A Guide to Using Twitter to Increase Audience Engagement

Many businesses don’t know how to use Twitter to achieve their promotional goals. They compare Twitter to impression-based models like billboards, TV, or radio, where the objective is to get impressions with as many ears or eyes as possible.

SEE ALSO: Examining the News Habits of Facebook and Twitter Users

But Twitter doesn’t necessarily work that way. Because it’s a social platform (which means it’s basically a cocktail party), constant self-promotion won’t work. But the ROI is out there – according to research by Nielsen and Twitter, 56% of consumers said the content they see on Twitter influences them when buying a service or product.

To measure success, one of the best KPIs (key performance indicators) is Twitter engagement rate. This KPI works for prospective clients, existing clients and even customer service. To calculate engagement rate, simply take the sum of the number of clicks, retweets, replies, follows and favorites, and divide that amount by the total number of impressions.

Know Your Audience

Start by making sure your Twitter profile appeals to your target audience and the type of service or product they need. Many companies overlook this step and have older messaging, poorly written profiles, or no profile or background image. Twitter also allows you to pin a tweet that will always show at the top of your profile, which is a great way to highlight a promotion or contest.

Prepare to Be Different

You need to be noticed before you can influence. Show your brand’s personality, and be a little controversial. Be funny, and don’t be afraid to engage with your industry’s leaders. For example, the @Senators NHL hockey team used a LEGO character for game-day posts throughout their NHL playoff run.

Be Findable and Share Friendly

In a sea of tweets, using hashtags can help other interested tweeters find your content. Services such as Hashtagify clue you into what’s popular. A Microsoft study found that 18% of retweeted content contained hashtags. However, don’t go hashtag crazy. If you’re unsure how to go about hashtagging, check out this guide.

But just because your tweets are findable doesn’t mean people will share them. According to Jerry Low from Crazy Egg, “People are lazy. Tweets that need extensive editing work simply get fewer retweets. Ideally, you should limit your tweets to between 80 and 110 characters.”

Constantly Refine Through Testing

When composing tweets, constantly test different variations. Buffer App follows a highly scientific approach when writing tweets. They measure headline variations, time of day, and a number of other variables to consistently improve upon their engagement rates. To make your tweets more compelling, use action words that work.

Customer Service

According to customer service expert Shep Hyken, social media is powerful for displaying exemplary customer service in 2015. But your customer service department needs to be proactive by providing useful information and sharing videos and articles that answer pre-sale questions many people have.

Hyken also strongly feels that speed counts, and companies should look to respond to a customer’s question or issue through the same channel and as quickly as possible. The 2014 American Express Gold Customer Service Barometer indicated that 25% of consumers who complain on social media expect a response in less than an hour!

With the above facts kept in mind, you should have no problem pushing your Twitter engagement numbers through the roof!

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