While having thousands of Twitter (rebranded as “X”) followers is great, those numbers don’t mean much if those followers don’t engage with your Tweets. That’s akin to having something important to say but being unable to get people to listen to you. So even though the platform has a huge potential to drive brand visibility and growth, you may be unable to make full use of it if you can’t drive Twitter engagement.

In this post, we help you uncover some of the top strategies to bring up those social media engagement numbers and engage your Twitter audience more effectively. Let’s dive right in.

What is Twitter engagement and why does it matter?

Twitter engagement refers to all the ways people interact with your brand and its posts on the platform. So it not only includes likes, Retweets and replies but also brand mentions (tagged or not), follows, embedded media and links, just to name a few. In other words, it’s an indicator of how popular your brand is on the platform.

At this point, you may have started to get a fair idea of why Twitter engagement is so important. But let’s break it down and try to understand the specifics of why you should work on engaging your Twitter audience:

1. Massive audience base

The main appeal of Twitter is its massive audience base. With 330 million monthly active users recorded in 2019, it’s one of the biggest social media platforms and makes a significant contribution to brand visibility and growth. So you can imagine how the level of engagement you get on Twitter makes such a huge difference for your brand.

Graph chart showing the number of monthly active Twitter users by quarter

2. Builds exposure

Twitter allows users to quickly Retweet posts in just a few clicks, which could further promote sharing. And due to the Twitter algorithm, when people share your Tweets, it could help build exposure within their followers’ feeds.

Some likes and replies will show up in a person’s followers’ feeds, as you can see in the example below. A user liked Steak-umm’s Tweet, and that same Tweet appeared in her followers’ feed signifying that she liked it.

An example of a liked Tweet appearing in another users feed.

The best part is that this exposure doesn’t just end within the Twitterverse. With people often sharing screenshots of Tweets and conversations on other platforms or turning them into memes, you could potentially expand your reach even further. In fact, an estimated 1.6 billion unique visitors each month see Tweets through third-party platforms.

3. Boosts brand-consumer connection

With fewer privacy restrictions, Twitter allows brands to quickly discover and respond to Tweets concerning them. This allows you to connect with customers directly while resolving any complaints or issues at the earliest.

And when you engage with your audience this way, you get to strengthen your relationship with them. In fact, the Sprout Social #BrandsGetReal study found that liking or responding to a customer is the top social media behavior that can help brands connect with consumers.

4. Promotes openness

In line with the previous point, fewer restrictions also promotes transparency and openness between brands and consumers. Because interactions with customers through Tweets and replies is open for everyone else to see, it could quickly reach a large community.

How to measure engagement on Twitter

Now that you understand just how crucial Twitter engagement is, you’re probably curious where your current engagement rate stands. Keep in mind that your total engagements don’t translate directly to engagement rate on Twitter. You have to consider your following size too.

You may have hundreds of followers, but if only a small percentage of those followers like or Retweet your Tweets, your engagement rate needs improvement. Besides likes, Retweets and replies, you may also want to consider less typical actions like branded hashtag use, follows and linkbacks as engagement actions.

With so many factors to consider, it can be challenging to manually calculate your average Twitter engagement rate. And the native Twitter analytics won’t break it down for you either. So consider investing in a Twitter analytics tool to get a more accurate picture of your engagement and measure other performance metrics on the platform.

The Twitter analytics and reporting tool from Sprout lets you do just that. Your Twitter Reports dashboard will give you an in-depth look at your organic impressions, total engagements and link clicks. It also helps you track other metrics such as your net follower growth to gain a more comprehensive view of your Twitter performance.

Sprout Social Twitter Profiles reporting dashboard

5 ways to boost Twitter engagement

Once you start keeping a close eye on your Twitter engagement rate, you might notice a huge disparity between your following size and your engagements. That’s likely because you haven’t yet started making an active effort to boost your Twitter engagement. So check out these five strategies to get those numbers up:

1. Catch your audience at the right time

Timing is one of the most crucial factors that influence how well your Tweet performs or how many people engage with your Tweets. That’s because the platform sees around 350,000 Tweets on average every day. So it’s important to get your Tweet out at a time when people are highly active for a better chance of visibility.

