In an ever more connected world where the pace of digital change is constantly increasing it is vital organisations take stock regularly of their digital communications and content.
The NIO runs a twitter account and publishes content on gov.uk/nio. We use it to let our audiences know what the UK government in Northern Ireland is doing and to react to breaking news.
You don’t have to be an expert graphic designer or use a paid-for service to create quality social media content. We look at our twitter statistics regularly to understand what works well. For established accounts the below will be standard procedure, but if you’re just starting up or are thinking of refreshing your digital offer there may be a few ideas to engage with your audiences more effectively.
When possible, ALWAYS include imagery in your tweets. Tweets with images generally receive twice as much engagement as those without. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer to capture excellent imagery; most people now have a high quality camera on their phone. There are various free to download apps that can further enhance quality, my particular favourite is ‘snapseed’.
The more images, the better. Any one tweet can include an ‘image album’ of up to four photographs. Posts with more than one image receive two thirds more engagement than those with just a single photograph.
The time of day that tweets are posted has a significant impact on the reach and engagement they receive. Go back through your tweets and look at what time they were posted, those with the highest number of impressions and engagement would suggest that this is the time the majority of your followers are online. Posting at a time when most of your audience are active can boost performance considerably.
Tagging other accounts in tweets has a considerable impact on their reach. We found that even tweets with just one other account tagged received twice as much engagement as those without. Tweets with images can be tagged with up to ten accounts without compromising character count. Making stakeholders aware you have tagged their account, via email or a direct message, often makes them more likely to share your content.
Harry Harper – Northern Ireland Office Communications