Twitter. It’s been around since 2006, but many businesses are still trying to figure out how to effectively utilize it. In a sense, it can be like throwing darts. At first, you’re just trying to hit the board, figure out how to post, what to post, etc. But, after many attempts you finally start to hit the center, that 50-point circle of success, or in the Twittersphere, engagement.
It can take years to hone in on an effective social media strategy. Many companies base their initial strategy off of a similar organization in their industry, but in our expertise, that’s only a step towards social failure. What can be the right amount, and right content, for one company or individual can be totally wrong for another.
In an effort to help you reach your audience in the most effective way possible, here are five factors to consider when determining how much tweeting is enough:
1) The size of your account and interests of your audience.
Are you a large organization tweeting for national exposure; or a small company looking for local engagement? The size of your organization will determine how often you need to be tweeting (large = a lot; small = less often).
It’s also important to determine your audience and look at their social habits. Do they like articles, photos, videos? Do they retweet content often, favourite posts, or engage with other organizations? Spend time analyzing their reactions to other social posts and develop your strategy from there.
2) The amount of content you have to share.
Is someone at your company producing blogs? Do you have access to photos you can share? Or will you be searching for content as you go? These questions are important to discuss, and can easily be answered by developing a social media plan or strategy.
Remember, you only have 140 characters to work with. You’ll need to find a balance between listening and sharing, between being informative and annoying. If you don’t have something to share, don’t tweet. When it comes to the content you post on Twitter, value shouldn’t be jeopardized for frequency.
3) The kind of content you have to share.
In the world of social media, content is king, so it’s important to think about why someone should follow you in the first place. After determining the “why,” you can focus on creating valued content and meeting your audience’s wants and needs.
Once familiar with Twitter, spend some time focusing on interaction and engaging in conversation. Tweet out different forms of content (links, photos, retweets, and conversations) to ensure you have a well-rounded Twitter feed. Don’t just pump out links and talk about yourself; a general rule of thumb is that 10% of content should be about you and 90% about you’re audience.
4) How often you can ACTUALLY post.
It’s important to come to the realization that your audience won’t be reading everything you tweet. But, in order to maintain a consistent presence, you need to be more active than you think. If you’re tweeting 20+ times one day and none another, you’ll easily lose audience engagement. Consistence is key.
Tools to help you manage your accounts, such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social, are readily available for your use – and can be extremely helpful when you’re a busy small business owner. Still be available for a few minutes of real-time engagement, though. It will pay off.
5) What do you want to achieve.
Keep in mind what your end goal is and how you’ll be measuring results. Will it be determined in sales, engagement, brand recognition? If you do not know this, then you’ll never quite know how often to post.
The best way to discover what’s right for your business is to test and learn – see what feels right and what your audience engages with. Continue to improve your strategy and tactics by testing, measuring, adjusting, and repeating. You’ll only be visible on Twitter if you post.