How to boost your Twitter engagement - in 3 simple steps

Engagement is the new magic word of social media marketing so it's time to learn how you can boost your engagement on Twitter with these simple tactics

“Engagement” is the magic word of social media marketing. We all finally understood that vanity metrics such as likes, followers or views are meaningless if they don’t bring serious interest and concrete actions by the people we are targeting and so it’s time to understand how you can actually boost engagement on Twitter with a few simple tactics.

Define: engagement

But first, since this is the core objective of our actions, it’s important to understand what we are talking about. While one of the advantages of the vanity metrics we mentioned above is that they are clearly measurable (you can count how many followers or likes you have) - and that’s probably one of the reasons why they have become so popular albeit being quite useless - “engagement” is a more subtle and slightly more elusive concept to define and quantify, especially counting that quality of interactions is usually much more important that quantity.

Still, in our experience engagement can be defined - and somehow measured - using three dimensions that work as “coordinates” to identify whether a strategy is successful or not:

  • Quantity. Even if we said that engagement is not a numbers game, it’s still important to get a decent quantity of actions that you can work on. While this dimension alone doesn’t define success, being able to generate a certain amount of meaningful interactions such as direct messages, retweets, likes or replies is the basis on which to build a strategy that pays off
  • Quality. The main focus when measuring engagement must be on the quality of these interactions. While - by definition - there isn’t an objective scale on which to grade such an intangible aspect, we as human beings are usually instinctively pretty good at understanding if a message or a like we receive is a quick and shallow click from some bored guy or a more meaningful and deep action that could spark a fruitful relationship. So, in this area, let’s listen more to our guts and let’s concentrate our efforts following up on those interactions that “feel right” rather than waste our time on anything that resembles a reply
  • Results. Finally, a successful engagement campaign needs to bring results - and we mean concrete, business-related and measurable results. More sales, more leads, a higher conversion rate, a lower cost-per-acquisition - no matter what your ultimate goal is, at some point your efforts need to be directly correlated to some (usually) monetary value, allowing you to measure the ROI of your actions and helping you decide if it makes sense to invest more time and resources or if it’s wiser to quit (always avoid the “sunk costs” fallacy, if something is not bringing the results you expect ditch it without hesitation and without thinking about all the hours you already wasted on it).

3 simple steps

Now that we have laid out our definition of “engagement” and presented the dimensions by which it can be measured, let’s see 3 simple tactics that we can use on Twitter to boost results and increase quantity, quality and effectiveness of our interactions.

1. Choose the right people to target

Quality and results - as defined above - can only be achieved once you have carefully chosen the best target audience for any of your efforts on Twitter. You should literally make a list of people that could bring you a good return on your investment of time and money, focusing on influencers and gatekeepers in the markets you are targeting so that any effort will potentially yield positive results, without wasting time on less effective relationships (hey, let’s make one thing clear: we are showing how you can use Twitter to get business results - if you want to hang out with people for fun and casual chatter, engage and interact with them as you want and without thinking about it too much! ;-)

2. Engage with others (as you would like them to engage with you)

We know thanks (also) to the work of authors like Cialdini that there are certain actions and attitudes toward the others that help us achieve our goals more easily. Two of these are kindness and (honest) flattery and so, since we would like to be treated with both these qualities, that’s what we have to when dealing with the target audience we defined in the step above. Retweet and sincerely appreciate contents posted by our target people, reply and comment when appropriate and you will see an inevitable increase in messages, contacts and interactions with these users - the first step into a mutually beneficial relationship.

3. Automate trivial tasks and focus on what counts

To make all this achievable without spending all your day on Twitter you can definitely use a bit of automation and help from some smart digital tools. In particular, given the sheer quantity of contents constantly shared on this platform a system that helps sift through all these tweets and autonomously identifies the ones worth liking or mentioning is without any doubt an extremely useful little “weapon” that can save you a ton of time and make you look always on top of things. While we do have a tool exactly like this here at Tweet Ninja, there might be other solutions to this same problem - our suggestion is to explore the possibilities and see for yourself how a little bit of automation can really change the level of engagement you reach on Twitter.


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