’s called twitterquette people (and yes, i just came up with this word)! The idea is that when you can, for example when you share an article written by someone, preferably an influencer in your field, mention them in your tweet. It’s good for your karma, you’re more likely to get retweeted or at least favorited and also you put yourself in their radar.
And don’t forget the role of conversations! Twitter should not be just a distribution tool. The key to higher Twitter engagement is to interact with your followers and influencers in your field. Ask questions, contribute to discussions and see your followers increasing.
Using hashtags is a great way to organize your content, define your brand or what you tweet about in general or simply just label your tweets content. Make sure they’re always relevant to the content of your tweet. See hashtags as the gate to different Twitter communities. So be strategic and use them to be part of different conversations. It doesn’t always have to be a worldwide trending topic, but as long as it makes sense to your industry and followers, start using it!
Not into #ValentinesDay? Then show your love for forests instead. Join us: http://t.co/IJU42S9bUC #ProtectParadise pic.twitter.com/NdvEq0SUww
— Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) February 14, 2014
Using a popular hashtag to promote your own? Win!
Yet, don’t overdo it! Tweets with more than two hashtags have a low reach.
Know when to post
There’s a quite a few tools to help you with knowing when your followers are online. Our favorite one is Followerwonk, for its usability and graphs. Buffer is also a great option for scheduling your content. Let it take care of sending out the tweets for you at times that suit your account best or make your own customized schedule.
The new Klout is another option. Just like with Followerwonk you can see when your audience is active on Twitter and adjust your schedule accordingly for maximum reach.
Get more followers
It goes without saying that having more Twitter followers increases your chances of being retweeted and mentioned. Of course if you do all of the above, you will definitely gain more followers, but there are also some other ways to help you grow your Twitter popularity and you master the crowds.
Use the right words
I know what you think; asking for a retweet on Twitter screams needy, but science states otherwise. Words like “please”, “help”, “blog” and “retweet” (when spelled as a word instead of just using “RT”) are some of the words that yield the most retweets.
Nobody wants to follow an idle account, unless you are Beyoncé and the last time you tweeted was in August. Twitter accounts that tweet, say twice a year are not likely to grow. Try to tweet everyday and if you don’t have time for it you can use services like Tweetdeck, Buffer or Twitter itself to schedule tweets over the week including the weekends, as Twitter engagement for brands tends to be higher then. But remember: tweeting does not mean spamming!
Less is more
You might have 140 characters at your disposal to say what you want, but this doesn’t mean that you must use them all. Again, Twitter science shows that tweets with less characters are retweeted a lot more, with the ideal length for a tweet being 70 to 100 characters.
Analyze, analyze, analyze
Always remember to check what works for you and what doesn’t, which means that you’ll need to set up professional Twitter stats for your account and start monitoring.
Time to put those tips in action and engage with your Twitter followers! Here’s a little something to get you started.