For years, Twitter, now called X, has been the go-to platform for brands to connect with their audience one-on-one.
Over the past year, the platform has undergone significant changes under new ownership and, as a result, brand activity has been impacted. According to our 2023 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report, posting frequency has declined by 20% across all industries. What does this mean for Twitter engagement rate? The median engagement rate has remained flat compared to last year.
Despite the ups and downs the platform has gone through over the past year or so, data-driven marketers know that there’s still value in the channel. But in order to measure your performance, figure out what your audience interacts with, and see how you stack up against the competition, you have to know what a good engagement rate on Twitter is.
Below, let’s dive into how you can measure their brand’s Twitter engagement rate as well as get some inspiration from brands across all industries that are performing well in 2023.
How to Calculate Twitter Engagement Rate
There are several ways to calculate your Twitter engagement rate. It all depends on which metrics you measure. At Rival IQ, we define engagement as measurable interaction on social media posts. This includes likes, comments, favorites, retweets, shares, and reactions.
Twitter engagement rate is calculated based on all these interactions divided by the total follower count. Here’s what that formula looks like in practice:
Engagement rate per post is a slightly different metric than engagement total alone, but we find that it’s more accurate. Why? Engagement rate per follower takes into account your follower count and posting frequency which can help brands of all sizes see how their content is performing in relation to the competition — even if competitors have larger audience sizes.
What is a Good Engagement Rate on Twitter?
Now that we’ve gone over how to calculate engagement rate, let’s dive into what a good engagement rate on Twitter really is these days.
According to our 2023 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report, the overall median engagement rate on Twitter is 0.035%. This is the rate for brands across all industries, from sports teams to nonprofits. On average, these brands are also posting about 3.91 times per week.
For those who want to aim for an engagement rate beyond the average, take note of how the overall top 25% of brands are performing. The top brands, regardless of industry, have an average engagement rate of 0.102% and post about 3.75 times per week. Here’s the breakdown:
Overall rate across industries:
- Median engagement rate: 0.035%
- Median posting frequency: 3.91x per week
Overall rate for brands in the top 25%:
- Median engagement rate: 0.102%
- Median posting frequency: 3.75x per week
Twitter Engagement Rate by Industry
The overall median engagement rate for Twitter is a great benchmark to use, but every industry performs differently on the platform. If you want to get a more accurate perspective on how similar brands are performing on Twitter, compare your engagement rate to your industry average.
Let’s take a look at a few different industries to see what the best-performing brands are doing well and which Twitter best practices are worth following.
- Sports Teams Median Engagement Rate: 0.078%
- Sports Teams Median Posting Frequency: 47.08 posts per week
Sports Teams on Twitter are the most active of all industries at over 47 posts per week. And while frequent posting doesn’t always equate to higher engagement, it works for this industry. The Twitter engagement rate for Sports Teams is 2.2 times greater than the overall median across industries.
One reason Sports Teams post more often than other brands is that the essence of the industry revolves around real-time game updates and announcements during the playing season. These updates are necessary as they keep fans engaged and in the loop even if they aren’t able to watch the action live.
In an industry that puts its fans at the center, Sports Teams’ tweets are clearly community-driven. An example of this is the tweet below from the Buffalo Bills. One of the Bills’ players, Damar Hamlin, experienced a health scare during a game which left fans and viewers understandably concerned. The football team made sure to keep their community updated on Damar’s status by sharing tweets like the one below.
Football fans around the country were tuned into the scary situation and the Bills made sure to share frequent tweets that reached millions of people. This tweet received thousands of retweets and replies from people showing their support, resulting in an engagement rate of 22.5%.
While this level of engagement may be specific to the scenario, there are still takeaways for any Sports Team to make note of. Sports Teams can keep their Twitter active and their fans engaged all year round by regularly sharing player updates, highlights from the previous season, or teasers for the forthcoming season — anything that fans want to see more of.
- Higher Education Median Engagement Rate: 0.058%
- Higher Education Median Posting Frequency: 7.94 posts per week
The Higher Education industry continues to show up on Twitter and outperform most industries. It makes sense that schools and universities are so active on the platform since that’s where a lot of their audience — college-aged users — spends their time. In fact, Gen Z users are the slowest to leave the platform (given all of the changes under new leadership) compared to other generations due to the fact that they continue to see Twitter as a source of entertainment.
Similar to Sports Teams, schools post more frequently and earn a higher engagement rate than other industries. Top-performing schools and universities use Twitter to share exciting student achievements, celebrate sports wins, and tap into “Twitter humor” by participating in relevant memes and trends.
One example of a top-performing Higher Education post is from The University of Iowa. The tweet below earned an engagement rate of 2.72% which is nearly 47 times greater than the average rate for schools and universities and 77 times higher than the median Twitter engagement rate across industries.
This tweet is timely (it was shared during the Women’s NCAA Tournament) and puts a spotlight on one of its student-athletes. Sports wins and achievements are always worth celebrating as they evoke pride from students and alumni alike.
