You’re active on Twitter but you’re a little unsure as to whether you’re doing too much, just enough or too little. Did that last account unfollow me because I posted three times in five minutes? Will I gain a following if I only tweet once a day? Is tweeting what I had for breakfast interesting? These are all valid questions which need answering in your quest for the perfect Twitter presence.
Knowing just how much you should be tweeting plays a key role in delivering your well crafted Twitter strategy. Indeed, arguably Twitter is the only true social media platform and can certainly underpin the success, or failure, of your entire digital strategy.
Here comes the bad news:
Unfortunately, the answer to “how much should I be tweeting?” is both irritating and unhelpful: “it depends”. Not only does it depend, but you can tweet too little and you can tweet too much so there is a bit of a sweet spot. See? Irritating and unhelpful. Great.
Well, in an attempt to actually help you craft a Twitter strategy, here’s what it depends on and what you should consider:
How many tweets are content and how much is interaction?
By interaction, we mean something that begins with the ‘@’ symbol, meaning only those ‘atted’ will see the tweet. If you’re doing lots of interaction, most of your followers will not see the tweets. This means if most of them are interactions, you’re unlikely to be irritating them. Remember that Twitter interaction should play a major role in your approach to growing your business over Twitter and you can interact as much as you like provided you remain in the voice of your brand.
Bear in mind that interaction tweets still get shown on Twitter for mobiles so don’t go too crazy. If you’re posting once a minute for an hour whilst one of your followers is online, you’re going to annoy them!
But what if it’s mainly content?
How often you can post will depend on how value-adding the content is. Does each piece of content evoke a reaction or will you get a ‘meh’ type reaction? The more ‘mehs’ you’re getting, the more likely you are to lose followers if you’re tweeting often. Are your tweets positive? Will people look forward to seeing your avatar on their newsfeed? Remember that there are thousands of Twitter accounts that share hundreds of tweets a day and have millions of followers. Why? Because they share important, value-adding content.
As a business, with a product to sell, you have to strike the right balance between adding value and achieving your social media goals more directly. For your content, it’s certainly going to be a case of quality over quantity – you don’t want to waste your time posting dozens of times per day for zero gain.
What are your goals?
If you’re trying to increase web traffic, posting regularly with links to value-adding pages or blogs is going to help achieve this. If your audience is more specific, i.e. you’re looking to generate leads from individuals in a certain sector, you may not need to post much content at all. You really need to focus on finding and interacting with prospects and collaborators.
So how often should I be tweeting?
A good benchmark would be sharing good content 3 to 5 times per day when your audience is active and online (you can see when this is by using followerwonk). You should interact with other accounts as often as you can, provided it’s all relevant (not spammy!). If you’re really pushing the volume and sharing more than 10 bits of content per day, they need to be good! If you’re posting 3 shareable bits of content every day, which are all relevant to your business and audience, you’ll grow your presence exactly where you need it.
This is the important bit:
A maximum of 20% of your tweet should be regarded as ‘self-promotional’. If your audience feels like they’re being constantly sold to, you’ll lose followers!
As part of your Twitter strategy, another thing to bear in mind is consistency. Find a level of output you can sustain and try and stick to it. Believe it or not, your followers will get used to your content and its frequency. If they’re following you, they like what you’re doing. If you suddenly post 30 tweets in a day and you’re cramping their home feed, you may get the boot.
Equally, if you’ve been providing a great stream of interest on a regular basis and then suddenly drop off the radar, your followers may just look elsewhere for their fix! If you’re only going to be able to spend a concerted hour on your Twitter account each week, look no further than Hootsuite as a great scheduling tool.
I’ve just tweeted but I’ve found something else to tweet about, what do I do?
If you’ve got Hootsuite, you’re fine – you can schedule it up for a hour or two’s time so don’t need to be glued to your computer. But what if it’s timely, something that’s just happened or is trending? Don’t worry about it, posting several times over the course of a few minutes isn’t going to be an issue unless you do it all the time! Your audience will realise why you’re posting frequently.
How often can you retweet people?
Retweets are a great way to mix up your content. They’re also a great way to stroke the ego of the original tweeter and get on their radar! Try not to go over the top, however; your followers are here to find out what you have to say. Start clogging up their feeds with random people’s stuff and they might get fed up.
If possible, spread retweets out and avoid having too many retweets in a row on your profile – a couple in a row is fine. Ensure they make up a maximum of 20% of your content or you’re at risk of looking like a lazy retweet spambot!
The above are some of the main questions we receive over the frequency of tweeting. Our management agency looks after the accounts of scores of clients so we have plenty of experience in growing a strong Twitter presence. Hopefully, we’ve cleared a few things up!
Always remember your social media goals and make sure everything you’re doing contributes towards that. Don’t waste your time and other resources without having any direction so check out our other posts on Twitter strategy.