twitter stats - twitter statistics Since social media is changing so often. It can be really hard to keep up with stats and trends that affect how you use it. I quite often forget the facts that I’ve read, or I use Twitter based on stats that are outdated now.

In fact, when I recently looked at some of the latest social media statistics, it hit me that the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is is the 55–64 year age bracket. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s changed.

In case you’re in the same boat with me, I gathered up some really interesting Twitter stats that can help you improve the way you reach your followers. Especially when trying to gear up for the new social media for business, being in the know of the latest stats is more valuable than ever.

1. Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends

I guess not many people know about this one, because only 19% of brands tweet on the weekends. If you’re trying to encourage your followers to engage with you on Twitter but you don’t want to work over the weekend, you could use Buffer to schedule tweets to be sent while you’re having a sleep-in.

Social media scientist Dan Zarrella also found in one of his Twitter experiments that click-through rates were higher on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

twitter stats - weekends - twitter statistics

2. Tweets with image links get 2x the engagement rate of those without

Just like on Facebook, photos are more engaging for Twitter users.

Did you know you can Buffer images right from the web? Our chrome extension lets you right-click on an image and put it straight into your Buffer account as an image post:
twitter stats - image - twitter statistics

3. Tweets with less than 100 characters get 17% more engagement

This is another stat that was similar for Facebook. Shorter posts tend to garner more engagement on both platforms.

If you’re posting tweets with links, Dan Zarrella’s research shows that 120–130 characters will be your sweet spot.

twitter stats - short - twitter statistics

4. Twitter’s fastest growing demographic is 55–64 year-olds

If you’re looking at growing your audience, you might want to look at new Twitter users, which are most likely in the older age brackets. As Twitter’s user base grows, you’ll have a wider variety of users to target, supposing they’re all part of your market.

This largely overlaps with the general Social Media statistics, Social Media definitely working its way up the age demographic.

5. Tweets with hashtags get 2x more engagement

Having said that, keep the hashtags to a minimum. 1 or 2 will get you 21% more engagement than if you add 3 or more. This could be because hashtags often connect a tweet to a particular topic or Twitter chat that others are following or interested in. Keep appropriate hashtags in mind when posting, especially if engagement is something you’re looking to improve.

It’s especially interesting to look at the history of the Twitter hashtag. The rise of the power of the hashtag is no surprise as a result.

twitter stats - hashtags - twitter statistics

6. 66% of user-generated tweets that mention brands come from mobile users

There are a few things to keep in mind when targeting mobile users. Ensuring that you link to mobile-friendly sites is a good start. Linking to Twitter usernames of people you mention and adding hashtags can also be helpful for mobile users, who might want to find out more without opening new browser windows or searching in their Twitter client.

So being equipped with a great social media publishing tool for mobile is now more important than ever. It’ll be interesting how the shift to mobile will become even more obvious in the coming months and years.

7. Twitter users who mostly use a mobile device are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute

When you’re tweeting, think about where your audience is, and what they might be doing. If it’s early in the morning, they might be commuting to the office—this is actually a great time to get them, as they’re probably bored and looking for something interesting to occupy them during this time.

These users are also 119% more likely to use Twitter during work or school hours, so don’t write off these times as being no good for tweeting—at least until you try them. Dinner time, on the other hand, is probably not the best time to catch your followers, as you can see in the image below.

twitter stats - times - twitter statistics

Buffer’s integration with Followerwonk can come in handy here, by helping you work out when your followers are most likely to be online, and setting up your Buffer schedule to match these times.

Here are also more insights on how to make the most of Twitter on your mobile phone.

8. Amplifiers are 122% more likely to send direct messages

twitter stats - dms - twitter statistics

A study by Twitter itself found that amplifiers—that is, users who are more likely to retweet than others, thus amplifying content—are more likely to send direct messages as well. Plus, 90% of them tweet about TV shows. This points to the important fact that these users see Twitter as a way to communicate with close friends or family—hence the use of the private option of direct messages—and to talk about their habits and daily activities, such as watching TV.

