The Simple Science of Engagement for Twitter

Here, we’ve broken down the scientific facts for you on Twitter for ‘Engagement Rates’, ‘Posting Times’, use of ‘Hashtags’, ‘Mentions’ and ‘Retweets.’

Read on to measure and compare how your business is engaging with its followers…

Engagement facts:

  • The number one main rule on Twitter – Don’t talk about yourself all the time; instead be useful to others.  Informative tweets are 30 times more effective at snagging new followers!
  • 92% of engagement with tweets is clicking on the links within the tweet.  So, where relevant include a link in your tweet, but be careful not to be ‘pushing out’ promotional links all the time.
  • Media tweets (such as video or images) receive on average 3 to 4 times more engagement.
  • Stay active when followers are making complaints about your business/brand. On Twitter, 25% of people expect a response within the hour from a business/brand and 10% expect a response within the first 20minutes! Always check the @ on your Twitter profile so you can follow conversations and see what people are commenting on. It’s also good practice to have Apps loaded onto your smartphones so that you can check mentions on the go.
  • Tweets between 120 and 130 characters get the highest click through rates – so try keep your tweets as short and to the point as possible!

Posting Times:

  • Twitter engagement rates for businesses/brands are 17% higher on Saturday and Sunday, yet only 19% of them actually tweet on weekends! So seize your opportunity here, get tweeting on the weekend when the platform is quieter and more people will be listening. Use social media dashboards, to schedule your activity to run over the weekend, no problem!
  •  The highest Twitter reaction rates are between 8am and 7pm – this is prime time, so be sure to schedule tweets between these times.
  • Make sure you’re tweeting later on in the day too; tweets in the afternoon tend to get seen more than those in the morning.
  • For those who post a concentrated number of tweets in a short time span, follower growth is 50% more than expected – however, while this may be true, try not to bombard your followers with tweets, this may come across as spammy. Plus remember, 80% of those on Twitter use it via mobile – if you post tweets one after the other, then you can fill up their feed – which can be pretty annoying.


  • Hashtags can increase engagement by almost 100%. Keep in mind that people usually follow hashtags for keywords, events and trending topics, so make sure your hashtags are kept simple so that others can understand.
  • Tweets with hashtags receive 2x more engagement than those without.
  • Having one or two hashtags in a tweet has 21% higher engagement than those with 3 or more hashtags. (If all you are doing is sharing a string of hashtags – how is that a conversation?).
  • Tweets that use more than two hashtags actually show a 17% drop in engagement. So, make sure you’re savvy with your use of hashtags!

@Mentions and Retweets:

  • Using more @mentions (targeting a post to a specific @handle) increases your follower growth – organisations that tweet more @mention grow followers by 17% more than a tweet without @mention.
  • Be sure to choose the right words and phrases to get attention; action words have higher engagement rates than nouns. Tweets containing ‘@’, ‘RT’ and ‘please,’ also contain higher engagement rates.
  • 78% of a brands/businesses brands engagement tweets are retweets.
  • Asking followers to retweet, receive 12x higher retweet rates than those that do not, yet less than 1% of brands actually implement this strategy! (Perhaps we all don’t want to come across as desperate!)
  • When followers are specifically asked to retweet by spelling the word out, the retweet rate is 23xs higher than average – so try and fit it in your Tweet if you can!


Again, make sure you’re up to date with these important facts and don’t be afraid to experiment… Happy Tweeting folks!


Kat West is a Social Media Community Manager at Carvill Creative – the Online Visibility Experts. Kat spends her days, tweeting, sharing, listening, researching and blogging. (As well as a little sleeping and eating and having fun too)!