Buddy Media recently published the report “Strategies for Effective Tweeting: A Statistical Review”. Between December 11th, 2011 and February 23rd, 2012, Buddy Media analysed user engagement from more than 320 Twitter handles of the world’s biggest brands. The three primary success metrics reviewed were: reply rate, retweet rate and engagement rate. The report revealed some very useful statistics for brands that wish to improve their Twitter potential and to understand how best to engage with their followers. Here are a few key points from the report.
Length of tweet
You might think that 140 characters already make a very short message, but tweets containing less than 100 characters actually receive a 17% higher engagement than longer tweets according to Buddy Media. Therefore, keep it simple and as short as possible. Leaving some room in a tweet also allows followers to insert their own text before your content.
What to tweet
So, you should always strive to be short and precise when tweeting, but what should you make sure to include within those few characters? Tweets that contain links receive 86% higher retweet rates than tweets with no links, and tweets with image links double the engagement rates compared to tweets without image links.
Using hashtags to identify themes or topics, can also increase engagement for brand tweets but don’t overdo it.
Tweets with hashtags receive twice as much engagement than those without hashtags. But using too many hashtags has a negative impact. Tweets with one or two hashtags receive 21% higher engagement than those with three or more hashtags. Using more than two hashtags actually leads to a 17% drop in engagement.
Another tip is to ask for a retweet. Tweets that ask followers to retweet receive 12 times higher retweet rates than tweets that don’t. This is a good way for marketers to spread their content further very easily.
When to tweet
Twitter engagement rates for brands are 17% higher on Saturday and Sunday compared to weekdays. As the chart below shows, brands are tweeting too much in the middle of the week and not enough during the weekend.
Scheduling content to gain more engagement over the weekend is therefore a good idea. In addition, tweets during “busy hours” (8AM-7PM) receive 30% higher engagement than tweets published outside that time frame. This is the exact opposite of Facebook, where posts on ”non busy hours” perform better and get a 17% higher engagement. It is therefore a very good idea for brands to use both Facebook and Twitter in their communication but use them at different times.
A full copy of the Buddy Media report can be found here.