Brands can generate more engagement (via retweets) by adding photos, videos and quotes to their social content.

While most marketers are clear about the fact that brands need to be on social media to widen their digital footprints, they might still end up asking, “What’s next?” And, “How can I do more?” to reach bigger audiences and reach that next engagement plane. According a recent Twitter study, the secret to getting more engagement is simple: Make your Tweets more interesting with photos, videos, quotes and links.

Visual Tweets have the biggest audiences

After months of analyzing Tweets sent by cross-industry verified users (over 2 million, in fact), Twitter concluded that social content with photo URLs receive 35 percent more retweets. The second-best tactic to get more eyes on a posts? Include a video URL for 28 percent more retweets. Content containing quotes generally receives 19 percent more engagement, while digits (including numbers in your 140 characters) contribute 17 percent more retweet. The tried-and-true hashtag also provides additional engagement with 16 percent more retweets.

However, Twitter points out that these results vary across fields. What makes the general user population click doesn’t necessarily have the same effect for professionals paring through news feeds for information, or sports fans keeping tabs on their favorite teams.

Engagement varies by industry

marketers can get more retweets when they share certain types of content.If companies are sharing news-focused posts, they should share more posts with:

  • ¬†Photo URLs (27 percent more retweets)
  • Quotes (25 percent more retweets)
  • Numbers (22 percent more retweets)
  • Video URLs (15 percent more retweets)
  • ¬†Hashtags (14 percent more retweets)

Photos are also the most engaging format to share for sports updates (48 percent more retweets), but they’re followed by hashtags and numbers. For this crowd, video URLs provide around 15 percent more engagement. On the flip slide, video URLs drive 35 percent more retweets for music-related updates.

Visuals catch eyes, but brand stories drive conversions

This isn’t necessarily news. Brafton has reported that 82 percent of marketers think visual content is more effective than text-only formats. Rather, it adds fuel to the fire that brands need to get creative and think about how they can flesh out the messages they’re sharing online to generate the results they expect. Storytelling isn’t one dimensional, and it certainly isn’t one-size fits all. Marketers need to know which formats their target audiences prefer and find ways to weave those likes and dislikes into every piece of collateral shared across every digital touchpoint.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.