At Sprout, we analyzed 20,000+ pieces of content from our customers to see how engagement changes by timing. Based on our findings, the best times to post on Twitter are around mid-mornings and mostly weekdays (Central Time). Of course, this might vary based on factors like location and industry. So test different timings for your Tweets to see what works best.

Based on data from Sprout Social, a data heat map show shows the best times to post on X (Twitter) globally in 2024.

2. Make the most of visual elements

Any regular Twitter user knows just how much a photo or video stands out on the platform amid all the text Tweets. On mobile, in particular, a Tweet with a visual element takes up at least half the screen. And the more visible your Tweet is, the more likely it is to engage your audience. In fact, if your Tweets include a GIF, those Tweets get 55% more engagement than those without.

So it’s crucial that you use visual elements if you want to boost your Twitter engagement. You could post original graphics to share useful information and updates, photos of your team, videos demonstrating how to use your product, tasteful memes relevant to your industry and more. Even if you have to share a link, make sure you include a thumbnail or attach a relevant picture.

Check out this Tweet from Evernote, for instance. The team could’ve easily just posted the text with the link to their productivity playlist. Instead, they included a photo of a cassette labeled “productivity jam.” This not only catches the eye instantly but is highly relevant to the link. Plus, it’s consistent with the brand’s green and white color scheme.

3. Interact with your customers’ Tweets

Drive up your Twitter engagement is by actively engaging with your audience yourself. Instead of routinely Tweeting and expecting the likes to flood in, why not give out likes and Retweets from your end as well? Based on the principle of reciprocity, engaging with others will make them feel more inclined to engage with you.

Plus, when you interact with your customers’ Tweets or replies, your conversation gains more visibility in the feeds of other users, as mentioned earlier. This makes way for even more engagement for your brand. Here’s an example of Chipotle responding to someone who thanked the company for giving him some free chips and guac.

Go one step further with this and engage with posts that don’t directly @mention your brand. For example, check out how Feedly responds to a prospective user’s Tweet because someone mentioned the brand in the replies.

4. Jump in on a trending conversation

It seems like Twitter sees a new viral topic every other day. Your brand can capitalize on this by participating in trending conversations and topics relevant to your industry or your company. This helps you gain visibility with people who have yet to followed you on Twitter, which then paves the way for more engagement.

For an easy way to discover trending conversations to participate in, click on “show more” under the “What’s happening” section at the right-hand side of your screen.

example of twitter trending topics overview

This will bring up a long list of trending conversations personalized just for you, either by location or interest. But you can also look for trending topics in other industries as well.

example of twitter personalized trending topics

Go through these topics to see whether there are any posts you could join the conversation with a reply or Retweet. Or see if there’s any trending hashtag that you could make use of.

5. Create polls on relevant topics

Drive up your Twitter engagement by creating interactive content like Twitter polls. Polls allow you to ask questions on relevant topics and choose between several options. And since people can vote with just a click, it’s an easy way for them to engage.

So consider creating Twitter polls regularly if you want to see more engagement. Perhaps you could ask them what they’re using your product for, for instance. You could also ask them about their preferences when it comes to your content such as what time you should post, what types of posts do they want to see from you. This doubles up as a tactic to feed your social content strategy.

Additionally, like this thread from Sprout, you could offer several useful tips through a series of Tweets and then use polls to ask your followers about their opinions on your tips.

Aiming for meaningful engagement

These are some of the basic strategies that can help you begin amplifying your Twitter engagement. But keep in mind that not all engagement is good engagement, and crisis management may need to be done. So at the core, whatever strategies and approaches you apply should help you drive meaningful engagement.

What other strategies have you used to improve your Twitter engagement? Are you using any tools to bring up those numbers? Let us know in the comments. And don’t forget to sign up for our free social media toolkit to get an even more comprehensive guide on boosting your engagement.

Use of Twitter nomenclature across Sprout refers to newly rebranded X platform and related terminology.