While Twitter is a great way for brands to connect with their customer bases directly, the path between tweet and customer engagement isn’t always clear or direct. Still, marketers can ill afford to ignore Twitter which has moved exponentially beyond those early days of – what are you doing now. Just last month a Twitter report noted that more than half of the Twitterverse follows six or more brands. From Audi to Volvo, to Old Spice, Taco Bell and Nordstrom, customers are following the brands they love. Of course, customers by definition are always on the lookout for a deal and many presume they’ll get free offers, discounts and coupons via Twitter. Of course, Twitter being a sort of conversation means that brand advocates need to think more creatively about how to connect with customers. Other than promoted Tweets, brands can ask questions, add Instagram photos or link to videos or other content to engage customers. But offers and discounts also work well. Still, publicity via Twitter requires a bit more strategy than originally thought. Some time ago another Twitter report showed that brands need to time their tweets for optimal customer engagement. Instead of Tweeting in the middle of the week brands should be tweeting on weekends if they want customers to notice them. Twitter engagement rates are 17 percent higher on weekends than during midweek. The percentage is even higher for fashion brands (30 percent more engagement on weekends). The report showed that brands send out most of their tweets on weekdays when they should instead be sending out about 28 percent of their tweets on weekends. As it turns out, tweets with hashtags and attached photos are more likely to engage customers than without. At the same time it’s wise to practice a bit of restraint. More than 100 characters, more than four tweets and more than two hashtags and you begin to lose them. Who would have guessed the complexities?