The question I’m guaranteed to be asked in every training session is “How often should I post on Twitter?” I then wave my arms around and make some reference to string.
The fact of the matter is, obviously there is no right answer, and everything depends on what it is you are posting and who you are posting too. It also touches a nerve with me because I feel torn between what I ‘should’ say and what I actually think.
In the 4 years I’ve been running Armadillo Social, I’ve noticed a massive increase in what I would call ‘Tweet inflation’, with companies posting more and more tweets as the months go by, and wondering why less and less people are seeing them.
I blame myself. The rise of tools like Buffer and, even more convenient for volume Tweets Edgar, have made it easy to phone it in. You can set up 50 tweets in a few minutes, all promoting the same thing if you really want to.
In my first workshop I declared people should aim for about 3 tweets a day. Last week I heard a social media ‘expert’ say that companies should be aiming for about 20 to 25!
I’ll admit it’s tempting, and it goes a little something like this….
Your followers are following an awful lot of people, so their timeline is pretty clogged. Tweets are coming thick and fast, so someone is only likely to bother to scroll down that last 20 minutes or so, if that. But you posted that link to you blog over six hours ago! Only 120 people saw it. You’d best post it again. The trouble is – everyone else is having the same idea, only their going for every five hours, so you’d best aim for every 4. And so it continues.
Before you know it, your twitter timeline is like a cheap shopping channel, full in promotion after promotion with very little meaningful content in between. This is why you are not allowed nice things.
If you ask me, this is why Twitter is faltering, and this is why people are wandering off, or never really get the hang of it.
Twitter is by far my favourite platform of choice, but then I use it for more than just marketing. I use Twitter to discuss ideas, politics, causes, things I’m passionate about and the odd joke about Ed Sheeran. I go to Twitter when I want company, or a laugh, or to find out something new – not to hear about your latest special offer.
This is how the people who love Twitter, use Twitter. The rest are just junk mail leaflets on the floor.
“But you’re supposed to be in marketing! What shall we do?”, I hear you cry.
Now I know people will come along and say ‘but this is business and it works’. Well it might do, but then again it might not, and it doesn’t make it big or clever! Take some time over the summer to really think about what you are trying to achieve and take a long hard look at whether your tweets are actually doing that.
Here’s my summer Twitter challenge for you.
– Of course, you need to promote yourself to some degree, but try and make about 1 in 10 tweets actually about something that you sell (I’m including replies in this). Other things you could tweet about include
someone you’ve met
something interesting you’ve read
a news story you have something to say about
something you are proud of
- Enough of the scheduled posts. If you’re going away, go away. We’ll all still be here when you get back but at least you’ll be there to actually talk to us. (SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT: although don’t tell Twitter you’re going away, particularly if you work from home)
- Clear out your followers. I need to practice what I preach here but have a good, ruthless clear out. It’s easy, especially if you take part in lots of networking hours, to follow lots of accounts you don’t really care for. Go down your timeline and unfollow anyone you have no real interest in, don’t want to connect with or are just random.
- Make some Twitter lists. Search out people you are genuinely interested in and create some Twitter lists so you can read their tweets easily. Maybe a list of people who post interesting things to read, or people who are good to chat to.
- Talk to some people. Actually read your timeline and find someone to interact with to build some real relationships. These could be individual conversations, or finding tweets that you can share and add your own insight to.
If we can all join in, together, maybe we can make Twitter a happier place.
If you need some help with honing your digital strategy, then book yourself in for some training.
“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead