Buffer analyzed its data to learn how to increase the engagement each Tweet generates.
Generating engagement by Tweeting is the white whale, the unicorn, the holy grail of any self-respecting social media communicator on the web. Everyone wants it, everyone who has it wants more, and yet… it doesn’t always happen.
Buffer, a social media management platform that is making a name for itself among social media professionals, at least those in the know, recently carried out an experiential study to determine the impact and engagement created by a million Tweets.
This study defined the ‘engagement‘ of a Tweet as:
- number of Retweets
- additions to favorites
- mentions in posts
… all divided by the number of followers of the account in question.
The engagement level of a Tweet is a true indicator of the impact that running a Twitter account has; but it is also the best way to measure the effectiveness of a post based on the effect it has on your image (and you know the importance of l’image on the web).
The work undertaken by Buffer involved significant effort, and they’ve produced an excellent infographic that we will share with you further down.
We’ve tried to sort the wheat from the chaff for you, so here are the salient points:
Hints for increasing your Tweets’ engagement levels:
Twitter, with its posts that are limited to 140 characters, forces its users to optimize their interactions with one another (and that’s what we like about it!). Here are five hints to improve your Tweets and improve your engagement:
Unsurprisingly, Tweets that contain images are much more engaging than those that only contain text: and obviously they are much more prominent on Social Wall ;)
- The quantity of text that accompanies an image also has a role to play in building engagement: a short message (of 20 to 40 characters) generates more engagement than a longer message.
On the other hand, when a Tweet contains nothing but text, it seems to be more effective to draft a slightly longer message, between 120 and 140 characters. (Editor’s note: avoid getting too close to the 140-character limit however if you want to be Retweeted properly).
Believe it or not, Tweets that contain links generate less engagement. Take this into account, particularly for campaigns aimed at increasing awareness and raising your profile. (Editor’s note: do not under any circumstances stop Tweeting your links; even though they generate less engagement, they still have a big impact on traffic levels!)
And finally, the Hashtag! Or rather, #HASHTAGS! Obviously, as you all already know, Hashtags increase posts’ visibility, and consequently the engagement that they generate. Eight seems to be the optimal number of Hashtags for generating engagement. (Editor’s note: eight hashtags still seems a little excessive and leaves little room for the message: in my opinion, neither Twitter nor Buffer will hold it against you if you want to cut back a bit!) If you’re not yet completely comfortable with using hashtags, we suggest that you return to the article on Online Marketing and Hashtags: an initial approach in six steps. At Dialogfeed, we like Hashtags even more because they are our raw material when promoting user generated content based on the topics that your social walls target!
Of course, those figures only apply on averages, and a million Tweets only represents 0.2% of the Tweets that are sent each a day. All in all, it’s not all that many. Nonetheless, a graph of the averages taken from an extensive sample like this can still provide some valuable insights. So now it’s down to you to put these insights to the test using your own products, your own target audiences, and so on.
Here’s the infographic that will revolutionize the way you Tweet ;)
For those who want to dig a little deeper, the full article published by Buffer with graphs and additional analysis (in English).