Especially with the recent changes being made to DM’s, there seems to be a lot more to come for marketers.

9. Your tweets have a 12x higher chance of being retweeted if you ask for it, and 23x higher if you actually spell out the word “retweet”

This is a really interesting one. I’d heard before that asking for a retweet is the best way to get one, but in fact, spelling out the word “retweet” as opposed to using the abbreviation “RT” gives a much higher chance of being retweeted23x higher than average! That’s not a hard one to implement, either.

twitter stats - retweets - twitter statistics

10. Tweets that include links are 86% more likely to be retweeted

Like photos, links appeal to Twitter users. Links, however, are more likely to increase your number of retweets than engagement rate. This is helpful to keep in mind, as you might want to broaden your reach (get more retweets) rather than engage your current followers (increase engagement with photos).

Conclusion: Where to go from here

The latest changes to Twitter’s statistics suggest a clear change to what lies ahead for Twitter’s future.

Where to go from here, is the obvious next question. To harness the power of Twitter’s new changes, you might want to take a look at “A scientific guide to posting Tweets, Facebook posts, Emails and Blog posts at the best time“, which is a great resources to get more out of Twitter. For more advanced Twitter users, the guide to “A scientific guide to writing great headlines on Twitter, Facebook and your Blog” might also be a great place to start.

What are your best tips for kicking things into a higher gear on Twitter? We’d love your comments and thoughts on this in the comments below.

Image credits: Twitter, Dan Zarrella, Linchpin


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Written by Belle Beth Cooper

Belle is the first Content Crafter at Buffer and co-founder of Exist. She writes about social media, startups, lifehacking and science.

  • Awesome stuff. Definitely going to experiment with the weekend tweets!

  • ♦[PharLeff]♦

    Time to test this out.

  • Awesome post Belle Beth (as usual). Since I am both a buffer and followerwonk user, I am going to explore the integration that you mention as it would be awesome to tweak schedule based on when influencers most likely to be on twitter.

    • Belle

      Thanks Rick, really glad you found it useful!

  • Gina

    Great article!!

  • Aurora

    This article is fantastic. I’m going to apply these tips on my company’s Twitter page.Thank you!

    • Belle

      Awesome, hope they help!

  • Tijs Markusse

    Thanks for sharing!

  • nXqd

    thanks for sharing these fantastic post 🙂

  • Very cool article! I didn’t expect stat number 4, but it’s good to know. And I will definitely test number seven. I think it is always important to think about your target audience and whether they are online when you are tweeting.

  • Incubate by Inkat

    Each social network has its own soul. They are like societies with their own prevalent and dominant behaviours. It’s important to appreciate those while designing a digital marketing strategy-

  • i wrote the perfect tweet yesterday according to this article. got 0 (ZERO) interactions. this article is not true!

  • Thanks for this. I found it informative and useful!

  • I hate asking for retweets… Not sure if I want to compromise my hate for more traffic. All depends on my goals, I guess…

    • rjfrasca

      I hate asking for them too…

    • Amanda Palmer: The art of asking — @rjfrasca:disqus @TheShrevest:disqus

    • Andy Vale

      I’ve seen this stat before. I think it’s only worthwhile if you have a brand that can handle being known as one that begs for retweets. Retweet or not, it’s a serious credibility killer. Use it for getting information about missing kids out there, other than that I’d avoid it.

    • But I like seeing them anyway!

  • jhante

    Interesting stats!

  • rjfrasca

    That “Retweet” stat is still just crazy to me.

  • Matthew Books

    I highly doubt these are global statistics. If they are, the artificial users and hacked accounts are creating bad data. Trust YOUR audience first not blanket data.


