We all know a strong Twitter presence increases traffic to your website and landing pages, builds your brand, and positions you as an influencer in your own right. By now there is a wealth of data to help researchers such as Dan Zarella determine what you should do to effectively and efficiently build that presence.
Optimize Tweet Frequency and Timing
Research on data from thousands of tweets and users shows that tweeting both too often and too little results in fewer followers and markedly less engagement. That same data also draws a picture of the best times of day and days of the week to receive maximum interaction and increased click through rates (CTR).
Best days: Saturday and Sunday
Best time of business day: Between 1PM and 3PM, preferably earlier in the week
Optimal number of tweets per day: 4
Optimal number of tweets per hour: 1
There are two parts to the re-tweet equation:
You re-tweeting others
Others re-tweeting you
With strategic following, you will always have a source of valuable information to pass on to your followers. You need to seek out and follow those who are sharing information about your industry, speaking to the topics you find interesting and important. With a rich source of information to re-tweet you not only build your own reputation as the “go-to” for your specific niche; you begin to build relationships with those you re-tweet.
Others will re-tweet you if you have something of interest to pass on. More research by Zarella and Buddy Media (now owned by Salesforce.com) shows how you can significantly increase re-tweets:
86% increase in engagement: Include a link 25% of the way through a tweet
Double engagement: Include up to 2 hashtags
Double engagement: include a link to an image
Twitter tends to be a broadcast medium but conversations are important:
Ask a provocative question
Posting interesting tweets and ask others to weigh in
Re-tweet the best posts of others
Don’t use self-referential sales tweets; offer links to your blog and other resources when appropriate
@mentions and @replies
A conversation is a two-way street. Respond immediately to @replies because this is from someone who is eager to engage with you. When someone references your work with an @mention jump right on it to engage them and expand on the topic.
Follower to Following Ratio
The optimal ratio of followers to following is 5:1. You have five followers for everyone you follow. It takes time to build this balance and you will begin by having a higher following number. A portion of those will follow you back and begin to pass on your tweets and links. This will gain you more followers. You strategically follow back if they have valuable information or influence.
Track your followers. Also track your unfollows. Determine the reasons for unfollows to make sure you are engaging properly and targeting the right audience. Above all, do not be afraid to unfollow; who you decide to follow tells a story about you. Indiscriminate following creates a mash-up of unrelated people that can make your account lack distinction. Plus there will be little engagement from those who don’t share your interests or industry.