No longer are the days where you can send a Tweet and call it day. Marketing efforts are contingent upon Twitter engagement measurements like Retweets, likes, impressions and clicks.

The rise in social media management helped simplify Twitter engagement down to a science. Now you can dissect everything in a Tweet to find just how much of an impression your brand is leaving on its audience.

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What Is Twitter Engagement?

The loose definition of Twitter engagement is the amount of interactions received for each Tweet. Twitter engagement can include:

  • Likes
  • Retweets
  • Replies
  • @mentions
  • Follows
  • Profile clicks
  • Permalink clicks
  • Tweet expansion clicks
  • Link clicks

At the same time, this could just mean someone saw your Tweet. To go a little deeper, your Twitter engagement rate is a key performance indicator (KPI) to evaluate just how well you interact, reach and become a presence with your audience. 

When you measure all of the above metrics against the amount of users who witnessed your Tweet, you’re left with holistic picture of overall engagement rate.

Does Twitter Engagement Matter?

Any way you look at it, Twitter engagement is a crucial metric to evaluate for your business. By engaging on Twitter, you have more chances to:

  • Get feedback on products or services
  • Easily sell your product or service
  • Build brand loyalists
  • Understand your audience
  • Become an influencer in the market

There’s a big difference between talking to your audience and knowing what they want. By continually engaging on Twitter, your brand’s presence will grow and more people will want to hear your messaging.

It’s smart to try and humanize your brand as much as possible. You’ll hear us explain time and time again the benefits of showing the person behind the social media curtain. No one wants to talk with an unidentifiable Wizard of Oz. Humanizing your brand on social media lets your audience build a personal relationship with your product, services and customer care team.

How to Measure Twitter Engagement

Measuring your Twitter engagement is bit easier than you think. You have to put some effort into your social media analytics and have an eye toward important data. At the same time, you don’t want to be bogged down with too many statistics or you’ll not know where to start.

Whenever you measure a social media platform, you usually have two major options:

  1. Use the native platform
  2. Adopt a third-party platform

Using Twitter to Measure Engagement

Twitter has increasingly become more aware of its audience and their needs. In fact, eMarketer discovered nearly 66% of businesses with 100 or more employees have a Twitter account and expect it to rise through 2017. The report also found that more than 88% of companies use some sort of social media channel or tool. This number is growing as businesses figure out how to better use social media platforms like Twitter.

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The increased need for Twitter for businesses has also driven the demand for Twitter analytics. Now through the platform, you can easily see the data that makes up your account. The social network provides a monthly summary of your:

  • Tweets
  • Impressions
  • Profile visits
  • @mentions
  • New followers
alex twitter analytics

While this might seem overwhelming, the data is actually straightforward. As a business, pay attention to your followers, @mentions and profile visits. These stats show you just how much traffic and conversation is going around your Twitter account. Impressions and Tweets are important, but don’t get caught up in data that isn’t actionable, especially if you’re just starting out (this doesn’t mean discount impressions).

top tweet and mention

Look at your content that performed the best over your monthly periods and try to replicate this in future posts. You can do this more easily by creating notes for each successful post and see what commonalities exist. Look at post times, type of content, if there was a call to action and if there was an image. Once you find the right pattern, you can start dissecting your Tweets even more down to the color of each post.

alex most engaged posts

With Twitter’s analytical reporting, you can review engagement rates for each post. Understand a common theme with your rating and work on improving it each month. In this example, we can see a mix of Twitter engagement rates, but we can tell anything over 1% seems to drive more attention. Do a quick evaluation and determine a Twitter engagement rate threshold you want to achieve for each post.

Dive Deeper With Sprout Social Twitter Analytics

There’s no doubt that Twitter’s core analytics features are a great source of information, but what if you want to go a little deeper with engagement? Additionally, what if you want to have the same tool across multiple social networks?

That’s where we come in.

Sprout Social’s powerful Twitter analytics tools give you the resources you can’t find on the native platform and on many other third-party tools. Through Sprout, you take Twitter engagement a step further with detailed hashtag and keyword reporting.

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For those even considering running a social media marketing campaign, you need the right tools to track, report and analyze your top performing content. Additionally, you want to monitor important keywords or hashtags that are associated with your business or specific campaign.

It’s easy to navigate through Sprout’s Twitter reporting features to analyze more than @mentions and replies. With our custom audience engagement reports, you can set specific reporting dates to measure every aspect of your Twitter on a day-to-day basis. This allows you to get your hands dirty with the analytics you need as a social media manager.

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How to Actually Increase Your Engagement

Now that you know the benefits and different avenues, take a step back and evaluate what strategic social tactics you’re currently implementing to drive Twitter engagement. If you’re feeling a little lost, you’re not alone.

Seeing an actual difference in your Twitter engagement might not happen overnight. But there are plenty of strategies social media marketers use to ensure they’re doing everything possible to keep their Twitter followers invested.

Always Consider Visuals

If you’re a common visitor of our blog, you’ll hear us frequently mention the importance of visuals in your social media content. Images on social media continue to increase social media engagement statistics.

According to Twitter photos earn an average of 35% additional Retweets compared to Tweets without images. As you build out your Twitter engagement strategy, remember that visuals can also include quotes, videos and gifs.

Visuals help build trust and can help provide a storyline, which might be much harder to achieve with only text. However, berating your audience with gifs every time they ask a question can come off as too lighthearted and unprofessional. There’s definitely a good in between with your use of visual content.

Nest, a home automation company, does a great job of demonstrating the simplicity of its product line while remaining visually-appealing. Include visuals whenever possible but don’t go overboard. Drive Twitter engagement by taking a page out of Nest’s playbook and make sure that your social images always communicate a cohesive brand style and aesthetic.

