Businesses and organisations can utilise Twitter to increase their engagements with clients and stakeholders by streamlining the flow and content of tweets, says a study.
The researchers from University of Missouri (MU) and Louisiana State University analysed Major League Baseball (MLB) teams' use of Twitter to engage and increase fan interest.
They found that the more individual teams released original content from their Twitter accounts, such as score updates or player profiles, the more followers they gained and engagements they initiated.
The researchers said their findings could provide guidance for many businesses struggling with how to use social media.
"Business managers know they need to be on social media, yet many do not know how to handle social media metrics to maximise positive outcomes for their businesses," said Brian Soebbing, co-author on the study.
"However, little research has been done on how businesses and organisations can maximise their consumer engagement and interaction on social media, and thus, very few best practices exist that are backed by research," he added.
For their study, the researchers analysed the Twitter accounts of all 30 MLB teams over 13 consecutive months.
They found that day-to-day increases in content creation and differences in team success on the field caused little change in the number of Twitter followers.
However, larger trends made significant differences in fan engagement and total followers for each account.
"Trends such as an increased number of total tweets from an account over a long period of time, as well as long winning streaks and overall winning percentage all helped increase the number of followers a team had on its Twitter account," said co-researcher Grace Yan from MU.
"On the other hand, long losing streaks and fewer tweets in general correlated with losses in total numbers of followers.
"This shows that while teams' social media producers can't necessarily control success on the field, they can make a difference in maintaining fans by continuing to create social media content to engage existing fans and potentially bring in new ones," Yan added.
They also found that while higher levels of activity on teams' Twitter accounts such as original content creation led to more followers, that trend did not apply to activities such as "favoriting" or "re-tweeting" messages produced by other people.
The study was published in the Journal of Sport Management.