Twitter undercover: an insider’s guide

20 exclusive tips and strategies direct from Twitter HQ

A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to an agency day at the social media platform’s headquarters. There was a lot of heavy insight that we won’t bore you with here, but there were also plenty of valuable tips, stats and strategies for getting much more out of your company’s investment in the platform.

We took notes and asked plenty of questions, and we’re happy to share our top – excuse the phrase – ‘takeaways’…   

1) Tweets published between noon and 10pm local time gain more engagement than Tweets outside of that window.

2) The brands that attract the most engagement on Twitter are often the ones that were willing to take a few risks and prioritize humour, speed, or entertainment value over consistency and caution.

3) More Tweets are published during the week than the weekend and Monday is the most popular day on which to Tweet.

4) Tweet questions: Twitter is the engagement platform. People go there for dialogue.

5) A target of “More followers” could mean 100 or 10,000 and those numbers require very different budgets and strategies to achieve.

6) Don’t be afraid to alter your usual brand guidelines to create a more bold and human-sounding Twitter.

7) Only add a hashtag if you are linking your Tweet to a broader conversation, event, or movement. Think of it as if you’re having a conversation and a third person walks up. The hashtag is you saying, “Oh, hello, we’re just talking about _______”.

8) Tweets with hashtags gained 100% more engagements than Tweets without them. Including 1-2 hashtags works the best — more than that and the engagement begins to decline again.

9) A brand’s most recent Tweet is their latest news. Loyal customers, fans, and journalists will check a brand’s Twitter stream before anywhere else when they want to see if the brand has launched their newest campaign, has service updates, or commented on an issue.

10) Only 2% of Tweets have a GIF, but Tweets with a GIF gained 55% more engagement than Tweets without one.

11) Tweets with video are also 6x more likely to be retweeted than Tweets with photos.

12) Brands have to put money behind their Tweets for them to go viral. You don’t have to put money behind all of your Tweets or necessarily for a long time. Promoting a powerful Tweet can give it the initial momentum it needs to attract a lot of organic attention.

13) Retweeting well is valuable for your followers. Some people have a large following because they are good Tweet curators. It gives your followers more than just your voice.

14) Video is Twitters fastest-growing advertising tool. There are around 1.2 billion video views on Twitter each day, which is 2X growth in 12 months.

15) Go to analytics.twitter.com. Click on the “audience” tab. This is where you can see the demographics of the people who follow you. Information like their interests, mobile footprint, and buying habits can inform what part of your audience you need to grow as well as the best way to engage who is already reading your Tweets.

16) Emphasize urgency: “today only!”, “start now”, “only a few seats left!” Twitter moves quickly, so this language resonates.

17) 93% of Twitter’s video views happen on mobile devices.

18) Be patient. Building a strong Twitter presence takes time but is worth it.

19) Only 2% of Tweets have a GIF, but Tweets with a GIF gained 55% more engagement than Tweets without a GIF.

20) Videos with minimal Tweet copy vs. longer Tweet copy have a 13% higher brand and message recall and overall view time.

At SIM7, we provide a range of social media services and strategies for companies big and small. Get in touch via wecreate@sim7creative.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @sim7creative

Thanks to @TwitterBusiness.