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The 4 Different Types Of Twitter Engagement

Marketers like ourselves always talk about Social Media Engagement … and we do so time and time again because

1) It’s Important


2) So Many Businesses Don’t Understand and Don’t Do Social Media Engagement Effectively

At the very basic description – Engagement is talking to people, responding to people and caring about others.

It’s not hard to do. It’s expected in “real life”. It’s being human

Each month I spend about 200 hours a month managing Social Media accounts for small businesses who engage a lot, respond to people and massively out-care their local competition

I believe often when people hear the word “Engagement” it’s not clear enough and that’s where the mistakes come in for businesses.

So in this week’s blog we’re taking a look at the 4 types of Social Media Engagement (with a large dose of Twitter as it’s the network set up for 121 engagement) I see small businesses engage in on a regular basis

Reactive Engagement

Reactive engagement is what I see the majority of businesses do and this is the same whether you’re a small local businesses or a large national brand

Reactive Engagement is the sit and wait approach. The broadcast and hope something sticks approach. And doing nothing unless it does stick

These accounts will often thank new followers for following in bulk rather than taking the time to respond individually for each one and trying to get to know them better

They’ll occasionally offer a “thanks for the RT” and try and fan the flames of a customer service issue

It’s not something thought about a huge amount

All in All Reactive Engagers try and do the bare minimum they can on Social Media because they see social media as time not well spent, but like to be seen to be being “engaging”

Restrictive Engagement
I’ve talked before of the 5 Quick Wins To Avoid On Twitter and Restrictive Engagement fits firmly into that category

We’re talking about Twitter Hours and restricting your engagement to 1 or 2 hours a week and that’s the maximum – nothing more happens outside of the twitter hours

Engagement is fluid and geographical twitter hours such as Cheshire Hour or North West Hour are generally a spam fest that add little value

Restricting the time you look at twitter to just 1 twitter hour a week means you’re missing out on all the people that are posting and responding during the day and later in the evening

You don’t need to be on Twitter 24 hours a day, but you’ll get a lot more from twitter dipping in and out through the day, than restricting engaging with people to 1 hour a week

Over Engagement
I do actually believe it’s possible to over engage to the point where no-one is quite sure what you actually offer as a business

One of the classic examples I always mention is from a few years ago where we were in what seemed like a monsoon season in England. It was the perfect weather in fact for what the business was doing, which was online umbrella retailer, and they could have sold a lot on social as the product and range was strong. But if you were to look at their tweets there was no mention of umbrellas. Instead there was engaging tweet after engaging tweet about what film the owner had watched and who was in X Factor that week

When the engagement gets in the way of what the business actually offers I feel that’s over-engagement

Years later I still recall this story, but I can’t remember the businesses name. That says a lot

Proactive Engagement

Proactive Engagement is the Holy Grail of Social Media – for us it’s where Small Businesses excel and it’s what Large Businesses should be copying small businesses on

Proactive Engagement goes to the very DNA of what makes Altrincham HQ and it’s big on community, it’s big on support, it’s big on caring …. and the business case is proven time and time again as we instil the caring gene in every single business we work with

To give you an idea of what this looks like in Numbers

  • We tweet an average of 43 times a day
  • Approx 69% of these tweets are Replies or Retweets (in that order)
  • I refer work to other local businesses at least once a day on twitter (more often than not 3 or 4 times a day)

90% of businesses we follow don’t do make the effort to do this

If you take one thing away from this blog it’s this – the 3 buttons most businesses on twitter need to use more are Reply, Retweet and Favourite.

You need to allocate time each day to go out and read tweets from people you follow. You need to build relationships with these people. You need to support local businesses and recommend other businesses so that people spend local. You need to stop waiting for people to engage with you and go and proactively engage with them

If you want to be successful on twitter – proactive engagement is the only way to do it!!

The other types of engagement – you’re just cheating yourself on!!!

Well – the obvious after reading this blog would be to engage – so please click the share button below

At Altrincham HQ we specialise in growing businesses via effective Social Media Marketing

100s of successful businesses have chosen Altrincham HQ to help build their brand

If you want a chat call Alex on 07806774279 or email

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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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