[[updated March 25, 2018]]
If you are a social media manager who wants to maximize your time, you need to know how often should you tweet. Your time is valuable! Tweeting enough times in a day to reach your goals without doing work you don’t have to is an important balance.
One of the challenges in answering this question is that most of the major research about this question is two or three years old. Since Twitter has both introduced and updated a new algorithm to their feed, that research is now not very helpful. What was true with a purely chronological feed doesn’t apply anymore. To be successful using Twitter for your business marketing, you need to adjust your strategy.
Why Does Twitter’s Algorithm Matter?
In 2016, research revealed more overall views of your Twitter content for posting up to 50 times per day. This led to strategies including reposting content multiple times per day, and trying to create as many short snippets as possible.
Then there were two big changes.
- Twitter introduced its algorithm, meaning most recent did not always mean more visible
- Twitter upped its character count limit from 140 to 280
Clearly, they were making a move to reward more thoughtful content. Now, your content can be moved to the top based on a number of factors. Timing does still matter – what Twitter calls “recency.” But it is not the only thing that can push your tweet to the top. According to Twitter, the other factors are:
- Inclusion of images and video is preferred
- Amount of interaction the Tweet gets (such as retweets and likes)
- How connected you are to the person viewing the content. If you interact with each other, you are both more likely to see each other’s content.
- Other factors showing a relationship with other users. This includes how long you have been following each other, and how you connected.
- How interested a person is in your content (determined by other things they have engaged with in the past, and how engaging your content is overall)
You will notice two words keep coming up over and over again; relationship and engagement.
How Often Should You Tweet?
Now that we have a lot of data about how often to tweet, what do we do with that? What can we use to actually impact our strategy?
The first thing is to know that understanding your own individual audience is more important than ever. How often should you tweet is related not to only the platform, but also to your unique clients and customers. What will work for one business, might not be as effective for another.
A good place to start is to look at your Twitter Audience Insights. This will show you things like the breakdown of men and women, top interests, and education levels.
It is important to see when your audience is most responsive to your posts. You can try to figure this out on your own, or you can save time and use a tool like Agorapulse reports to make it much easier for you.
It is also helpful to look at what types of post (media, text, or link) are most effective for your audience, your average engagement rate, as well as suggestions for the best times and days to post on your Twitter account.
All of this only gives you clues about when and what to post – what about how many times per day?
Quality and consistency do matter. It is better to tweet 5 or 6 times per day with things that your audience really wants to read than 12 times per day with content that is ignored?
A good rule of thumb would be to start with 5-7 posts per day and then monitor your results. Try going up to 9-10 for a couple weeks and measure what the impact is on your results. Keep trying different numbers of tweets until you find your sweet spot.
Don’t forget that recently matters: avoid skipping a day or posting only once or twice per day.
How Can You Save Even More Time on Twitter?
As you noticed, relationship and engagement are important metrics to getting more out of your Twitter posts. Which means you need to not only be creating content, but also interacting with people on Twitter. This is probably the most important take away from the new updates to the feed.
One of the primary reasons that I use Agorapulse to manage my own social media is that it gives me one place where I can create content as well as monitor my results and interact with others.
When it comes specifically to saving time on Twitter, make sure you are using a tool that can streamline your workflow. When asking the question, how often should you tweet, it is not only related to original content, but retweets and responses. There are 3 strategies that can help:
- Monitor your reports regularly to see what is working on Twitter
- Requeue your best content so that you have quality posts going out to your audience regularly
- Bulk Upload your tweets to save time filling out your queues
- Listen to search for and participate in relevant conversations
Let’s talk about each of these in a little more detail.
As we already mentioned, the best way to know how often should you tweet is to see what people are responding to. Again, the old wisdom was that more was better, but now you can compare and see what is getting engagement.
These charts created in Agorapulse allow a day-by-day comparison of the number of tweets and the engagement for that period. You can then go back to the content created on those dates to see what types of content your audience engaged with. Of course there is the basic media/link/text differentiation, but you can also see if there are particular topics that get more engagement.
Once you find your best content, then you know your audience likes it. Because of the algorithm, you won’t need to publish it again right away. However, you probably have evergreen content that you can post again in a few days or a few weeks. Agorapulse makes this easy by allowing you to set that content up to post again automatically with the requeue feature.
If you have a decent amount of evergreen content ready and waiting then you can use Agorapulse’s new publish categories to really up the ante on your requeue game. Publish categories help you organize what type of content is being republished when, and how often. This could be anything relevant to you and your brand – think blog posts, product shots, testimonials, lead magnets – the list goes on!
Speaking of having a decent amount of content ready to roll out, take advantage of the Agorapulse bulk upload feature. This is an awesome timesaver, allowing you to upload a spreadsheet CSV file with all your Twitter content laid out in rows. If you are writing and designing tweets for multiple Twitter accounts this is a great way to get all your sales messaging and campaign content done for each client in one coffee-fueled productivity session (hello Pomodoro Method).
You can also import directly from your RSS feed, pushing out your own blogs, or quality content from other publishers that you’re vibing on.
If you have been using Twitter for a while, you have probably used the search function. What if you could have those searches run automatically all the time to identify good people and conversations you could join in on?
That is another thing that you can do in Agorapulse. Identify the phrases and keywords that are relevant to your audience, and then see where you can engage.
What about you? How many times per day are you tweeting? Have you tested different numbers of tweets since Twitter started rolling out their new feed?