I started my Twitter journey over 12 years ago. Back then the feed was still chronological. That means every tweet from everyone you followed showed in your Twitter feed in the order it was tweeted. It did not matter how much Twitter engagement that tweet got.
Engagement on Twitter was by far not as important as it is today.
Today, the Twitter feed is completely based on an algorithm – or several algorithms. And while Twitter does not disclose what factors are used in the algorithm, it is no question that a tweet that gets a lot of engagement on Twitter will show more often in the feed and reach more people on Twitter.
While 12 years ago it was enough to tweet more to reach more of your audience, the situation today is a little different.
That includes risks and chances.
Today, tweeting more does not necessarily result in reaching more people. At the same time, if your tweets inspire engagement, you can reach far beyond the followers you have.
Here is why:
What is engagement on Twitter?
If we are trying to increase engagement on Twitter, we first have to make sure that we understand what are Twitter engagements.
While some may only think of likes, retweets, and comments as Twitter engagement, the most important view on what Twitter engagements are is what Twitter counts as engagement and considers for their algorithm and that is a little more.
While we think of engagement in terms of likes, comments, and retweets, what does engagement mean on Twitter?
Twitter regards any interaction with a tweet as engagement. Here is what that means:
This includes what we all think engagements on Twitter are:
- comments or replies
- tweet expansions like the “show more” on longer tweets or the “Show this thread” for Twitter threads.
In addition, Twitter views all clicks people make on a tweet as engagement:
- clicks on links
- clicks on hashtags, cards, or other embedded media
- interactions with the tweet author like profile visits or follows
What impact has engagement on your Twitter marketing success?
Why are marketers looking for engagement on Twitter?
The answer lies in Twitter’s algorithm. And while the Twitter feed changed since I wrote that article and Twitter no longer offers the option of the chronological feed, the algorithm became even more important.
There are various factors that influence the Twitter feed algorithm. But the most important factor that we as Twitter users can influence is engagement. The more people engage with our tweets the more people will see the tweet in their feeds.
You will notice in your feed that not only tweets from people you follow show in your feed. And from the people you follow the tweets with the highest engagement usually show high.
Your feed now has two parts:
- the “for you” section
- the “following” section
In the “following” feed, you will also see tweets from people you don’t follow. These show in the following feed because someone you follow engaged with this tweet. In fact, I rarely find tweets from people I follow in the following feed, which makes the “following” feed not very attractive from my point of view as a follower.
As a marketer, this is a totally different story.
Because this means if people engage with your tweets you have a chance that your tweet shows in the “following” feed of people that are not even following you. If that happens your reach on Twitter increases. And that is what we are all after.
The “for you” section of your feed is based on your engagement and follows. Twitter selects what tweets they show you in this feed. The tweets are often from people you engage with no matter if you follow them or not. In addition, Twitter shows tweets that they think are relevant to you.
- from topics you follow
- from people the people you engage with engage with – yes it is a spiral.
I have found that the more I engage with people that are relevant to me and who tweet stuff I like and comment on, the more relevant the tweets become that Twitter shows me in my feed’s “for you” section. I found many interesting tweeps in my “for you” feed since I started engaging more on Twitter.
To keep track of Twitter accounts I want to connect to and see what they are tweeting, I use a Twitter list. This list comes with its own feed and I can see new tweets from my Twitter community at one glance.
Engagement rate and how to calculate it
The engagement rate puts the number of engagements a tweet gets in relation to the number of people this tweet reached. How many of the people who have seen your tweet have also reacted with some form of engagement?
There are several ways to calculate engagement rates for Twitter. There is no right or wrong between these methods. But you have to make sure that you compare data that has been calculated in a similar way.
The engagement rate on Twitter for one tweet is the number of engagements your tweet gets divided by the number of people the tweet reached multiplied with 100.
The engagement rate for a Twitter account is calculated as the average engagement rate for the most recent tweets.
Some calculation methods take the number of followers into the equation, some don’t.
Engagement differs for various social media platforms. You should not compare your Twitter engagement rate with engagement rates for Instagram or TikTok.