    I like that you added stats and data to your post this was much more helpful

  • Cool facts .. I will try to follow all the secretive tips posted by you @disqus_vihqICu1fQ:disqus

  • BorjeMelin

    Thanks, Beth, for this helpful article. #4 new 55-64 yr old demographic was particularly interesting.

  • Guest

    Insightful comments, I’ve certainly found that tweets with links are more likely to be shared, especially those that offer helpful or fun information.

  • Insightful comments! I’ve tested and have found most of these to be accurate as well. Tweets that include links are indeed most likely to be shared, but especially those that offer fun or helpful information (for example:

    #3 is also important; for example, often I’d like to retweet something, but if the tweet is too long (right at 140 characters), for me to add a simple endorsement, I skip over it.

    Excellent twitter tips, thanks for sharing!

  • Jelani Burton

    Great info Belle! Tons of useful information in here! I thought asking for a retweet might seem overly promotional but I guess people understand!

  • tickticktick

    Where are the sources for this information? Where’s the actual data?

    • John

      If you’re looking for more twitter stats then have a look at It’s 100% free and there’s no login required! You can get stats for ANY public twitter account. Let us know if you’d like us to add any other features 🙂

  • Deirdre

    Just been reminded of this by Buffer’s suggested content feature which reminds me of another great tip of yours – re-post links to older but still useful content every now and again!

    • CJ

      Yeah that’s a great tip. I use buffer to keep a steady feed of oldy but goody content, and then add the highest quality latest news when/ if I find it.

  • Shane

    Great article! Can you clarify on the tweet length statistic? Less than 100 characters get 17% more engagement, but the “sweet spot” is 120-130 characters?

  • Luke Martin

    Really useful stats!!

  • Alex Debecker

    Great article for brands & twitter posting strategies. I think some of these are really easy to implement.

    The only thing I would add is to be careful with regards to “asking for retweets”. I would love for someone to make a study on how repeatidly asking for it ends up affecting the brand and the following. I’m almost positive that it would have a very negative effect, but some numbers would be nice.

    Thanks, great article!

  • Another great post. I will test these tips out.

  • When i joined twitter i was irritated seeing nobody retweets or favorites my tweet. Hardly one or two replies. Coming to twitter without knowledge is not a crime but after a long time having no knowledge about it, IT IS! I started using so as to get popular! Its just awesome


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  • life

    I work at Community College and Social Media is our main hub……Ive noticed that times for posting are different for schools…..student are completely engaged in social media wether they should be listening in class or not…….the best times to post for students, from my experience…..or any schools for that matter is before class / work 8:45am-930am……..Lunch 1145am-1245pm….then before end of the day 3pm-430pm ….. then thecommute home….and finally, after supper…….

    • Great learnings here! Makes a lot of sense that these times might vary. Awesome stuff!

    • LiveWell

      I work at a University and we’re trying to engage our students more on social media…any other suggestions/lessons you’ve learned?

  • Grammar Nazi

    FEWER THAN 100 characters.



    • Ah, great catch! Thanks so much for the help in identifying this one! 🙂

  • I agree. Hashtags only two. and you get more engagement

  • Tolani Whatsshelike

    Thanks for sharing – certainly a comprehensive piece. Will be testing your suggestions and let you know how it goes. 🙂

  • Could anyone try to calculate how many spam emails Twitter (not Twitter users) sends out every day? Must be beyond millions. As such is the greatest spammer of all times. Why do these emails never end up in Gmail’s spam folder? Did anyone ever ask for them? Why do you have to unsubscribe from this stuff again and again to realize that this is a lost battle?

  • Hi Belle!
    It seems a little belated to be thanking you for data you posted in 2013 – but thanks all the same. I found it very useful. I do like a good statistic!
    I cited your article in my blog post here (about half-way down under “Include hashtags in your social media…”):
    Please do have a look to see it in context.
    Thanks again, and of course I’d love to see an updated version. Are you planning to do a 2017 update?
    Regards, Terry.

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