Twitter Success Playbook: How to Increase Twitter Engagement

Twitter success playbook how to increase twitter engagement
  • Do you want to increase Twitter engagement for your company?
  • Do you want to know the secrets to Twitter success?
  • Do you want to work with 98 Marketing to achieve your marketing goals? (Ok, I just threw in that last one because we had you saying “yes” almost automatically)

My team and I scoured the Twitterverse to bring you concrete, proven strategies to get the most out of your Twitter activity. We went through thousands of accounts, of businesses both large and small, of influencers and brands – all to find out what actually works.

First we give you the overall lessons we learned. If you read on, you’ll get the specifics, the deep dive, and the particulars. Without further ado, let’s jump into the main lessons we extracted for you:

Twitter Success and Increasing Twitter Engagement

When it comes to success on Twitter, and specifically how to increase Twitter engagement, the first thing you need to do is define what success is for you. Is it direct, incoming leads? Is it connection to influencers? Is it a Twitter account that shows off your business as being professional, active and trustworthy? For most organizations, all of these, and more, are goals when it comes to Twitter. 

Based on our research, the following are the differentiators when it comes to being successful on Twitter and increasing Twitter engagement:

1. Have a strategy

You’ll be surprised by how many brands do not have a clear strategy when it comes to Twitter. Tweets are all over the place, and often you have no idea what this organization actually does, or what they are trying to achieve. Having a strategy means knowing your audience, knowing your brand, and being confidently bold with your messaging in order to achieve your desired outcomes.

2. Create consistency

A big part of increasing Twitter engagement and being successful on the platform is consistency. Consistency in messaging, in tone and voice, in graphics and imagery. Consistency in the types of articles you retweet, in your use of emojis and how you answer comments and questions.

3. Offer value

People need a reason to take notice of you. They certainly need a reason to engage with you. Adding value to your audience’s lives is a great way of increasing engagement. Across all the successful Twitter strategies we researched, this was almost always a factor in a brand’s success, and always led to higher engagement. 

4. Look professional

At the very least, ensure you look professional. For potential clients and partners checking out your social media channels (and they will check out your social media channels), ensure your bio is on point, your pinned tweet is pristine, and that your timeline offers a professional look at your organization. 

5. Leverage your organization

Putting up a tweet that gets zero engagement is like shouting into a canyon. But this should never be the case. Additionally, which is more likely to get you to like, retweet or comment on a Tweet – one that has zero engagement, or one that already has a few likes and retweets, maybe a question or two?

Consistently, brands that are killing it on Twitter ensure that their own employees are engaging. Pull your team into your Twitter strategy. If everyone in your organization, or even some people in your company like or retweet, it can make a huge difference. 

It’s like a rocket launched into orbit with extra boosters at takeoff. What we’ve seen is that this comes down to communication. If you can show how important it is for tweets to get good internal engagement, your team members will be more likely to get on board. And sometimes the best performing tweets are the ones that make your employees feel the proudest. Take this tweet from General Electric, noting how it’s liked and retweeted by so many people from within GE, and makes employees proud to be part of the organization: 

6. Get the basics right

This means everything from understanding and using hashtags correctly, to avoiding tagging too many people within the tweet itself. We’ll talk more about these in the actual results below. 

Finally nothing beats organic growth, reaching out to influencers and potential partners, posting consistently, and following these critical guidelines. For help with your social media strategy, including Twitter, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. It’s where we excel, and we’d be happy to set up a no-obligations call. 

Increasing Twitter Engagement Study: Methodology

It’s easy for companies with millions of dollars in marketing budget to create engagement on Twitter. A collaboration with a celebrity can lead to massive gains, albeit at a cost of millions of dollars. 

But we wanted to see what real, “normal” companies are doing on Twitter. Companies like yours. Organic posts, excluding ads and endorsements.

We wanted to avoid household names that already have a strong, active brand following. This eliminated the likes of Wendy’s, Netflix and General Electric – which are all super trong on Twitter but businesses are probably not very similar to yours.. 

