We know that when using Twitter for business, engagement is everything. Yet especially if you use a 3rd party software when managing your social accounts like Twitter, it might seem like retweeting and replying to tweets are the only important parts of Twitter engagement. Some 3rd party software, while very useful, does not always keep track of favorited tweets. So, why would you favorite a tweet? Don’t get me wrong–retweeting and @replies are so important to Twitter engagement, and you’re going to need a lot of these two to lead a successful online marketing strategy. However, the lonely “favorite” function is also worth your time. Here’s why:
Favorites are serving as retweets
If you haven’t noticed on this in Twitter yet because you’re busy using Hootsuite or SproutSocial, Twitter is experimenting with putting users’ favorited tweets on their follower’s Twitter feeds. If you favorite a tweet in support of a friend, your followers could potentially see that on their feed, just as they would if you had retweeted your friend’s tweet. Some people are annoyed by this, but you can leverage this new Twitter approach for your benefit. For example, maybe your Twitter account is a little too formal to retweet a particularly humorous post. If you still want to engage with the user who tweeted it, you can favorite their post. It may show up on your followers’ feeds, it may not. But whereas retweeting can be seen as endorsement, favoriting can be seen as approval. This can go wrong if you favorite a vulgar tweet, but as long as you favorite smartly, your followers may get to see a lighter-hearted side to your Twitter account than your formality usually allows, and the user who posted the tweet will appreciate your engagement, too!
Maybe you don’t have anything to say
[Tweet “Sometimes, tweets need no words.”] Sometimes, tweets need no words. Sometimes, you want to show support but don’t know how to reach out in a @reply. Favoriting a tweet is perfect for this situation! And with Twitter beginning to favor favoriting more than they have in the past (see above), your favorite will have more of an impact than it ever has before. This also works well if you tend to send a lot of @replies to a user and you want to mix up the engagement. Favoriting can be done in just one click or two (depending on the software you’re using), and it’s worth it to show you care without necessarily having to come up with a clever response.
Others favoriting your tweets can introduce you to new people
If you notice that one of your tweets is favorited by someone else, look and see if this person is within your key intended audience. If they are, this is a great opportunity to reach out to someone new. When a user reaches out first–and yes, that includes with a favorite–they are much more likely to engage with you in the future. You can also add these people to lists. If you’ve never used lists on Twitter before, I highly recommend you check them out. They are a way to organize the people you’re following. When one gets added to a list, they are told what list to which they’ve been added, so naming a list “potential clients” probably isn’t the best idea. Name the list something that will flatter people, and you’ve got a great strategy in the works!
Plenty of Twitter users are still old school
Even if you use a 3rd party program or software that keeps track of your tweeting and analytics, not everyone uses these tools! Often these programs pay little mind to favoriting, or at least do not prioritize them when measuring engagement. However, many users are using Twitter recreationally and don’t need to keep track like those who are using Twitter for business. Sometimes, you need to think about what ways your audience is using Twitter. Is your audience other businesses, where they might not notice a favorite? Or is your audience more the recreational user who just checks Twitter a couple times a day? If your answer is the latter, favoriting a tweet or two may be a great way to reach out to these users.
No matter how you engage someone’s tweet, your profile will show up as either a user who retweeted or a user who has favorited the tweet. Sure, the icon is small, but anyone who looks to see who favorited the tweet will be able to have a direct link to your account. If you had passed the opportunity to favorite, someone could miss the opportunity to visit your profile and maybe even follow you if they like what they see! Any engagement, as long as it’s positive and appropriate, is good engagement. If you have any questions about the ‘favorite’ function on Twitter or you’re looking for guidance, we can help. Leave a comment below or contact us here! — Photo Credit