If you are considering using Twitter or Facebook then knowing how to ‘engage’ with your audience is vital to your marketing strategy. Social software company Buddy Media has released the findings of an analysis of the Twitter activity of 320 leading brands. The study gives some interesting insight into how businesses should be using the social network to engage with customers. The key findings are set out below.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the best days to Tweet giving, respectively, above average ‘engagement’ with your audience of 7%, 10% and 13%
The best times to Tweet are between 8am and 7pm giving above average engagement of 24% , conversely 8pm to 7am gives ‘negative engagement of 24%. Other analysis, by Hubspot, of 200,000 tweets shows that 12 noon to 7pm is the optimum time.
A free service, Buffer, means you can choose a time convenient to you to schedule your Tweets to the maximum effect … after all when your followers are online and receptive might very well be when you are “six deep at the bar” and don’t have the time (or forget) to get your marketing message out.
(For Facebook the opposite is true, and posting to your Facebook page between 8pm and 7am will give you 17% more chance of engagement and 17% less chance between 8am and 7pm.)
There is also an optimum number of Tweets you should broadcast as well:
- 1 Tweet per day gives over 120% above average chance of engagement
- 2 Tweets per day gives over 60%
- 3 Tweets per day gives over 40%
- 4 Tweets per day gives just under 60%
… so less is definitely more … for instance 10 Tweets a day leads to over 20% negative engagement i.e. you turn your audience off to your message / brand.
Keep your Tweets short and sweet … using 100 or less characters will get you 17% above average engagement and by leaving at least 40 characters for others to use for their comment for re-tweeting or replying to you will allow the all important ‘conversation’ about your brand to increase.
Links and Hash Tags
Linking your Tweet to something else … such as your Facebook page or website stands an 86% increased chance of the Tweet being retweeted and using a hashtag (#tag) will mean you are twice as likely to engage your audience than not. But be careful on hashtag use, 2 hashtags will only result in 21% above average engagement and more than 2 hashtags will result in a 17% drop in engagement.
The Hubspot analysis on 200,000 tweets shows that putting the link a quarter way through the tweet gets the most engagement. With the 140 character limit you’ll need to shorten links so use a service such as Bitly
A Picture Paints A Thousand Words
Being limited to 140 characters in a Tweet is by definition limiting, so inserting an image, such as the chalkboard for your ales, wines, an image of the special of the day or even a short video clip of this week’s band in a Tweet can be the way forward. Including an image is twice as likely to engage your audience than not. Use a service such as Flikr, Instagram, Frogly, Twitpic or Telly.
What Is Reach And Why Is It Important?
Ask your followers to ‘retweet’ or ‘RT’ will increase the ‘reach’ (potential audience and new followers) for your pub brand, and asking followers to do so will result in 12 times as many retweets as not asking and actually spelling out the whole word instead of RT will result in 23 times higher ‘retweet rate’. Simply using the word ‘please’ on your retweet requests increases the chance of engagement by a further 4% . Tweeting is all about getting your message / brand out to as many people as possible including your followers and their followers.
The Ideal Tweeting Strategy
No more than 4 tweets a day, 100 characters long, with a link at character 25, one hash tag and a ‘retweet please’ request; sent between 12 noon and 7pm on Friday, Saturday or Sunday and including an image or video. Now what you say is up to you … that’s the most difficult bit!
Twitter has produced a free guide for small businesses on how to use Twitter as a marketing tool click here to download it.
Top Tips for Tweeting “Netiquette”
Grandma used to say good manners cost you nothing, bad manners can cost you a lot …
1) If you can, reply to direct tweets to your Twitter account … as Twitter says “keep the conversation going”
2) If someone Re-Tweets one of your tweets then thank them … it’s polite and you get a second bite at extending your “reach”
3) If you are engaged by a Troll … don’t rise to the bait … if they persist block them … don’t be a Troll yourself