New Research Reveals Twitter Best Practices

With more than 271 million active monthly users, Twitter’s social media presence continues to grow globally, and with this growth comes increased interest in brands creating a Twitter presence. A study just released by SalesForce Marketing Cloud is the first of its kind to give a benchmark for Twitter metrics based on 3+ million tweets throughout the course of 2013.

The infographic below gives the scoop on their findings, but here’s a few key take-aways and our thoughts on each one:

1)  A picture is worth 1,000 words:

Brands seem to be underestimating the power of a picture. On average, pics are tweeted only 8% of the time. However, it may be time for a change in strategy, since research shows tweets with photos generate considerably higher engagement.

OUR THOUGHTS: We’ve seen this ourselves while managing accounts for several clients. The evolution of the social web has been led by visual first mediums (Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) so it only makes sense for user behavior to carry through to other platforms. All it takes to confirm this on is jumping on your Twitter timeline and noticing what is catching your eye – that tweet with a (proper) picture is an immediate attention grabber, specially for newer and less experienced Twitter users.

2) The more the merrier:

According to SalesForce’s report: “In 2013, companies tracked an average 43% increase in Twitter followers”. That means, it’s time brands started to kick their social media strategy up a notch to make sure they capitalize on an increase in followers.

OUR THOUGHTS: It’s good to see audiences grow in numbers, but specially on Twitter numbers don’t mean much if the conversation is not there. Twitter can be great for having a large following to talk to, but the real value is in listen to them as well, which some brands forget to do sometimes!

3) Sunday Funday:

Did you know that Sunday is the day with the highest engagement? While most brands are very active during the week, corporate social media seems to go silent on the weekends for the most part as community managers might take the weekend off. High Twitter presence and engagement on the weekends is a huge opportunity for brands, since followers seem to be most active during the weekend.

OUR THOUGHTS: Might this be a case of simple correlation? I would take this point with a grain of salt, since Saturday and specially Sunday activity levels might be naturally high due to sporting events, weekend outings, etc. which will generate more conversation than during the regular working week. While Twitter is buzzing on weekends, it might not mean your brand will be so welcome in the conversation depending on your industry and your audience.

4) Check the Leaderboard: 

Certain industries garner more engagement than others.

Media and entertainment, financial services, and education and non-profit industries receive the most retweets per tweet (23.6, 17.1, and 15.3, respectively), while the most replies go to media and entertainment, retail and e-commerce, and education and non-profit (7.7, 3.0, and 2.8, respectively).

Pay attention to the trends in your industry, and be sure to try and tailor your social media strategy towards promoting more of your consumers’ desired method of engagement.

OUR THOUGHTS: Some companies, brands and industries are, by nature, more social than others. Not everybody is as eager to discuss your products as they might be inclined to talk about entertainment, sports, etc. or customer service might not be a core part of your offering so conversations are harder to come by. The more businesses understand this before they jump on twitter, the more they will get out of the platform, or sometimes just skip it altogether.

5) Prime time is the right time

Pay attention to when your followers are engaging with your brand the most. According to the report, there are key times when followers are most active for each industry. Find your prime time, and make sure you use it to your advantage.

OUR THOUGHTS: This seems common sense, but we see many businesses wasting opportunities. You should engage your audience as they are discussing the relevant topics around your company or product, not at your own time with scheduled tweets. A good mixture of planning and real-time reactions usually do best. Be ready to jump on a conversation at any time, and monitor appropriately to know when that time might be.

6) Holiday Hustle 

It’s no surprise that the holidays are a key time for any retail brand. Consumers nearly doubled their amount of replies to retail brands’ tweets during December. So, if there’s only one month a year you focus on driving Twitter engagement, December is the time for retail brands to shine.

OUR THOUGHTS: Retailers should be planning a solid Holiday campaign during the Holiday Season, no doubt!

Click the link to read the original article, and download the full report: http://brinx.it/A3T

ETMC-SocialEngagementBenchmarks-TW_Infographic

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