Another top-performing tweet from a school is this one from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. Like the example above, this tweet was shared to celebrate a sports achievement — USC beat its in-state rival Clemson in a one-point football game. But instead of sharing a photo or video, USC shared a text-only tweet.
This tweet earned a 4.24% engagement rate, which is a whopping 73 times higher than the average rate for schools and universities. One reason for this tweet’s success could be due to the fact that it was text-only. While visual posts with photos and videos perform well on other channels, Status Updates are the most engaging post type on Twitter for D1 schools like USC.
If you’re aiming to achieve impressive engagement rates on Twitter like Higher Ed does, take advantage of timely events and experiment with different post types. You can use Rival IQ to see what the most engaging types of posts are for brands like yours, as shown above, to lean into what works for your competitors.
- Nonprofits Median Engagement Rate: 0.050%
- Nonprofits Median Posting Frequency: 9.82 posts per week
Nonprofits earn an above-average engagement rate of 0.050% and post more frequently than other industries, sharing nearly 10 tweets per week.
A nonprofit that stands out on Twitter (and is the top-performing nonprofit across social media channels) is Bat Conservation International. The organization is on a mission to end bat extinction worldwide and regularly shares bat facts and memes on Twitter as a way to communicate that message. The tweet below is an example of one of their most engaging tweets. This tweet earned the nonprofit an engagement rate that’s 92 times higher than the median rate for nonprofits on Twitter at 4.61%.
The tweet is simple yet effective — an image of a bat with an iPhone-style reminder to look at more cute bat pictures. This is a lighthearted way to remind BCI’s followers what the nonprofit’s focus is and encourage them to seek out more bat content themselves.
BCI often takes a playful approach to Twitter content, like the example above, but it also shares plenty of educational tweets. Take the tweet below, for instance. The tweet featured a group of photos that revealed a bat hibernating in the snow and shared the fact that this species is only one of two animals known to burrow into the snow to snooze. The tweet also included a link to a blog post that shared more information about this unique bat.
This post captured the attention of thousands of users and earned an impressive engagement rate of 12.2%, 244 times greater than the median engagement rate for nonprofits on Twitter.
No matter how broad or niche your nonprofit’s mission is, there’s always an opportunity to educate people. Twitter can be a great platform to reach a wide audience, so experiment with different post types and styles when spreading your message.
- Alcohol Median Engagement Rate: 0.045%
- Alcohol Median Posting Frequency: 1.81 posts per week
Though they tend to post less than brands in other industries, Alcohol brands are another industry that earns a good engagement rate on Twitter. The median engagement rate for Alcohol brands is 0.045% and these brands post between one and two times per week.
Given the nature of the industry, alcohol brands have a lot of leeway to be fun, celebratory, and entertaining on social media, and especially on Twitter. One way brands do this is by sharing memes and entertaining images. According to our 2023 Social Media Benchmark Report, Photos were the most engaging and most used post type for Alcohol brands on Twitter.
One brand example of a successful Photo tweet comes from White Claw. The tweet below earned a 1.13% engagement rate which is 25 times better than the median rate for Alcohol brands and 32 times higher than the all-industry rate. The image is a cheeky way of promoting one of its flavors while tackling a controversial topic: pineapple on pizza.
Status updates (i.e. text-only tweets) also perform well on the conversation-driven platform, especially ones that encourage or incentivize followers to reply. White Claw employed this tactic in the tweet below which prompted users to reply to their tweet with a wave emoji and the brand would reply back with an emoji that represents one of their flavors. The tweet earned a 1.44% engagement rate, but what’s more notable is how many replies it received. There were 401 replies to this tweet, double the amount of likes.
Sometimes asking for engagement pays off. Prompting your followers to reply to a tweet is a simple yet effective way to generate engagement. The key is to give them a reason to reply. In this case, followers who replied to White Claw eagerly waited to see which flavor the alcohol brand would choose for them. It’s also important to comment back to keep the conversation active. White Claw followed through on its promise by replying to every comment on this thread.
Key Takeaways for Twitter Engagement
If you want to accurately measure and improve your brand’s Twitter performance, marketers must know how to calculate Twitter engagement rate and have a benchmark to compare it with.
To sum it up, the overall median engagement rate on Twitter is 0.035% and the median posting frequency is 3.91 times per week. These are the numbers to aim for if you want to compete with the majority of brands.
If you want to boost your Twitter engagement rate, here are a few best practices to follow as demonstrated by some of the top-performing brands we covered:
- Be timely and participate in relevant conversations by tapping into trending topics and hashtags.
- Mix up your post types between Photos and Status Updates to see what your followers engage with most.
- Entertain and educate your followers using memes and threads.
- Twitter is a place for two-way conversations — reply back to your followers to keep the comments active.
As the Twitter (X) landscape continues to evolve, so will the average engagement rate for brands. As long as you continue to measure your performance, compare it with the competition, and adjust accordingly, your brand has an opportunity to break through the noise and create content that keeps your audience engaged for the long run.
This post was originally published in March 2022 and has since been updated.