PR pros have undoubtedly run across this little conundrum – how often should you tweet? Is it better to continuously post thoughts, links, and conversation all day long, or should you space them out to give people some breathing room? Is my presence too big or too small?
It doesn’t even have to be your business account; I get the same anxiety when I’m considering my personal account. Am I bothering people? Or have they forgotten I exist and perhaps unfollowed me? Could I just be a worrywart and stressed for no reason? (This is very much a possibility!)
Too Much vs. Too Little
Back in the ancient days before Tweetdeck and Hootsuite came along, there was only Twitter.com. And Twitter.com had one big feed where everyone you were following appeared. I had one friend who I had been following since I started using Twitter and started tweeting roughly every 3.4 seconds. Stuff about work, about his writing, about his kids, about the funny looking dirt pile he saw on the way home; nothing went unmentioned.
Every day I used Twitter it was like an annoying treasure hunt to find any of my other friends’ messages. It got so bad that I had eventually had to delete him off my feed. Only when Tweetdeck and company popped up was I able to refollow him. Of course by then he’d learned to quit being a feed hog.
I also have a friend who…well, I can’t remember. Every time they pop up in my feed I think, “When the heck did they join Twitter?” It’s not really the fact they post only once in a while, it’s usually just a perfunctory “got coffee” then they vanish again.
Ideally, you want to tweet somewhere in the middle. Don’t be so obnoxious you drive folks away, but stay bright enough in the public eye that your business isn’t forgotten and your whole campaign is a waste of time.
How to Tell?
Honestly, I’m of the opinion it really depends on what you’re tweeting. You could flood your followers’ feeds with hundreds of tweets a day, but if every single post is totally life-altering it wouldn’t matter to them. On the other hand, you can carefully select every single post time for maximum exposure and if nothing you say is relevant, you’re still toast.
A good average would be every 45 minutes. It can be way more spread out if you don’t have anything to say or any relevant or fun posts to share. Or if you’re having a particularly busy information day (maybe a product release?), every 30 minutes might be more appropriate. It depends on your content.
Also of note is “tweet chatting.” Having conversations on Twitter can drive some crazy; I’ve had some heated discussions with my own friends about it. It’s obviously important to have a little back and forth with your followers about work or fun things, as it’s part of what makes Twitter so effective. Keep in mind, though, some people do get a little bristled when there’s too much of this Tweet-chatting, and you don’t want to drive away customers.
If a certain conversation is getting up there in post counts, consider slowing it down and spreading messages out a little. Some of your customers might be following your chat friend as well and could become annoyed at all the back and forth popping up in their feed. Soon, they’ll take your out of their “favorites” group on Tweetdeck and forget about your business altogether. Don’t let it happen!
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three free ebooks, including the Big Press Release Book and Twitter Tactics, here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/freebooks.html