5 tips for increasing your engagement rate on Twitter

5 tips for increasing your engagement rate on Twitter

In this blog post we share 5 tips for increasing your engagement rate on Twitter.

The inspiration for this blog has been reaching 700+ followers within our Twitter community. 

Although numbers are not always the best metric of success, this feels like a big milestone.

Reviewing our engagement via Twitter Analytics

It seems rarer or harder nowadays to wake up in the morning, read the newspaper and have face to face conversations with our loved ones over breakfast. 

In today’s social media era, we often wake up to Instagram notifications, ‘Good morning’ texts on Whatsapp and use a delivery app to order food to avoid human interaction. 

In a world where social media is the major source of news consumption and a platform to reach out to your audience, it is imperative businesses use this tool effectively.

We started Research Retold nearly two years ago. We are always learning how to build our social media presence and use it to promote ourselves and connect with our audience. 

Last month, Nida, our Social Media and PR Executive, conducted an in-depth analysis of our Twitter account. The aim was to gain insight into our overall performance. 

The analysis helped us understand where we stand and how we could improve our use of Twitter.

After this review, we adopted a few changes in our strategy. These small changes improved the performance of our tweets and we want to share how we did that with you.

Before we share our 5 tips for increasing your engagement rate on Twitter, let’s define some commonly used terms.

Let’s define key Twitter engagement terms


Can be defined as the number of views a tweet receives or the number of times a tweet appears on a user’s timeline. This indicates how many people see your account everyday. 

However, the lifespan of a tweet is only 18 minutes. So a person may not necessarily see your tweet even if it appeared on their timeline. 


This is determined by the number of times a user interacts with a tweet. Interaction with a tweet includes retweets, replies, clicks on a link, follows and use of brand hashtag. 

Engagement rate

This is calculated by dividing the number of engagements by the number of impressions. This is the best way to review the performance of your tweets as it allows you to analyse how many people interact with your content and if the content is reaching your target audience. 

Now that we know what these terms mean, let’s dive right into tips on how you can improve the engagement rate of your tweets. 

Sources: Sprout Social; Follows; Green Umbrella

5 tips for increasing your engagement rate

1. Post relevant content for your community

The first step to build your Twitter account is to decide on a theme for your content. Keep your target audience in mind while deciding this theme as the content needs to be relevant to the audience. 

To gain engagement, the tweets that you post need to align with your audience. Otherwise, you could be producing quality content that does not reach the right people. 

Fortunately, there are ways to evaluate your content to decide if the tweets are performing well. 


Although a high number of impressions are desirable, what actually matters is the engagement rate.

The interaction of your audience with your content determines whether your tweets were successful in garnering the attention of the right people. 

To create tweets that align with your theme and followers, ask yourself:

  • Will my target audience find this useful?
  • Does this add value to my project/brand?
  • What is the purpose behind the tweet?

You can also use Twitter Analytics to find out what your followers are interested in and curate your content according to their interests. If the interests of your followers align with your account’s theme, congratulations! You have built the right community. 

For instance, our followers are interested in science, technology, tech news (and dogs) which works for our account which is focused on research and communication. 

5 tips for increasing your engagement rate on Twitter Audience.png

Beyond posting the right content, there are also specific technical tips for increasing your engagement rate which are discussed in the next few points.

2. Include relevant hashtags 

Hashtags are being used on almost every social media platform. But what do they mean? 

Hashtags are a way of categorising tweets into different topics. It makes it easier for people to find relevant tweets within their topic of interest.

But why use hashtags? Your content may get lost in a sea of tweets. Using hashtags can help people discover and engage with your tweet. 

Before posting, look for relevant hashtags that could help your tweet reach the target audience. 

For example, when we tweeted about the blog on ‘the juggling act of a PhD student’, we used relevant hashtags such as #blogpost #PhD and #communication. 

As you can see, the tweet performed well. It has both high impressions and engagement rate which suggests that it reached the right audience. 

5 tips for increasing your engagement rate on Twitter 1

(From left to right: Impressions, Engagements, Engagement Rate)

Apart from using relevant hashtags, you can gain high impressions by incorporating trending hashtags in your tweet.

For example, right before posting the below tweet, we did a quick search on the trending hashtags and used the ones which were relevant to us such as #ThursdayThoughts #ThursdayMotivation. This may not always give you high engagement, but it can help with reaching a larger audience and increasing your impressions. 

(From left to right: Impressions, Engagements, Engagement Rate)

The best place to find trending hashtags is Twitter itself located in the Explore section as it provides you with the most accurate information. 

There are various tools that can be used to find trending hashtags. You can read more about these tools in this Sprout Social blog on How to Find Popular Twitter Hashtags.

Other than using the right hashtags for the content, we created our own company hashtag #ResearchRetold. We use this in our tweets as it makes it easier for users to find us and creates brand awareness. 

Hashtags are free to create. You create one by selecting a unique phrase, inserting it in the tweet and using it every time you post something relevant to that hashtag. 

Hashtags can be created for specific campaigns, events, projects, organisations, or a brand. 