Ask Questions Often

Questions are another great way to engage your Twitter audience. With native features like Twitter Polls, you can reach out to your audience and get valuable data on how your followers feel about your brand.

Home Depot Careers does a great job at asking simple but informative questions that could be used for their human resources department. Your Twitter questions don’t always have to be directly tied to your product or services. Instead, try to ask social media questions you think your audience would want to answer. It’s hard to get a pulse on your audience if you only ask them questions about you. So make sure your questions don’t always involve your specific company.

Those who succeed on Twitter are the ones who always have something engaging to say. Make sure to keep an internal log that includes your questions and your audience’s responses. This insight can help your brand formulate social content for later use.

Call-to-Actions Drive Your Sales Funnel

When you want to drive your audience through your sales funnel, everything relies on actionable language. Call-to-action phrases are an essential part to any business trying to sell their product. Without creating the sense of urgency or “directing traffic” to your purchasing pages, you’re not going to get that many clicks.

Luckily, you can do some pretty simple things to turn your Tweets in actionable CTAs. Jeff Bullas points out that by asking questions that are irresistible for your customers, you can get readers to follow through your sales funnel.

Write direct and simple-to-follow CTAs and you’ll make it extremely easy for readers to continue onward. For Twitter, these same rules apply. Try to look at how you’re Twitter CTA’s are doing by checking clicked links, Tweet detail expansions, likes and Retweets.

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This raw data shows you just how effective you are with your language and CTAs. Again, start by tracking the best performing Tweets and see what language works best with your Twitter audience.

Master Your 140 Characters

With such a small space for communication, you have to get creative with your 140 allotted characters on Twitter. While you might already think 140 is too limiting, you actually want to be even more concise with your Tweets.

The outdoor grill company Char-Broil let’s their images do the talking with very short descriptions and a link to keep going into the sales funnel. According to Social Media Examiner, Tweets under 110 characters receive 17% higher engagement. This is because your readers don’t want to have to worry about editing your Tweet while trying to Retweet your content.

Make it easy for everyone by leaving room for others to add input about your Twitter content. If you continue to use 130-140 characters, you’re essentially leaving out any room for others to Retweet, add comments or tag others. It might seem petty, but you always want to make sharing as easy as possible.

Tweet Consistently–Seriously

It’s not too hard to go on social networks like Twitter or Instagram and see a brand slowly fizzle out on posts. Sadly, this happens far too often with companies trying to make a presence on every social network.

Much like following a nutritional diet or learning a musical instrument, you have to be consistent with your Twitter engagement. Constant Contact recommends businesses Tweet at least five times a day and to aim for quality content of quantity.

social media publishing example

This is the perfect rule to follow because of the rapid noise of Twitter. If you’re just starting, build an average goal a week and try to increase it every two weeks or month. You want to build up a solid amount of Tweets to truly engage your audience. While it might seem like you’re getting little engagement, you don’t want to skip on quality.

Your quality Tweets will pay off in the end and again, you don’t want to be that company that suddenly looks sad on Twitter with a few decent Tweets in a month. Tweet often but make it count.

You can help yourself by using a social media calendar to keep on track of your Tweets. By using a social media publishing tool like Sprout Social, you can easily schedule multiple Tweets days, weeks or even months in advance.

sprout social publishing calendar

Try to set time out once a week to add scheduled Tweets to your social media calendar. It’s also smart to choose a day you’re feeling extra creative because we all know that, some days, it can be really difficult to write amazing Tweets. Using a Twitter management tool like Sprout will allow you to have more than one ace up your sleeve in week’s worth of Tweets.

Don’t Miss a Beat with Engagement Reporting

To get a better understanding of Twitter engagement, all we have to do is look at the queen bee of Twitter, Beyoncé. After releasing her 12-track visual album Lemonade on HBO, Twitter was able to live-track the more than 4.1 million Tweets made in the 48-hour time period, which began nine hours prior to the air date.

In the release time of 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., there was an average of 9,200 Tweets per minute. This interactive graph shows you the true power of engagement reporting when a major event occurs. While your business might not have the power of Beyoncé, you can still track who’s talking about you.

More Power to Your Customers

If you’re a larger business answering customers’ questions, concerns, feedback and business inquiries, you want to maintain a great rapport with your audience. This means you want to leave no question unanswered and do so in a timely and pleasant fashion.

According to Sprout Social’s 2015 Index, 7 out of 8 social messages go unanswered by businesses. The demand for company Twitter accounts is only growing and you have to be able to listen, take note, respond or answer the questions as they come in.

By using Sprout’s Engagement Report, you have access to daily response rates, average response times and response time distribution so you’re absolutely sure you’re getting to each message and on time.

sprout engagement report example

For any business using Twitter as a customer care platform, you cannot only reply on engagement rates. Instead, you will want to track inbound vs. outbound messages. On top of that, you’ll want to have access to Twitter management tools that help your team collaborate and divvy workloads.

Going Beyond Twitter Engagement

Managing your followers and building and a successful Twitter audience takes time and effort. A lot depends on how much effort you want to put into your social campaigns. On the other hand, ignoring signs of unenthusiastic Twitter followers will eventually do more harm than good to your business.

There’s a reason why companies that perform well on Twitter, typically do well with audience engagement and branding. Why not take your Twitter business account seriously and engage with your customers right away? You can get started right away with Sprout Social’s Twitter analytics and reporting features by signing up for a 30-day free trial. What’s holding you back?

Do you have any suggestions on successful Twitter engagement methods? Let’s chat in the comments below!