We put certain criteria in place. We wanted to investigate companies:

  • From a diverse range of industries
  • That were mid-sized
  • That were recognized for being leaders by a reputable 3rd-party

We therefore chose Forbes’ “America’s Best Midsize Employers” list, in partnership with Statista. We took the top 10 companies, removed companies that were inactive on Twitter, and added 2 Twitter accounts that should be “Gold Standard”: the official Twitter Marketing account, and Sprout Social. If anyone knows the inside scoop, the “tips and tricks” of Twitter success, it should be these brands. In addition, we went through literally thousands of different types of Twitter accounts to extract learnings, and see what really works. 

Our final list:

  1. TripAdvisor
  2. Penguin Random House
  3. HNTB
  4. AARP
  5. Workday
  6. Twitter Marketing
  7. Sprout Social

Twitter Engagement and Twitter Success Study: The Results

Brand #1: TripAdvisor

Average tweet engagement: 5 retweets, 15 likes

Recent high performing tweet: 19 retweets, 68 likes

For TripAdvisor, Twitter could be the perfect platform to boost business and appeal to future customers. The short nature of posts, the use of images, the popularity of lists and the typical audience demographic all are conducive to Twitter success for the brand.

What we love: The brand engages with users who have commented or replied. Beautiful imagery is leveraged effectively. 

Areas for improvement: There isn’t a strong visual look from the brand – compared to a Mailchimp for example. More can be done regarding engaging with retweets. Hashtags aren’t used effectively enough. Not leveraging their own content and blog. 

Examples of good tweets:

High performer:

Learnings from their most successful tweets:

  • Give people something inspiring to share: TripAdvisor did this successfully with tweets like “11 books to boost your travel inspiration” or their collaboration with artist Kara Hoblin
  • Add compelling images
  • Images, images images! Beautiful images arrest the eye
  • Adding their own comments to article posts

Brand #2: Penguin Random House

Average tweet engagement: 5 retweets, 15 likes

Recent high performing tweet: 104 retweets, 140 likes

As a publisher of some of the world’s best-known titles, Penguin Random House has the opportunity to use Twitter to leverage and engage authors, readers and book enthusiasts around the world. 

What we love: Sharing staff picks. Leveraging their own podcast. Originality of posting poems has shown results. 

Areas for improvement: Too much tagging of potentially lesser-known people in tweets dilutes their effectiveness – and makes them hard to read. Under-optimized hashtag strategy. Visual consistency can be improved. 

Recent high performing tweet:

Learnings from their most successful tweets:

  • Sweepstakes and competitions still work (see their pinned Tweet)
  • Lists are always a good idea – in this case it’s “Fantasy Classics”
  • Usage of gifs increases engagement

Brand #3: HNTB

Average tweet engagement: 3 retweets, 3 likes

Recent high performing tweet: 13 retweets, 24 likes

HNTB is an employee-owned infrastructure solutions firm. It’s not the most glamorous business, but it shows some great lessons on how brands can be creative – in their own way, not just in terms of design and copywriting – to see engagement. Their engagement numbers are not huge, BUT for the number of followers they have, they’re beating some of the world’s biggest brands.

What we love: Highlighting community and staff engagement. 

Areas for improvement: It’s great that employees are mentioned specifically, but this is less relevant in many cases for readers of the brand’s tweets. Twitter bio could include more pertinent information and a website/call to action. 

Recent high performing tweet:

Learnings from their most successful tweets:

  • Employees retweet and like
  • Employee initiative is highlighted
  • “Behind the scenes” are incorporated

Brand #4: AARP

Average tweet engagement: 5 retweets, 5 likes

Recent high performing tweet: 47 retweets, 87 likes

AARP is dedicated to empowering Americans aged 50 and older. Not exactly the typical Twitter demographic, right? (It could be worse, it could be TikTok!).  

What we love: Tweets are very specific to audience interests. Highlighting their blog posts regularly. 

Areas for improvement: Tweets could be more engagement-friendly. Brand could engage more (e.g. comment on Retweets or comments).

Recent high performing tweet:

Learnings from their most successful tweets:

Brand #5: Workday

Average tweet engagement: 4 retweets, 10 likes

Recent high performing tweet: 45 retweets, 115 likes

Workday is an enterprise cloud solution for finance, HR, and planning. It’s typical of a company marketing to businesses of different sizes. 

Areas for improvement: There doesn’t seem to be a common thread or a defined strategy to their Twitter activity. Images should be improved. Tweets can get long and technical, don’t grab attention immediately. Tweets highlighting employees and initiatives do well and should be encouraged.