Deciding on the right hashtag can be challenging as it may already be in use. Here’s an in-depth guide about finding and using the right hashtags

3. Tag the right people

As simple as this may seem, tagging relevant accounts (people or organisations) is one of the key 5 tips for increasing your engagement rate on Twitter. However, try not to spam people! 

Personalise your tweet by tagging the right people and organisations using the right handles (@). This takes a bit more time and effort. However, it increases the chances of getting a retweet giving you the engagement you are looking for.

For instance, last month we attended an event organised by Northern Power Women in Leeds. After the event, we posted a simple tweet with a few images from the event and tagged the organisations and the speakers involved. Including the right accounts and hashtags helped us gain a large number of impressions. For this, we had to research the speakers beforehand, but the result was worth the effort!

(From left to right: Impressions, Engagements, Engagement Rate)

Top Tip: Twitter allows you to tag people in the text as well as in the photos. You can tag a maximum of 10 people in the photos. If you have enough people to tag, use this feature to your advantage and maximise the reach and life of your tweet. 

4. Include a call to action

To increase your engagement rate, you have to give your audience something to engage with. 

Engagement is a two-way street, if you engage with your followers, you can expect the same in return. In order to achieve this, your tweets need to have a ‘call-to-action’ approach.

Including a call-to-action every time may sound overwhelming, but it is as simple as giving your followers a chance to interact with your account. 

4 calls to action we use to increase our engagement

  • Provide a link: Clicks on a link can increase your engagement. Every time we share a blog or talk about our company, we provide our followers with a link to make it more interactive. For example, the below tweet about our blogpost had high engagement as we attached a link to guide our followers to the blog post.

(From left to right: Impressions, Engagements, Engagement Rate)

  • Start a conversation: This can be as simple as asking your followers for their feedback or striking up a conversation. The below example is the first post from our #DidYouKnowTuesdays series where we asked our followers what they would like to know about us. Turns out, our followers did have a few questions for us and this was a great way to start a conversation.

(From left to right: Impressions, Engagements, Engagement Rate)

  • Allow room for interaction: Sometimes all you need is a simple ‘Like’ from your followers to create engagement. In a recent tweet, we asked our followers to simply hit the like button if they noticed the person in our logo and guess what? It worked!

(From left to right: Impressions, Engagements, Engagement Rate)

  • Use Twitter Polls: Twitter Polls are a great way to engage with your followers. You can use this feature to ask questions or ask for an opinion on a topic. Make sure to have fun with it and keep it simple! Below is an example of a poll we did before publishing a blog and garnered decent engagement rate. 

(From left to right: Impressions, Engagements, Engagement Rate)

If you enjoyed reading these 4 techniques, you may also enjoy learning about these 15 tactics to boost twitter engagement backed by research

5. Include visual content

Finally, the last of the 5 tips for increasing your engagement rate on Twitter relates to visual content. 

According to Buffer for Business, including images in your tweet increases the chances of a retweet by 150%

Static images

Images can be in the form of infographics, screenshots or photos and are visually more appealing than just plain text. According to research, the engagement rate increases by 5 times when an image is included (AdWeek).

For example, the below tweet was posted with a photo taken at the Research Retold office on a Friday. The use of visual content and hashtags helped us gain a decent engagement rate. 

(From left to right: Impressions, Engagements, Engagement Rate)

Videos and GIFs

Visual content that works even better than images are videos and gifs. These help convey emotions better than a static image. Videos and gifs can be used to provide information to your followers or add a fun element to your profile.

Below is a video we created during an event that worked well for us in terms of impressions and engagement. 

5 tips for increasing your engagement rate on Twitter 9

(From left to right: Impressions, Engagements, Engagement Rate)

Another tweet we love that performed well included a Gif and an announcement about our internship programme: 

(From left to right: Impressions, Engagements, Engagement Rate)

– – –

We hope you enjoyed reading our 5 tips for increasing your engagement rate on Twitter.

Remember to use a combination of hashtags, tags and visual content to engage with your followers and don’t forget to have fun with it!

Try not to get overwhelmed, as we are all learning and trying to keep up with the digital world. 

For more content, follow us on our Twitter @researchretold

Many thanks to Nida Noor, our Social Media and PR Executive, for contributing to this blogpost with research, writing and editing.


Carter, R. (30 March 2018) SproutSocial, Exploring the Top 10 Twitter Metrics You Should Be Tracking Today

Klingman, H. CoSchedule Blog, 15 Tactics To Boost Twitter Engagement Backed By Research

Parsons, J. (11 August 2017) follows.com, How Did My Tweets Get So Man Impressions 

Stadd, A. (17 January 2014) Adweek, Tweets With Photos Drive Much Higher Engagement Across All Metrics [Research]

Widrich, L. Convince&Convert, 9 Best Social Media and Content Marketing Tips From Buffer

  • Mahdi Ali Zadeh

    A wholesome guide to maximize your outreach and more importantly rope in the right crowd. Thanks!

    • Research Retold

      Thank you for reading, Mahdi! Glad you found the post useful.


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