Facebook may have the largest number of active users, but no platform is better at connecting brands and their followers in real time than Twitter. Unfortunately, very few marketers understand how to properly leverage Twitter. Sound familiar? Well, you need to revamp your approach and focus on engagement.Download the May digital magazineCover story: How analytics transforms IoT data into business intelligenceREAD NOWWhy Twitter mattersThe value of Twitter lies not only in its reach, but also in the strength of individual interactions on the platform. Consider the following statistics as curated by analytical marketer Craig Smith:There are an estimated 1.3 billion registered Twitter users;Of the 1.3 billion accounts, roughly 100 million are active on a daily basis;34 percent of users that log on to the platform do so more than once per day.While all of these statistics show the volume and reach of Twitter, let’s look at a piece of data that should excite the marketer inside of you. According to a comprehensive survey released by Edison Research, 49 percent of monthly Twitter users follow brands and companies. How significant is this? Well, consider that just 16 percent of social network users across all platforms follow brands.This means Twitter users are three-times more likely to follow brands than Facebook users. But they aren’t just following — they’re actually using Twitter to research and engage. Around 42 percent say they use Twitter to learn more about products and services, 41 percent provide opinions on products and services, and 19 percent seek direct customer support.ADVERTISINGWhen you combine all of these numbers with the fact that 51 percent of Twitter users make more than $50,000 per year, you can begin to understand the immense value lying beneath the surface of this seemingly innocuous platform.How to increase engagement with TwitterAs a marketer, your goal should be to tap into the strength of Twitter as more than a marketing tool. Sure, it’s a great platform for disseminating advertisements and getting your brand name in front of people, but the only way to maximize its value is by leveraging it as a tool for engagement.The issue is that many marketers don’t take the time to make engagement a priority. They’re too worried about focusing on quantifiable metrics like impressions and follower counts to zero in on individual interactions.If this sounds familiar, you can rest easier knowing you aren’t alone. However, it’s imperative that you do something sooner rather than later. Let’s take a look at some expert advice regarding simple ways to increase engagement on Twitter.