Recent high performing tweet:

Learnings from their most successful tweets:

  • Engagement (retweets and likes) from employees, ex-employees and industry professionals
  • Big announcements

Brand #6: Twitter Marketing

Average tweet engagement: 15 retweets, 50 likes

Recent high performing tweet: 205 comments, 46 retweets, 251 likes

Twitter marketing is the official global marketing channel of Twitter. Its aim is to encourage companies to use Twitter as a marketing platform. The account shows great consistency in sticking to its goals and sharing interesting content. Of course, it has the luxury of being native to the platform (0 followers, 0 following yet tweets get hundreds of engagements), but there is certainly much that can be learned from them. 

What we love: INCREDIBLE follow up from the account. Many people’s comments are replied to, liked, and engaged with. Their own blog posts are highlighted. Short tweets FTW. 

Recent high performing tweet:

Learnings from their most successful tweets:

  • Consistent look and feel
  • Tweet their own content such as regularly uploaded blog posts
  • Add value. For example:

Brand #7: Sprout Social

Average tweet engagement: 3 retweets, 8 likes

Recent high performing tweet: 19 retweets, 68 likes

Sprout Social is a fantastic social media management platform. If anyone should “get” Twitter and social media, it’s these guys. However on closer inspection, their engagement is far from spectacular. This just goes to show that organic engagement is a) not easy b) should come with realistic expectations c) is not the most important KPI in Twitter marketing success. 

What we love: Graphically beautiful. Interesting content. 

Areas for improvement: Limited follow-up on Retweets by the brand. Limited use of hashtags. 

Recent high performing tweet:

Learnings from their most successful tweets:

  • Promoting their blog posts
  • Using emojis to uplift posts
  • Retweeting interesting articles
  • Commenting on retweets
  • Adding value. For example: 

Increased Twitter Engagement and What Twitter Is Great For

To end off, we offer our last few tips:

Adjust expectations

If you go into your Twitter strategy expecting thousands of likes and hundreds of retweets, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Even the biggest brands in the world don’t achieve those numbers consistently on organic tweets, and that’s with millions of followers and a household name. 

Think like a business, not a celebrity. Don’t ask a general question and expect a million replies, but do post content that’s interesting for your target audience. The more consistent you are, the more engagement you build over time. 

Twitter engagement: quality over quantity

Sure, Twitter engagement is a great metric. However, it’s not the only indicator of your success on the platform. Just because people don’t always like or retweet you, doesn’t mean they aren’t seeing your message, aren’t connecting with you, and aren’t changing their perception of you. They are. In fact, if you look at many “leading” companies’ engagement – the people liking or retweeting – they fall completely outside their target audience. So keep at it; consistency is key as we’ve said before, and be relevant, be on-message, and keep engaging! 

Thought leadership

One of the most important roles of Twitter is to show the world, and particularly your target audience, that you know what you’re talking about, you’re a leader in your field, and that you have value to offer. That you’re professional, a true thought leader, and that your company is alive, active and going places. Our takeaways throughout this article can be leveraged to achieve these outcomes.

Connecting to influencers

Unfortunately, you can’t expect influencers of your industry to randomly or spontaneously get in touch with you. You have to reach out to them, you have to start the conversation. It also means you have to build goodwill. You have to like their tweets, comment, share. Building these connections is a huge part of behind-the-scenes Twitter success. When one of these people then shares something you’ve put out – say a blog post you’ve tweeted about – your engagement will go through the roof. It takes hard work, but it’s worth it.

Getting started

This may seem a bit daunting, but trust us it’s totally doable. We’ve seen it being done, and we’ve done it ourselves for brands ranging from Fortune 500 companies to 3-person startups. If you want help with your Twitter strategy, get in touch with us for a free, no obligations call. 

Questions? Comments? Leave them below! 👇

About 98 Marketing

The team at 98 Marketing craft eye-catching and goal-oriented content and social media campaigns, and are experts at training marketing teams, being “on-demand CMOs”, and partnering with clients to build their marketing strategy and execute it successfully. Want incredible blogs and social channels? Looking for your own custom marketing plan? We’re here for you.

1 thought on “Twitter Success Playbook: How to Increase Twitter Engagement”

  1. Pingback: The Best Marketing Agency In Israel: What You Should Expect (with Infographic) – 98 Marketing

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *