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Breaking Down the Twitter Engagement Equation

What does engagement on Twitter mean to you? With the ever-improving suite of analytics available to you, it’s hard to stay current on the most updated version of engagement. We’re here to help.

There you go. That’s all you need, right? Wrong.

To fully take advantage of insight into your engagement, you’ll need to know what each element of the equation means, and the implication each has for your brand.

Let’s break it down.

Understanding @Replies 

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 1.15.10 PMAnalyzing replies independently of their contribution to engagement can lead to many insights about why and how people feel compelled to directly interact with your brand. Reply types will vary depending on the “vibe” of your Tweet.

Over time, the way people tend to respond to your content is an important gauge for whether or not you’re provoking the right reactions and hitting home with your target audience. For instance, this statistic-toting Tweet echoed a common, genuine complaint among women, while offering new information:

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 1.24.05 PMAs  you can see from the three most recent replies (there were many others below), this Tweet was successful in making women want to chime in with their own opinions and experiences. If VS Sport is trying to build a relatable Twitter presence that promises solutions to common problems for women, the replies to this Tweet tell them that they’re on the right track.

On the other hand, here is a recent humorous/deal-breaking Amazon Tweet:

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 1.37.51 PMBecause of its whimsical image and spare words, this Tweet was perceived in a variety of ways, provoking a broad range of replies from @Amazon followers, from joke-making to disappointment in the price to adding to Amazon Wish Lists. By delving deeper into the replies, Amazon can gain real insight into its followers and how to plan Twitter content accordingly in the future.

That said, replies are only one part of your total engagement. On to the next engagement component…

The Unique Value of Retweets 

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Retweets let followers know that a user is actively engaging with your brand by republishing your content. A Retweet is a repost of a Tweet sent by another user. These Tweets are marked with the Retweet icon and include the author’s information, and the name of the user who retweeted the content. They are one of the most commonly used tools on Twitter and can be very helpful in identifying web trends, content that interests your readers
or their followers, or Tweets that have the capacity to go viral.

By keeping an eye on your list of most retweeted Tweets, you’ll have a good idea of which Tweets are spreading like wildfire and how to harness and build upon that virality.

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Expanding Awareness with Mentions 

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 2.50.09 PMThese Tweets show up in your stream, the user’s stream, and the stream of anyone following the user. Serious advantage: these Tweets have the potential to reach Twitter users who may not be following you or even aware of your brand. For instance, I am looking at my friend Ashley’s feed, and I see her mention @socialnewsdaily.

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 3.10.29 PMAshley, our PR Manager here at Simply Measured, has similar interests to me, so chances are that I be intrigued by what @socialnewsdaily has to offer, even though I’ve never heard of the site before. Presto! Just like that, brand awareness accomplished.

Showing Love with Favorites 

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Favorites are similar to Likes on Facebook. With a single click, you can engage with content to either bookmark, show your appreciation, or simply let the author know you’ve seen their Tweet.

Favorites don’t create awareness the same way that Retweets and mentions do, but they are still another important indicator for measuring how your content is resonating with people.

Build a Strong Foundation

Before you can analyze your brand’s success on Twitter, you must first understand the metrics behind each action and how they’re calculated. This quick ’n’ dirty reference guide outlines the different ways that users interact with your brand and how to focus on the most relevant metrics.

Download our quick definitions metrics and definitions guide below to get:

  • An up-to-date glossary of Twitter metrics and what they *really* mean
  • How metrics affect your brands Twitter visibility
  • Tips for choosing the most relevant benchmarking metrics for your brand

…and more.

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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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