From tweeting too much on the wrong days to not using hashtags enough, most marketers are using Twitter all wrong. At least, according to Buddy Media.

The social media marketing firm looked at 320 Twitter handles from some of the world’s biggest brands from December 2011 through February 23, 2012.

The study found that brand are tweeting too much during the week and not enough on the weekend. Twitter engagement rates for brands are 17 percent higher on Saturday and Sunday compared to weekdays. However, only 19 percent of brands’ tweets were published on the weekend.

Buddy Media dug even deeper and found that the weekend results in 30 percent higher engagement for fashion brands. Publishers also see 29 percent higher engagement on Saturdays; however, only 7 percent of tweets from publishers actually happen on Saturdays.

Additionally, tweets delivered during busy hours — defined as between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. — saw 30 percent higher engagement rates than those that occurred during off-peak hours. Facebook is the exact opposite, in fact, where posts published during off-peak hours get 17 percent higher engagement.

Another notable finding is that tweets with hashtags see twice the engagement of those without — only 24 percent of tweets including in the study actually used them. However, we don’t recommend turning every other word into a hashtag. While one or two is fine, adding a third hashtag, on average, resulted in a 17 percent drop in engagement.

And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Buddy Media discovered that if you ask your followers to “RT,” you’ll get a 12 times higher retweet rate than if you don’t. However, if you spell out “retweet,” it jumps to 23 times higher.

If you’re struggling with low engagement, it might be worth adopting some of these tips as part of your social media strategy. For more interesting findings and tips, read the full report.

[Via: Mashable, Image credit: MDGovpics]