I’ve never really been big on Twitter.
I basically signed up for the social platform as a way to get some shares for my posts purely as an SEO metric. I thought it would take a ton of work to grow my Twitter account to the point where it would actually drive lots of traffic to my site and I just wasn’t interested in putting in that time.
My other big use for my Twitter account is to get in touch with other people, mainly in pursuit of backlinks, quotes, or answers to questions.
During my time on Twitter, I’ve found the site to be full of fake accounts, spam accounts, and fully automated accounts. Many of you have no doubt experienced that too.
Twitter is too big to ignore
While those fake accounts and spammers initially drove me away from using the site, after learning a bit more about the platform and the best ways to use it, I decided I just could not ignore Twitter as a way to promote my blog.
According to Venture Beat, Twitter now has over 313 million active monthly users. There seems to be a lot of small businesses (my target audience) using Twitter.
After deciding to get more involved on Twitter, I had to decide how to go about doing that.
I will be using Automation, but how often should I post?
I was already a fan of using Buffer, a popular social media automation tool, and I planned from the start to use that tool to schedule my posts.
As I didn’t really have a ton of content and people hate accounts that only self-promote, I thought I’d share other people’s awesome content as well as my own.
It was then really a matter of deciding how often I wanted to tweet.
I looked online for some statistics about tweeting frequencies, but honestly wasn’t able to find what I wanted.
What others say not to do
A lot of people say that tweeting too often is super annoying.
Users definitely don’t want to open their feed and see ten articles by the same person in a row. Of course, you can just schedule them a couple minutes or hours apart to prevent that from happening.
Some bloggers say that your tweets should all be high quality or aimed at engaging with your audience. I get that idea, but what I really wanted was growth. I wanted to gain new followers, not interact with the very limited audience I had.
Also, posting other people’s great content surely would be appreciated by other people looking for that type of information, right?
Several bloggers have also mentioned not abusing hashtags or using more than a set number or using a hashtag that doesn’t fit into the title or sentence you tweet.
I don’t really get that point at all, as hashtags are just a way to file a post under a keyword. If the tweet is about content marketing but you can’t fit that into the sentence or title that you are tweeting, why not add it to the end?
Also, don’t more hashtags lead to more exposure for your tweet? If I want to grow, don’t I want the maximum exposure I can get?
BTW, I wrote a post about some 11 tools you can use to research hashtags.
Looking at those automated accounts
I was unsuccessful in finding information pertaining to tweeting frequencies for growth.
There is a lot of information out there about growing your Twitter account or following, but most is really simplistic, basic stuff.
I also consider a lot of it to just be wrong or unhelpful, such as the advice to not tweet more than a certain number of times per day (some people say numbers between 2 or 6 times per day). Maybe that advice is good for huge brands with big followings, but it doesn’t foster growth.
Other bloggers and sites give times when you should tweet, but I’ve found those times to be wrong for my audience. People who give that advice usually have given days and timeframes that they think work best. A lot of them seem to promote posting in the morning during workdays. I found that the best time for my tweets is late at night, from 9 PM to 1 AM CST, during the work week.
Basically, a lot of the advice I was reading about growing my Twitter following was just not that helpful. If I wanted to find a way to grow fast on Twitter, I needed to see how other people were doing it. I took to Twitter to do just that.
Tweet a ton
It really isn’t too difficult to see that a lot of accounts that have thousands upon thousands of followers also tweet a ton. Like thousands or tens of thousands of tweets.
There are other ways to grow, like being involved with chats or getting big mentions, but just tweeting in volume seems to be the most effective way to grow your following.
Those mass posters usually schedule them out at least 5 or 10 minutes apart, to prevent themselves from filling up their user’s feeds. They also typically have the posts on repeat, so they just set their feeds once and left it.
I was (and am) pretty sure that this was the key to massive growth, but I thought maybe I’d do some testing to find out.