The average engagement rate on Twitter according to mention.com is 0.037. That means everything higher than 0.037 is a good engagement rate, but if your engagement rate is lower than 0.005 you need to work on improving your Twitter engagement.
You can calculate your Twitter engagement rate. There are websites that offer a Twitter engagement calculator:
Mention: Calculate the engagement rate for your Twitter account based on the 10 most recent tweets.
Calculator Academy: This allows you to calculate the Twitter engagement rate for one tweet. You put in the number of engagements and the number of impressions – the tool gives you the engagement rate.
When you calculate your Twitter engagement rate, make sure that you know what you want to do with the number.
Do you want to compare yourself to others? Is that very productive?
Do you want to see your progress when it comes to increasing Twitter engagement? Go ahead. Then a number will certainly help. I then recommend using a calculator like the one from Mention.com as they view your account and several tweets.
How to increase engagement on Twitter
When you want to increase the reach of your tweets you need to look at your current engagement and work on increasing it.
There are various ways to increase your engagement:
- Post more engaging tweets
- Interact more with people from your community
- Post more relevant tweets
Why is my Twitter engagement so low?
You should always view engagement on your tweets in relation to your followers. If you don’t have many followers it is harder to earn engagement. But other factors are also important:
- how targeted are your followers? If you change the scope of your Twitter account, people may need some time to adjust to your new topics. Or you have to find and build a new audience based on your new interests.
- Can you improve your tweets to make them more engaging? There are some factors in tweets that inspire more engagement.
- Are you active on Twitter and engaging with your target audience? You cannot expect people to engage with your tweets if you are never active on Twitter. Growing engagement on Twitter starts with you engaging with other Tweeps.
- Are you using tweet types that inspire engagement? Generally, Twitter threads seem to resonate well with Twitter audiences.
What can you do to increase engagement on Twitter?
Let’s make a 3 step plan for you to increase your Twitter engagement:
- The most important thing is: you have to show up on Twitter (almost) every day.
- Now you should learn about more engaging tweets and apply engagement tactics to your tweets.
- You need to engage within your niche. You need to build a community around your tweets.
If you do that, you should already see some increase in engagement on Twitter. But keep in mind that growing on Twitter is a long-term commitment. There may not be much happening on your tweets for a while, but if you are active and engaged on Twitter, your audience and engagement will eventually grow.
Twitter engagement post ideas
The problem with many very engaging tweets is that they are not very targeted.
Here are some examples of engagement tweets that are not well-targeted:
- Motivational quotes – they inspire many likes because many Twitter users can agree with them. But most motivational quotes are not targeted at your audience.
- Questions: They inspire engagement. But most of the time they don’t build your brand.
It is often better to get a little engagement in your niche than a ton of engagement with unrelated people.
There are still some engagement tweets that you can try:
Quotes: Make them from your niche. My content pillars are Twitter marketing and content creation. Quotes around these topics can inspire engagement with people interested in them.
Twitter threads: These are the best post types to deliver tremendous value to your target audience. Keep in mind that your thread needs a great hook and some structure to grab enough attention.
Quick tips: Make them targeted and actionable.
Provocative statements: a little provocation goes a far way to inspire engagement. Keep in mind that you don’t want to anger people, just get them talking.
Artificial engagement on Twitter: yes or no?
If you are running more than one Twitter account there is nothing wrong with liking the tweets from one account from the other.
But there is a lot more “engagement” on offer that is not really engagement. Like buying likes or tools that promise you more followers.
These are against Twitter’s anti-spam policy:
That means if you use these tools you run the risk that your account can be suspended or locked.
While you may be able to get back your account the first time – I think the risk is not worth it.
These engagements and followers are never real. They make your account appear great for a short time. But what do you get out of that? The Engagement will not build community and connections. The followers are never interested in what you do.
What is your goal to increase engagement on Twitter?
You want to increase the reach of your tweets. That is true. And increasing Twitter engagement is one way to reach more people with your tweets.
But you also want to make sure that you reach people interested in you and your topics. That means that not every engagement and every person reached on Twitter may be of so much value to you. You need to focus on engaging with people that are interested in you, your niche and what you have to offer.
It is a thin line between focusing too much on engagement but losing out on targeting.