Twitter Brand Pages launched about a month ago, but according to an eye tracking study, brands need to work harder to engage users. One of the major finds of the study is that once an individual is following a brand there is little reason for him or her to return to its page.

In an effort to catch up to the way in which Facebook and Google+ handle corporate presences, Twitter launched Brand Pages, which include space for company logos, taglines, and the ability to embed videos and other media.

SimpleUsability studied four – Coca-Cola, HP, McDonald’s, and Staples – of the 21 Brand Pages that went live last month. The company found that the best way to engage users was to offer visual content in Promoted Tweets and on the Brand Pages.

Results also found that too much of a “corporate feel” deterred users, but it’s important to find a comfortable balance, as consumers still turn to Twitter to learn more about your brand. If your page comes across as sales-heavy you will lose visitors. One way to draw repeat visitors to your page is to host contests and promotions. The study found that consumers engaged in promotions not only returned to the page, but stayed on it longer.

Unsurprisingly, the study revealed that most users want Brand Pages to show a “more human side” to the company. It pointed out that HP scored well because it didn’t focus too heavily on sales and advertising and made an effort to respond to individual tweets – including those related to customer support issues.

Twitter Brand Pages are still new to the platform, but the idea isn’t. Consider what works for you on other sites, such as Facebook, and apply some of the same lessons to Twitter. You can see more specific findings in SimpleUsability’s briefing paper.

[Image credit: Pete Simon]