Twitter Growth Hacks: Actionable Tactics To Boost Engagement

In my post on Instagram growth hacks that I published last week, but before you get into this post on Twitter growth hacks, I want to make one thing clear:

This post does not contain shady growth hacks promised to skyrocket your following and double your engagement rate in less than 24 hours.

This post contains scalable, actionable growth marketing tactics that will help you engage with your Twitter followers.


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Why Brands on Twitter Should Focus on Follower Engagement, Not Just Acquisition 

If you search for Twitter growth hacks, dozens of the articles solely focus on how to grow your brand’s Twitter following, but not a lot of them even mention specific tactics to keep new followers engaged.

Follower engagement is a problem even top brands are struggling to deal with. According to a study by Social Bakers, the top 25 brands on Twitter have engagement rates around .07%. However, in comparison, a small business with 1,000 followers and manages to get 3 likes and 2 retweets will still have a pretty good 0.5% engagement rate.


Twitter Users on Twitter
Photo Credit: Kei Sato/Dribbble

There are several ways followers can engage with your Twitter post:

  • Likes
  • Retweets
  • Replies
  • Impressions
  • Follows
  • Mentions (@)
  • Link clicks
  • Profile clicks
  • Permalink clicks
  • Media expands
  • Poll votes

Why is this all important? 

Brands that focus on both follower acquisition and engagement are likely to turn followers into brand loyalists–in fact, a study by Convince&Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands on social media are more likely to be loyal to those brands.

In addition, brands who engage with their followers are better at providing customer support, increasing their brand recognition, increasing traffic to their website, and thereby, generating more leads and conversions. As a matter of fact, a 2013 study found that 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from the brands they follow, 79% are more likely to recommend those friends to others, and 69% of users will follow other brands based on the recommendations of others.

So if you’re ready to generate more revenue and build a stronger relationship with your Twitter followers, consider adding these effective Twitter growth hacks to your growth marketing toolbox.


Tweet Up a Storm in a Twitter Thread

Twitter threads are a linear series of tweets used to share a developing story that takes more than 280 characters or to revisit old tweets.

You’ve probably seen journalists and publications use Twitter threads to share information about a developing news story or event and public figures go on epic “tweetstorms”, but threads are also an incredibly useful engagement and PR tool for businesses. You can:

  • Announce a new feature or product.
  • Host an AMA with a member of your team.
  • Introduce and congratulate a new company hire.
  • Tell a funny or suspenseful story.
  • Rant about a newsworthy event or issue that your company cares about.
  • Provide customer support by offering step-by-step instructions.  
  • Live tweet from an event.

Twitter threads have become so popular in the past year that the company has introduced a new “threads” feature that makes it super easy to compose an entire thread. After writing your first tweet, simply click the “+” button on the compose screen to add another tweet to the thread. This also gives you the option of adding a photo, video, GIF, or Twitter poll to any (or all) tweets within your thread.

How to start a twitter thread
Photo Credit: Tech Crunch

Curate Content into a Twitter Moment

Let’s say you want to share a series of tweets about a local event, but you also want to incorporate content shared by other attendees. Instead of using a Twitter thread, you can create a Twitter Moment. Twitter Moments is a relatively new tool that allows anyone to curate multiple tweets into a slideshow.

Unlike Twitter threads, you can incorporate tweets you’ve liked, include a tweet you’ve found in a Twitter search, and include tweets from specific accounts into your Twitter Moments.

Pro Tip: After you’ve created a Moment, turn it into a piece of blog content by embedding it on your blog!


Survey Your Followers Using Twitter Polls

Several Twitter growth hacking articles will recommend asking questions to your followers to improve engagements, but many people aren’t likely to answer questions that are open-ended or far too personal.

To increase engagements, one of my go-to tools is the Twitter Poll feature. Twitter Polls allow you to ask multiple-choice questions to your followers and allow them to chime in with one click. Anyone can vote on your poll–even people who don’t follow your account–and all of the results are displayed in real time.

Better yet, for Twitter users who may be a bit wary about sharing their opinion about an issue or topic on a public platform, Twitter Polls are designed to be completely anonymous, meaning nobody will be able to see who voted or what they voted for. This is a great way to encourage people to actively engage with your content without any friction.


“Open for a Surprise”

Let’s be honest, we ALL love a good surprise–especially when cute animals are involved. That’s exactly how the “Open for a surprise” Twitter trend took off last year.

When you upload a photo, Twitter may collapse the photo to make it fit in a user’s stream. This, however, results in a portion of a photo being hidden unless a user clicks on the post to see the entire photo. Knowing this, some clever Twitter users began uploading seemingly blank pictures of their adorable pets with the caption “Open for a surprise”.  Needless to say, this caption worked exceptionally well, earning hundreds of thousands of tweets and likes from users.

If you want to try this tactic for yourself, take a vertical picture on your smartphone and include the “surprise” at the very bottom of the photo–the further down, the better. I recommend making your surprise a funny message, a cute animal, a silly face, or something lighthearted and engaging.

