HOW MANY TWEETS ARE TOO MANY TWEETS?

Please raise your hand if you have ever seen a Progressive commercial starring the fictional character “Flo”. Now keep your hand raised if Flo’s commercials have ever irritated, annoyed, or just plain bugged you. There is an old adage, “Everything in moderation,” which apparently Progressive has never heard of with their brazen Flo-vertising campaigns. These commercials got me thinking; how does this rule apply to social media?

At a certain point, a brand’s social accounts can go from informative to annoying. It is a fine line, but there is a distinction between awareness and annoyance. While this will generally vary from market to market, I’m here walk through three of the most popular platforms and talk about how businesses can keep followers engaged without the irritation of too many posts.

FACEBOOK

The perception of a Facebook feed these days is exclusively BuzzFeed Top 10 Lists (You’ll never believe number 8!) and Candy Crush scores, but in reality there is an abundance of solid content that continues to receive some of the best engagement rates across any social platform. There are some 1.5 billion users on Facebook, so why not find the best way to engage them? Socialbakers, the social analytic specialists, compared post frequencies per day for these ten popular brands:

The major take-away from Socialbakers findings: on average, successful brands post once a day. This is because Facebook posts have a much longer life cycle, which lowers the optimal post frequency. Think of Facebook as your refurbished muscle car. It’s been around for a while, but you still get some of the best comments when your take it around the block. People will definitely be talking about it, and they may even share what they’ve seen with their friends. Now imagine if you keep driving up and down the same road. It will get old for the individuals who usually engage, and you will start to annoy your neighbors.

RECOMMENDATION: Post 1 – 2 times per day, 7 days a week

TWITTER

Now, if Facebook is the Mustang of social media, Twitter is the subway train. Imagine your followers as a group of people waiting at a train station. Their Twitter feed is the subway that never stops or even ends. Now when you post, those waiting passengers may see your message or it could pass them by, lost forever! Scary right? Naturally, this means that the post frequency on Twitter can be much higher, but by how much? TrackSocial took a look at the correlation between tweet frequency and retweets:

You can see that there is an ideal post range for tweets per day that is right around 4 – 5 tweets. Depending on your business type, industry, and fan base, you may be able to get away with more tweets during the day, especially if they are responses to your customers.

You will also notice that 11 – 15 tweets received promising retweet engagement numbers, but that seems like a steep post count, right? One trick is to re-share the same content you have previously posted! Like re-gifting, you may want to change up the wrapping paper by altering the post copy and image. Twitter feeds move so quickly that your users may not even notice the re-packaging of your content, and it’s a good way to get new visitors to old blog posts (yes, I will be sharing this blog with multiple tweets).

RECOMMENDATION: Post 4 – 10 times per day, 7 days a week

INSTAGRAM

Keeping with the transportation metaphor theme, Instagram is the old-timey hipster bike of the social networking family. Not only does it get you from point A to point B, you look super cool doing it (no filter required). Instagram holds the unique position among social platforms of brand lifestyle building.

While selling your product/services is important, it should only be about 1/3 of your weekly Instagram posts. The rest of the week you are afforded the opportunity to build your brand identity. Use your pictures and videos to answer the questions, what does your business stand for, why do you have the best employees, and what are your aspirational customers?

Much like Facebook, Instagram maintains a longer post frequency, which requires less posting per week. But what about post count? Union Metrics took a look at 55 brands varying in size and determined that the average number of posts per day is about 1.5 pictures or videos.

RECOMMENDATION: Post once per day, 7 days a week

Finding your business’ ideal number of posts per week is an iterative process. Try posting 10 times a day on Twitter and track what happens. Then, during the next week, only post 3 times a day. Compare the differences and starting honing in on your social “sweet spot”. Establishing an expectation of posts is crucial, as it breeds consistency and engagement. These optimized posts are the key to a winning social media strategy, and in the words of our favorite insurance brand rep, Flo, "Sprinkles are for winners."