10 Surprising New Twitter Stats to Help You Reach More Followers

10 Surprising New Twitter Stats to Help You Reach More Followers
5 September 2013 | | Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation

twitter-statsSince social media is changing so often it can be really hard to keep up with the stats and trends that affect how you use it.

In fact, when I took a look at some of the latest social media statistics, I was surprised to learn that the fastest-growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 year age bracket. Even more interestingly (to my mind) Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s changed.

In case you’re in the same boat as me, here are some really interesting Twitter stats that can help you improve the way you reach your followers.

1. Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends

I guess not many people know about this one because only 19% of brands tweet on the weekends. If you’re trying to encourage your followers to engage with you on Twitter but you don’t want to work over the weekend, you could use Buffer to schedule tweets to be sent while you’re having a sleep-in.

Social media scientist Dan Zarrella also found in one of his Twitter experiments that click-through rates were higher on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

2. Tweets with image links get 2x the engagement rate of those without

Just like on Facebookphotos are more engaging for Twitter users.

Did you know you can Buffer images right from the web? Our chrome extension lets you right-click on an image and put it straight into your Buffer account as an image post:

3. Tweets with less than 100 characters get 17% more engagement

This is another stat that was similar for Facebook. Shorter posts tend to garner more engagement on both platforms.

If you’re posting tweets with links, Dan Zarrella’s research shows that 120–130 characters will be your sweet spot.

4. Twitter’s fastest-growing demographic is 55–64 year-olds

If you’re looking at growing your audience, you might want to look at new Twitter users, which are most likely in the older age brackets. As Twitter’s user base grows, you’ll have a wider variety of users to target, supposing they’re all part of your market.

5. Tweets with hashtags get 2x more engagement

Having said that, keep the hashtags to a minimum. 1 or 2 will get you 21% more engagement than if you add 3 or more. This could be because hashtags often connect a tweet to a particular topic or Twitter chat that others are following or interested in. Keep appropriate hashtags in mind when posting, especially if engagement is something you’re looking to improve.

6. 66% of user-generated tweets that mention brands come from mobile users

There are a few things to keep in mind when targeting mobile users. Ensuring that you link to mobile-friendly sites is a good start. Linking to Twitter usernames of people you mention and adding hashtags can also be helpful for mobile users, who might want to find out more without opening new browser windows or searching in their Twitter client.

7. Twitter users who mostly use a mobile device are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute

When you’re tweeting, think about where your audience is, and what they might be doing. If it’s early in the morning, they might be commuting to the office—this is actually a great time to get them, as they’re probably bored and looking for something interesting to occupy them during this time.

These users are also 119% more likely to use Twitter during work or school hours, so don’t write off these times as being any good for tweeting—at least until you try them. Dinner time, on the other hand, is probably not the best time to catch your followers, as you can see in the image below.

Buffer’s integration with Followerwonk can come in handy here, by helping you work out when your followers are most likely to be online, and setting up your Buffer schedule to match these times.

8. Amplifiers are 122% more likely to send direct messages

study by Twitter itself found that amplifiers—that is, users who are more likely to retweet than others, thus amplifying content—are more likely to send direct messages as well. Plus, 90% of them tweet about TV shows. This points to the important fact that these users see Twitter as a way to communicate with close friends or family—hence the use of the private option of direct messages—and to talk about their habits and daily activities, such as watching TV.

9. Your tweets have a 12x higher chance of being retweeted if you ask for it, and 23x higher if you actually spell out the word “retweet”

This is a really interesting one. I’d heard before that asking for a retweet is the best way to get one, but in fact, spelling out the word “retweet” as opposed to using the abbreviation “RT” gives a much higher chance of being retweeted—23x higher than average! That’s not a hard one to implement, either.

10. Tweets that include links are 86% more likely to be retweeted

Like photos, links appeal to Twitter users. Links, however, are more likely to increase your number of retweets than your engagement rate. This is helpful to keep in mind, as you might want to broaden your reach (get more retweets) rather than engage your current followers (increase engagement with photos).

Image credits: TwitterDan ZarrellaLinchpin

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