Twitter Best Practices

Twitter can be a black hole of information if not used correctly. In this article, I’ll show you some general tips and guidelines to follow to help you get started. Remember, you’re not going to instantly become a pro. Practice a little bit and follow this guidelines.

Important statistics

  • Tweets with image link have 2x the engagement rate
  • Tweets with a link receive 86% engagement rates
  • Tweets that contain less than 100 characters receive 17% higher engagement
  • Tweets with hashtags receive 2x more engagement

Find Twitter-Chat hosts and join the conversation

Twitter chats are weekly events that happen on Twitter in pretty much every industry. A Twitter chat is a series of questions in which a lot of people respond using the designated hashtag. Twitter chats are also good for finding people who are interested in the type of stuff you might sell.

(Google for Twitter Chats)

Schedule Tweets for Weekends

According to the report, Twitter engagement rates for brands are 17 percent higher on weekends compared to weekdays. Yet, most companies almost completely ignore this trend preferring to post during the week, when engagement rates are lower.

Tweet from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Buddy Media report refers to these as “busy hours” and encourages posting during those times, versus evening hours when people are less active on Twitter. The rationale is that Twitter posts are more short-lived than posts to other social networks — such as Facebook — and are less likely to be noticed during off-peak times.

Conversely, Facebook engagement goes up during nighttime hours, according to the report. So it may be helpful to separate Twitter and Facebook posting to coincide with optimal times for each channel.

I’ve previously described social media management tools that enable merchants to schedule posts to publish at times that are best suited to each platform, in the following articles.

Determine When Tweets Perform Best

Management tools such as HootSuite and Sprout Social have built-in analytics components, which merchants can use to gain insights into the days and times when tweets receive the most engagement in the form of retweets and replies.

Don’t Over Tweet

Even when tweeting at optimal times, there is an inverse relationship between daily posting frequency and engagement. The more one tweets per day, the less engaging those tweets become, says the report.

While it’s useful to tweet multiple times per day, don’t fill up followers’ Twitter feeds with too many posts. You stand the chance of your tweets being ignored or, worse, becoming unfollowed.

 Keep Tweets Below 100 Characters

Even though Twitter only allows 140 characters, it’s best to keep posts less than 100 characters in length. Those that fit this criteria receive 17 percent higher engagement than longer tweets, according to the report.

Include Links When Possible

Tweets that contain links receive as much as an 86 percent higher retweet rate than those that do not. When possible, include a link along with a short, enticing description. It could mean more traffic to your ecommerce site as a result. Be sure to test the link before posting.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags have become a staple among Twitter users and with good reason. They receive twice the engagement than tweets without hashtags. Even so, only 24 percent of tweets contain hashtags. However, do not overuse hashtags as that can be confusing to the reader. Keep it to one or two per tweet.

Use Images

Even though users can’t immediately see an image in a tweet, images increase engagement rates up to two times higher than tweets that lack them. Twitter clients such as TweetDeck, HootSuite and make it easy to add images.

Include Calls to Action

If a tweet contained interesting content, people would presumably retweet it to their followers. That is not necessarily the case. Therefore, it is useful to include calls to actions and encourage such activity. Phrases such as “please retweet” have been shown to increase retweet activity by as much as 12 times.

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This post was written by David Moceri