A Lesson In Social Media: How To Engage On Twitter

Photos, hashtags, links and videos are great ways to increase Twitter engagement – and you may even want to throw in a couple of screenshots!  

What makes a valuable Tweet? For such a seemingly simple premise, Twitter can be a tricky social media space to master for brands. You’ll want to add a bit of humor but you can’t take it too far as the risk of getting it wrong is high. Some companies will resort to using Twitter solely for responding to queries, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But for companies who get Twitter right, the rewards can be significant.
Cookie brand Oreo made headlines after responding to the 2013 Super Bowl blackout by Tweeting: “You can still dunk in the dark”. US fast food chain Arby’s, which has a cowboy hat in its logo, earned some well-deserved laughs after Tweeting at Pharrell Williams that it wanted its hat back. While most company Tweets won’t generate thousands of Retweets, there are several ways to boost the chances of engagement for more everyday brand content.
Here are some proven ways of boosting the chances of engagement, according to Twitter:

  • Photos are the best way to get a Retweet, increasing chances by 35%
  • Videos are the second best way, lifting chances by 28%
  • Including a quote is also popular, providing a 19% retweet bump
  • Hashtags remain popular, encouraging retweets by 16%

But, concluded Twitter: “It’s not just about optimising every single Tweet, but about building a compelling way for your followers and Twitter users to connect with you. […] While the measures detailed above can bring immediate rewards, they are not the end of the story.”.
On that note, here are some things to keep in mind when building brand engagement on Twitter, according to Salesforce:

  • Follow back and interact. The argument for interaction is obvious, but make sure the brand account follows people back too, or it suggests the company’s not interested in what people think.
  • Brevity is key. Research suggests short and snappy Tweets are better than longer ones. Keeping it to 110 characters or less is likely to lead to better engagement.
  • Leave it alone sometimes. If someone says something nice about the company, by all means ‘star’ that Tweet if you catch it – it’s kind of rude not to acknowledge a compliment. But there’s no need to respond to every mention of the company.
  • And by all means, keep it social. This isn’t a conference – spread the company message, sure, but have fun with it!

Rise of the screenshot
Speaking of having fun with Twitter, an interesting recent phenomenon on the network is the rise of the screenshot. If this sounds silly, bear with us – not only are millennials all over screenshots, usually from smartphone screens – but also screenshots of text actually get better engagement on Twitter than just written text. Case in point: when venture capitalist Chris Dixon tweeted a link to an article on how “Nikola Tesla predicted the iPhone” it got 109 Retweets, but when he Tweeted a readable screenshot of the piece, it got over 4,200, according to Wired.
That may sound odd, but screenshots are not only quirky – they’re a brilliant tool for circumventing Twitter’s character limit. By ‘screenshotting’ what you’ve just written and attaching it to the Tweet as a photo, you can get everything you want to say into a single Tweet instead of having to create a chain. If you want to convey something important, this is a great way to ensure nuance isn’t lost when people retweet it, nor does it necessarily require readers to click through to a blog post. Screenshots can also be the perfect way to share a snippet of text from an article or book, a funny text message exchange, or to document a silly autocorrect mistake.
You can get in touch with us here at Midphase on Twitter quickly and easily. We love to hear from our customers; simply send us a Tweet @Midphase!