A lot of brands and small businesses have a problem with very low engagement rates on Twitter. This is caused by a number of different factors, so you will need to examine your account closely to see what the problem is.
You Have No Followers
If you want people to engage with your tweets, you need to have followers.
Even though hashtags can help promote your posts, the engagement you get from them is not always valuable. If you browse a tag, you will only see a small number of posts out of the thousands that are being posted at that moment. This means that you are only reaching a tiny fraction of the people who use that tag. Most of the engagement you get from hashtags is likely to be from bots that follow you in the hopes that you will follow them back. Although this counts as engagement, it is not the kind of engagement that is useful to you.
Your Followers Are Fake
This is another problem where people can have a lot of followers, but if they are all from bots, they will not be engaging with the tweets. The best case scenario is if they pay for the engagement, but even then it is not authentic. There is no value in paying for engagement.
Filling your follower list with fake accounts just makes it obvious you’re not good at Twitter. Your follower list is public, so it’s easy to see which ones are fake. There are also tools to check if an account is fake. If someone calls you out, it’s embarrassing, but even if no one does, it still looks bad.
Your Followers Aren’t Online
Twitter doesn’t have a feed where they show you the most recent posts first. Instead, everything is just shown in chronological order. When a user logs on, they their feed with a brief “while you were away” box and a most-recent-first read of the posts made by anyone they follow.
User attention span on Twitter is brief, so it’s essential to tweet at the right time if you want people to see your content. If you don’t show up in the “while you were away” box, your tweet might as well not exist because no one will see it.
Your Followers Don’t Care
Even if someone is your follower, they might not care about what you have to say. I refer to this as the Instagram Effect. For example, imagine all the hipsters taking pictures of their food and posting it to Instagram using only the basic filters. This is just a stereotype, but it highlights the types of mundane, uninteresting content that no one wants to read.
If you only ever post content about your business, people will get bored. Even if you’re not constantly sharing blog posts, if you’re constantly talking about yourself, people will get sick of it. Trust me; very few prominent public figures can get away with that, and you’re almost certainly not one of them.
Your Tweets are Boring
I’m seeing people asking for help with their business Twitter account a lot, only to find that their feed is just a series of tweets that are nothing more than the title of a blog post, a link, and maybe a hashtag if I’m lucky. Why would I ever want to follow someone like that on Twitter?
The author is saying that if you only use Twitter to post about mundane things like what you ate for breakfast or pictures of your dog, then the author will not follow you because there is no personal engagement. The author is only interested in tweets that offer the opportunity for personal engagement.
You Aren’t Using Hashtags
If you want to be a part of the Twitter community, you need to use hashtags. Not using hashtags is a sign that you don’t know how Twitter works, which will make other users less likely to interact with you.
There are several benefits to using hashtags. For one, it exposes you to additional users who wouldn’t normally see your posts. Maybe not a ton of them, but some of them, will perform some kind of engagement or even follow you. Hashtags also allow you to specify in keyword form some of the value you’re providing with a link or comment you post.
Although hashtags can be beneficial in promoting your brand, using them in a tasteless or insensitive manner can result in people viewing your brand negatively.
You Aren’t Asking for Engagement
Believe it or not, you are more likely to get a retweet if you ask for one. Tweets that include the phrase “please RT” are retweeted more often than those that don’t. If you use the full phrase “retweet,” you are even more likely to get a retweet. Of course, this only works if you are tweeting to an audience that is willing to listen. If you’re not, you have other problems, as mentioned above.
While likes and engagement are not identical, likes are much easier to come by. A like requires very little effort on the part of the person providing it, so all you need is mildly interesting content, slightly funny posts, or a contribution to a conversation that is not important enough to warrant a response.
You’re Too Self-Absorbed
You should reduce the amount of times you promote your business on social media. A good rule of thumb is the 8-2 rule, which says that out of 10 posts on social media, only 2 should be about your business.
The other eight tweet types represent curated content, valuable retweets, posts you share from other people, humorous posts, and questions. These are tweets that aren’t self-promotional but still provide value to your followers. By sharing this type of content, you’re establishing yourself as an industry leader that people can rely on for information, not just self-promotion.
You’re Starting With an @
If you include an @username in your tweet, it notifies the person that they were mentioned in the tweet so they can see it and respond to it if they want. However, if you start your message with the @ symbol, it becomes a reply, which is one step beneath a direct message.
