By Chris Lee
With 140 million users and 340 million updates each day, Twitter is now an integral part of modern business strategies. But how many brands can actually say they derive maximum business value from their Twitter strategies? To help brands and individuals alike improve their Twitter practice, digital consultancy Buddy Media ran a study into what works best on Twitter.
Twitter best practice
According to Buddy Media’s tweeting best practice guide, tweets that contain less than 100 characters receive 17 per cent more engagement than longer tweets. Tweets that contain links receive 86 per cent higher retweet (RT) rates than tweets with no links.
Buddy Media’s research also identified the best times for brands to tweet. When brands tweet during “busy hours” (8am-7pm), they receive a third (30 per cent) higher engagement than tweets that fall during “non-busy hours” (8pm-7am). The converse is true for posting on Facebook, according to Buddy Media’s “Statistics for Effective Facebook Wall Posts” data report.
Five top Twitter tips for business
NMK asked Luca Benini, Buddy Media’s managing director in Europe, to provide his top tips for businesses based on his company’s findings. According to Benini:
1. Saturday night’s alright for tweeting: In fact, engagement rates are 17 per cent higher during the whole weekend. Marketers can take advantage of this by using scheduling functionality which is available from the likes of ConversionBuddy, as this allows them to share tweets regardless of whether anyone is in the office.
2. Time your tweets: Tweets sent during what is considered a consumer’s “busy hours” (8am-7pm) generate 30 per cent more engagement. Interestingly, this is the exact opposite for Facebook, so brands can take advantage of this and create an “always on” conversation by focusing on Facebook interaction in “non-busy hours” (8pm-7pm).
3. #Don’t #over #do #it: Our data shows that tweets with two or less hashtags generate 21 per cent higher engagement – but any more than this risks a 17 per cent drop in interaction.
The “less is more” approach also applies to the volume of tweets you send into the ether each day, as we found that the more you tweet, the less engaging your tweets may become. This is also the case with Facebook: last year we revealed that posting less than three times per day produces 40 per cent higher user engagement.
4. Speed, not haste: Twitter is designed to keep our updates short and sweet, so marketers should embrace this. It’s a great way of driving traffic to other outlets and short, enticing descriptions make the links they share seem irresistible. Tweets which contain links also increase retweet rates by 86 per cent.
However, if brands wish to take advantage of this they must watch their formatting. 92 per cent of all linking errors can be attributed to not inserting a space before the actual link, so companies must check before they tweet to avoid losing those click-throughs.
5. Spell it Out: Tweeters seem to respond well to direction, with clear calls to action a key driver of brand interactions. For example, our Facebook data from last year revealed that instructions such as ‘like’ and ‘post’ generated the highest levels of interaction. The case is very similar with Twitter: we found that asking followers to ‘retweet’ drove 12 times more engagement.