Open for a Surprise


Record a Live Video on Twitter

Share exclusive video content with your Twitter audience using the live video feature, powered by Periscope! With live video, you can record an AMA with your company’s founder, share a product tutorial, or record an interview with an influencer in your industry or field.

There are some great advantages of recording live video on Twitter versus Facebook or Instagram. For one, your live videos are public and searchable on both on Twitter and Periscope, giving your video the opportunity to reach a wider audience. You can also interact with your followers in real time during a live video broadcast!

Pro Tip: If your marketing team has an enterprise-level budget to spend on video content, Twitter introduced Periscope Producer, a platform that allows brands and organizations to produce high-quality live videos with professional-grade cameras and streaming software.

Twitter Live Video, Powered by Periscope
Photo Credit: The Verge

Stay In The Neighborhood With Local Twitter Trends

Every Twitter user is shown tailored trends–these are trending hashtags or stories–thanks to an algorithm that factors in who you follow, your interests, and your location. However, if you want to create content that reaches an audience in a geographical location, consider selecting a specific “trend location” to see what people are talking about in your specific city or country.

Keep in mind that even if you choose to view trends in a specific area, Twitter will still display larger world events and newsworthy topics.

Twitter Trends & Hashtags
Photo Credit: Social Media Verve

Share Twitter Content On Your Blog or Website

A great way to improve your Twitter engagement rate is by sharing the content you post on Twitter on your website or blog. There are several ways of doing this.

First, you can embed your tweets on your website or blog. By embedding your tweets, you’re not only sharing your Twitter content to a large audience, but you’re also giving your website or blog visitors a chance to like, comment, or retweet your post. The biggest caveat, however, is that if a user wants to like, share, or comment on an embedded tweet, Twitter will redirect them back to their web or mobile app in order to complete that action.

Secondly, you can add your company’s Twitter timeline to your website or blog. Several content management systems may have third-party widgets that will do this for you, but you can also use Twitter’s widget as well.

Finally, you can use a “Click to Tweet” widget embedded in a blog post or web page to encourage visitors to share your content on Twitter in a few clicks. I recommend adding 2-3 “Click to Tweet” buttons in a blog post that feature a short quote, fact, or statistic from your content.

Sample Click to Tweet Button
Photo Credit: void Tricks

Add a Customer Support Indicator & Direct Message Button

In 2016, Twitter introduced new customer support features that make it easier for users to seek out help from businesses. The first feature is a “customer support indicator”, which allows businesses to add a “Provides support” notification next to their account name whenever someone searches for their business on Twitter. This allows displays the hours you’re most responsive to support requests.

Twitter Customer Service Hours Indicator

The second feature is a Direct Message button added directly under your company’s bio. Enabling this feature will allow you to receive Direct Message from anyone, including users who do not follow your page.

Twitter Direct Message for Customer Service


Determine a Twitter Posting Schedule That Works For Your Company & Audience

Determining a tweeting frequency is a tricky balance. If you tweet too much, your followers’ timelines will be oversaturated with your content, but tweet too little and your followers may miss an important post.

Unfortunately, even social media pros haven’t come to a consensus on how frequently you should tweet per day. An article from Fast Company recommends tweeting 14 times per day, Neil Patel recommends sharing 1-5 tweets per day to optimal engagements, and social media specialist Rivka Hodgkinson suggests starting with 5-7 blog posts per day.

It’s important to note that how many times you tweet also depend on how much content your business is able to produce. For companies producing original content, go for an “80/20” balance–80% of your tweets should contain original content that links back to your blog or website, and the other 20% can be user-generated content or content from other sources.

Finally, factor in when your audience is most likely to be active on Twitter. If you’re a B2B company, plan your tweets during peak business hours (i.e. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.). B2C companies may also want to experiment sending some tweets on weekends as well. Also, take into consideration times people are likely to be browsing on their smartphones, like during their morning commute (6 a.m – 9 a.m), their evening commute (5 p.m. – 7 p.m) and during their lunch break (12 p.m. – 3 p.m). In any case, make sure you run controlled tests to determine the best Twitter posting schedule for you.

For additional insights into the best times to post on Twitter, check out this insightful post from CoSchedule!

Pro Tip: Use a social media automation tool, like Buffer and Hootsuite. They have customizable scheduling tools that make it easy to automatically share posts and analyze their performance.

Scheduling Tweets using Buffer


Before I wrap up, there are a few quick tips you should keep in mind whenever you publish a tweet:

  • Including a link to your website or blog in every tweet is not necessary. Tweeting without links can actually get you 25.1% more retweets, favorites, and replies!
  • If you include a URL in your tweet, try to use a URL link shortener tool, like Bit.ly or Goo.gl. A study also suggests that including a URL in the middle of a tweet makes it 26% more likely to be retweeted.
  • Always (when it makes sense, of course) include an image with your tweet. Tweets with images have higher click-through rates are 150% more likely to be retweeted. And don’t be afraid to switch it up by including animated GIFs!
  • Don’t forget about hashtags! Include 1-2 hashtags in each tweet to boost your reach, but don’t overdo it! Here’s a quick refresher on how (and how not) to use hashtags correctly.

That’s all for now! Did I miss something? Let me know by tweeting me at @Ladderdigital!


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