The replies to tweets are not as public as the tweets themselves. Anyone following the person who tweeted can see the reply by going to the “tweets and replies” tab on the profile, but the replies are not shown on the public feed or the feed of anyone following the person who tweeted. If someone wants to reply to a tweet but wants to keep the reply private, they put a . in front of the tweet, like “.@user this is the tweet body.”
How to get more followers on Twitter in 6 steps
This guide will show you how to get Twitter followers, whether you’re starting from scratch or just trying to grow your account.
- When in doubt, Tweet more often
Twitter requires a more aggressive content strategy than Facebook or Instagram.
The top-performing accounts on Twitter post around 12 times per week, which is about twice a day.
It’s better to post more frequently on social media platforms than to post sparingly. This is because things move quickly on social media, and if you don’t post often, you run the risk of your brand being forgotten. It’s also important to switch up the types of content you publish, so that you’re promoting yourself in different ways.
There are many possibilities for what you can put in your content calendar.
There is a lot of content on Twitter that can be useful for business purposes. This includes tweets from followers, relevant industry articles, buzzworthy statistics, breaking news, and personal updates.
Twitter’s algorithm will help you rise in frequent publishing, provided you diversify your content strategy.
The key point to remember is that regularly posting new content on Twitter will make potential followers see you as being active and engaging, making you someone worth following.
If you use social scheduling software, you can plan out your Tweets in advance and don’t have to Tweet in real-time all the time. This can help you get new followers all day long.
- Prioritize visual content whenever possible
Tweets with visual content are more likely to be liked, shared, or retweeted than those without visual content.
Images are more likely to stop people who are scrolling quickly through Twitter and get them to look at your posts.
As you’re brainstorming posts and types of content to publish, consider:
- Adapt text-based posts into images using editing tools like Canva, Adobe Spark, or Venngage.
- Creating infographics (fact: infographics saw a 67% rise in 2020 and represent some of the most-shared content on Twitter).
- Videos (think: how-tos, greetings, snippets from long-form content).
- .GIFs, memes, and image macros.
If you want to attract new Twitter followers, posting visual content is a good way to do it.
- Harness the power of hashtags
The purpose of a Twitter hashtag is to make your tweets searchable and discoverable by other users. Hashtags can be used as a form of SEO for your Twitter account.
Tweets with hashtags tend to get more engagement than ones without them, similar to images.
Adding a couple of hashtags to your tweets makes it more likely that new followers will find your account. For example, you can:
- Supplement posts with industry hashtags (such as #SEO or #ContentMarketing) which are great for your professional content.
- Inject some personality into your feed by using popular community hashtags (think: #MidweekMotivation)
- Piggyback on event-based hashtags as well (think: hashtags for awards shows, sporting events, and anything else topical)
You should only use a few hashtags per post so that it does not look spammy.
Twitter analytics can help you figure out which hashtags are most popular with your followers. This information can be used to help you choose which hashtags to use more often.
- Engage with Twitter communities in your industry
This is an example of how to get followers on Twitter by using hashtags.
There are countless communities on Twitter that communicate using hashtags (#DTCfam, #MarketingTwitter, and #PRTwitter, to name a few).
Some social media communities are organized by specific members, while others are for general industries and tips. Sharing advice or experiences with other members of social media communities is a great way to introduce your account to new followers.
Hashtag analytics can help you identify online communities that are relevant to your business. You can also take a look at the bios of important people in your industry to see which hashtags they are using.
- Master the arts of tagging, Retweeting & replying
There are a few simple ways to get more followers on Twitter without spending a lot of time on the platform.
Of course, you can – and should – schedule Tweets to ensure peak engagement. However, you don’t want your Twitter to look like it’s being run by a machine.
You need to interact with your followers, customers, and industry leaders in order to be successful. Here are some tips:
- When replying to accounts, keep in mind that a detailed, thoughtful response will score you more potential followers than a brief one-word reply.
- Shout out to other brands whenever possible. Tagging (@mentioning) other brands as a compliment is a popular tactic to show some love to others in your industry.
- Retweet your fans and followers. Despite only taking a few seconds, doing so shows that you value engagement and are actively participating on the platform.
The smaller aspects of your engagement strategy play a role in the bigger picture of gaining followers.
- Signal yourself as a valuable resource via Twitter threads
Twitter threads are a popular way for business people to communicate with each other by breaking down concepts and experiences in a series of tweets.
Twitter threads are a great way to have 280-character discussions.
Threads on Twitter are typically indicated by the thread emoji or by how many Tweets are in the thread chain. For example, the first Tweet in a thread might start with “(1/6)” and end with “(6/6),” indicating there are six Tweets in total.