As Community Managers, we’re constantly trying new things. Whether it’s a new network or a new CTA, experimentation is in the job description. Unfortunately, we, as Community Managers, are also really busy. Trying new things can be daunting, especially when you have a strict plan to hit your numbers. But, that shouldn’t deter you; The risk is often worth the reward. How do you know what works, what doesn’t, or what could be better? Test.
The Question: How Many Tweets Is Too Many?
I’m not sure where I heard it, maybe it was a conference or a blog post, but at some point it was put in my head that Tweeting a lot can really peeve your community. Now, I wasn’t sure what “a lot” really was. Does that mean I should only tweet once a day? Or once an hour? I kept Tweeting and my numbers continued to improve. The community didn’t seem to mind, there was no negative feedback or slump in engagement. In fact, my key metrics got better. Much better. So, I decided to formally test if my frequency of tweeting affected my engagement, engagement per tweet, and site traffic.
The Experiment: Testing Tweet Frequency
To test the effects of Tweet frequency, I Tweeted for one week in 15-minute increments, and another week in 30-minute increments. I ran this test in December, and again in January. I pulled all the data from each week using the Simply Measured Account Report and Google Analytics, put it all into Excel, and compared the weeks side by side. Sounds good, right?
The Experiment… Again: Back to the Drawing Board
I presented my findings to my team, confident about the results. But our Conversion Manager, former analyst, Nate, poked some serious holes in my logic. See, after 5pm on a business day, my Tweet frequency would change. I only Tweeted in 15 or 30 minute intervals between 6am and 5pm, but my reports pulled for the full 24 hours. My sample set wasn’t specific enough. So, I went back to the drawing board. I adjusted my samples, pulling data only from within business hours, and what I found was really telling.
The Findings: Tweet Your Heart Out!
|After compiling the data from both weeks, I found that Tweeting in 15-minute increments increased traffic by 31% and engagement by 89%.
|Engagement Per Post
|The most interesting finding was the changes, or lack there of, in engagement per post. This was shocking because the natural inclination would be to assume that the more you post, the more spread out engagement will be and, thus, the lower your engagement per post will be. But, engagement per post barely changed between the two. In fact, 15-minute increments even averaged a tiny bit higher (1.4%).
|Total engagement was the least surprising disparity to me. It stands to reason that when I Tweeted twice as much, total engagement followed suit. My one fear was that there’d be a diminishing return as followers got sick of constant updates, but that didn’t prove to be the case.
What We Learned
Aside from the obvious findings about Tweet frequency, this test led me to tons of other findings. For example, when I segmented our engagement and traffic for exclusively between 6am – 5pm, I saw how much was occurring after business hours. Stacking more tweets, more powerful CTAs and richer content in the evenings could potentially drive our numbers up even further. Our audience is not only receptive during the day, but they’re actually tuned in all the time. Perhaps it’s because of the space we work in; social media geeks seldom turn it off. In the future, this is something I will definitely be able to capitalize on.
One thing that you probably shouldn’t do after reading this blog post is automatically start tweeting more. Just because it worked for me, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. Every audience is different; some will respond better to seeing your handle pop up in their feed multiple times a day, while others won’t. But what I strongly recommend you absolutely do after reading this post is run this test for yourself! The best way to find your sweet spot, is to test, test, test!
Want to test this out for yourself but have questions? Leave them in the comments or Tweet me!