A Data-Backed Lesson on How to Write More Engaging Tweets

Carly Stec

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A Data-Backed Lesson on How to Write More Engaging Tweets Blog Feature

Published on December 17th, 2014

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A Data-Backed Lesson on How to Write More Engaging Tweets It's that time again.

An entire year's worth of data is finally coming to a close.

Thanks to our fellow marketing nerds over at HubSpot, we were able to pull a ton of fascinating insights regarding the performance of our social media efforts in 2014, more specifically our Twitter marketing. 

Aware that the most successful strategies are informed by the insights that came before them, we decided to break down our findings in an effort to provide you with fresh Twitter tips for 2015. 

First, let's take a step back...

According to HubSpot's new Social Reports tool, here's how our year in social media panned out:

A Data-Backed Lesson on How to Write More Engaging Tweets
A Data-Backed Lesson on How to Write More Engaging Tweets
A Data-Backed Lesson on How to Write More Engaging Tweets

While this is an interesting way to visualize our social efforts, the following chart displays a more granular break down:

A Data-Backed Lesson on How to Write More Engaging Tweets

 

It's clear that Twitter is our most-valued channel in terms of both driving traffic and generating leads. With this information in tow, we decided to take a closer look at the performance of our tweets to pull insights as they relate to best practices. 

Top 10 most-clicked tweets:

1) Learn how to tell a remarkable story and stand out with the 7 elements of inbound storytelling http://hub.am/1rqaTeC [Tweet this]

  • 138 clicks
  • 19 interactions

2) Not seeing the results you want from your #socialmedia? Here are 8 things you're doing wrong http://hubs.ly/q01vs0 [Tweet this]

  • 129 clicks
  • 8 interactions

3) #Google algorithm got you down? Here's 3 free tools that provide valuable keyword data http://hubs.ly/q06kH0 #SEO [Tweet this]

  • 120 clicks
  • 4 interactions

4) The 50 Best Pieces of Entrepreneurial Advice You'll Ever Hear http://hubs.ly/y01Gx90 [Tweet this]

  • 81 clicks
  • 7 interactions

5) Start delivering more value to your prospects today with these 3 no-cost #contentmarketing tips http://hubs.ly/q010Q0 [Tweet this]

  • 75 clicks
  • 6 interactions

6) Get found online today with this guide to improving your search ranking http://hubs.ly/y04wvD0 #SEO [Tweet this]

  • 69 clicks
  • 2 interactions

7) Want to know what the first page of #Google search results feels like? Read this - http://hubs.ly/y0b6nz0 [Tweet this]

  • 67 clicks
  • 6 interactions

8) Are you being honest? Try these 4 radically effective ways to earn the trust of your prospects: http://hubs.ly/y0fNwp0 [Tweet this]

  • 66 clicks
  • 2 interactions

9) What the difference between two subject lines means for your next email: http://hubs.ly/y0dHwg0 [Tweet this]

  • 63 clicks
  • 4 interactions

10) 6 Habits of Successful People That You’ll Want to Steal http://hub.am/1gYiVqz [Tweet this]

  • 58 clicks
  • 9 interactions

Top 10 most-retweeted tweets:

1) The templates your #sales team needs to put their own sales nurturing strategy in place http://hubs.ly/y0lTHL0 [Tweet this]

  • 25 retweets

2) The #SEO secrets that most blogs won't tell you http://hubs.ly/y0f1sx0 [Tweet this]

  • 11 retweets

3) The #networking advice from Hubspotters you need to survive #Inbound2014 http://hubs.ly/y02RVk0 [Slideshare] [Tweet this]

  • 11 retweets

4) "The average company that blogs has 55% more visitors and 97% more inbound links." Start building your #blog today http://hubs.ly/q03N00 [Tweet this]

  • 11 retweets

5) Are there too many cooks in your #marketing kitchen? http://hub.am/JZBmM0 Delegating tasks can help to improve productivity. [Tweet this]

  • 11 retweets

6) 5 #socialmedia campaigns that will make you rethink your strategy http://hubs.ly/y0jJGL0 [Tweet this]

  • 10 retweets

7) How #LinkedIn Got Cool & Became Your Most Powerful Distribution Channel http://hubs.ly/q016l0 [Tweet this]

  • 10 retweets

8) The 6 critical #marketing #KPIs and how to fix them when they are underperforming http://hubs.ly/y01WVX0 [Tweet this]

  • 10 retweets

9) Is your #content a little stale? http://hub.am/18JCJda Now is the time to bring new life to your content #marketing strategy. [Tweet this]

  • 10 retweets

10) Do you have a hard time falling in love with an idea? http://hub.am/JZBY49 Learn how to increase blogging productivity #contentmarketing [Tweet this]

  • 10 retweets

Top 4 key takeaways:

1) Don't underestimate #hashtags

If you're not already familiar, hashtagging refers to the act of including a word or phrase preceded by a pound sign (#) within a social message to make it searchable by users. 

On a platform like Twitter, users can search individual hashtags to turn up results that pertain to that particular keyword of topic.

According to our top performing tweets, we uncovered the following:

Most-clicked tweets: 

  • 50% contained 1-2 hashtags

Most-retweeted tweets:

  • 100% contained 1-2 hashtags

So while hashtags certainly play an important role in the composition of a great tweet, you want to be sure that you don't abuse them. Do your best not to exceed 1-2 per posts, and be sure that the ones that you do include are relevant to the subject matter within your tweet. 

After all, there's nothing worse than a brand that tries too hard to ride on the coattails of a trending hashtag:

A Data-Backed Lesson on How to Write More Engaging Tweets

When DiGiorno accidently made light of this domestic violence hashtag, people were outraged to say the least. 

Point being, be sure to do your research before you jump on a hashtag to avoid being that guy (or girl.)

2) Ask questions

Rhetorical questions aside, when you ask something of your audience, you're inviting engagement. 

According to our top performing tweets, we uncovered the following:

Most-clicked tweets: 

  • 40% contained questions

Most-retweeted tweets:

  • 30% contained questions

As it turns out, including a question within your tweet helps to engage the audience. 

In fact, a comparative analysis from CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics cofounder, Neil Patel, found that tweets containing questions had 1,050% more replies than tweets with quotes. 

So if you're looking for an easy way to stir up conversation with your prospects on Twitter, ask questions that pertain to their pain points. 

3) Include numbers

We recently published an article that chronicled my top 15 most-viewed blog articles of all time. Through our research, we found that listicle posts proved to be incredibly popular (over 50% of my most-viewed posts were, in fact, listicles.)

When it comes to tweets, we've found that the inclusion of numbers is equally as effective, if not more. 

According to our top performing tweets, we uncovered the following:

Most-clicked tweets:

  • 80% contained numbers

Most-retweeted tweets:

  • 30% contained numbers

It appears that including numbers in tweets works to set the readers expectation and eliminate risk in the same way that they do in blog titles. 

4) Be conscious of length

Have you ever stopped to wonder if the length of your tweet had any influence on its performance?

Do people prefer that you utilize all 140 characters? Should you leave room for color commentary? How short is too short?

According to our top performing tweets, we uncovered the following:

Most-clicked tweets:

  • Average length with spaces - 83 characters
  • Average length with spaces & shortened link - 113 characters

Most-retweeted tweets:

  • Average length with spaces - 86 characters
  • Average length with spaces & shortened link - 110 characters

While these numbers might not be true for everyone, we found that tweets around 110 characters (including spaces & a shortened link) received the most clicks and retweets. 

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