My Twitter posting frequency tests over four months
At that point, based on my Twitter activity I already had some interesting stats to use when analyzing the differences in posting frequencies ability to grow my audience.
Two months prior, I hadn’t posted to Twitter at all. That month, I lost 13 followers (I had around 800 followers), had just 863 tweet impressions, and just 50 profile visits. I received one visit from Twitter to my website.
Clearly not posting at all doesn’t help you grow your Twitter. It is interesting to find that people actually unfollowed me and some people still checked out my profile and tweets even though I was inactive.
The next month, I posted to Twitter 10 times. Whenever I tweeted, I went to Twitter and actually wrote out the tweets there and then posted them.
Those tweets gained me 26 followers, 8,867 tweet impressions, and 267 profile visits. I received two visits from Twitter to my website.
Just posting those few times helped a little as I gained followers, but I still didn’t get much in terms of website visits.
I decided that for the coming month, I would post Monday through Friday, and post at least twice a day.
In total, I ended up with 63 tweets. Those tweets garnered 426 new followers, 19,900 impressions, and 1,319 profile visits. I received 22 visits from Twitter to my website.
At the time, I thought that was pretty cool that I was able to gain that many followers and impressions from so few tweets. I also actually got some traffic to my site from Twitter, which showed the potential of the platform in driving traffic.
For the next month, I decided to ramp things up and try to post a lot every single day. Originally I was going to do 10 posts a day, but ended up not sticking with that. I guess my Twitter posting frequency worked out to 8.5 tweets per day. I typically posted less on the weekend.
My workflow for July was to schedule out my tweets a day in advance. I used Feedly to find articles to share and Buffer to schedule.
I ended up with 263 tweets during the month. Those garnered 90,900 impressions, 1,853 new followers (that’s more than double what I had), and 4,724 profile visits. I also got 31 visits from Twitter to my website.
Obviously some of those stats are way better than the month before. I got 4.5 times the impressions, 4 times the followers, and 4 time the profile visits.
I didn’t really promote my own stuff that hard
During all of those months, I really didn’t promote my own content all that hard. Even in the month where I had a higher Twitter posting frequency and sent 263 tweets, I think less than 10 were my own content. I also didn’t pin my own content to the top of my Twitter profile and hadn’t used a strong CTA in my profile.
I share these stats and my experience with you just to show that posting frequency is really the best way to grow your Twitter audience. Maybe it is annoying and some users might notice and not like it, but that is made up for by the sheer number of users you will gain as followers.
Other factors in growth
Some other factors that may have played a part in that rapid growth I talked about above include:
- I only shared stuff that I thought was quality. I have Feedly setup to track dozens of websites and would choose which articles to share from there and load them into Buffer. Read more on Feedly + Buffer.
- Using a lot of hashtags. I researched hashtags and tried to fit any relevant hashtags into tweets. I ignored that advice about limiting your tweet to a certain number of hashtags or hashtag spamming.
- As I discussed in another article, I use CrowdFire to follow back anyone that followed me. I also unfollowed my unfollowers.
Moving forward on Twitter
I know I said at the beginning that I didn’t like spammers, and now it sounds like I have become one given my new target Twitter posting frequency. I guess that is kind of true, but I like to think that the content I will be using is valuable and of a high enough quality that users won’t mind seeing more than one article in their feed from me.
It’s not like I’m spamming them with clickbait viral stories.
I now am planning to try out some preloaded, repeating content on Twitter.
I’m going to use Buffer to create a feed of hundreds of tweets so that I can post every 10 minutes, all day, every day. That’s quite the Twitter posting frequency.
I will be leaving some preset times for new content that I will update every single day. The rest of it will be content that I really like, which is evergreen, and that I will share on repeat.
I’ve seen a few other accounts that do this and it seems to work. It’ll be interesting to see how it works for me. I’ll be sure to come back and update this post.
Until then, I hope you are able to take this advice and ramp up your own tweeting to grow your Twitter following!