How to Improve Tweet Activity – A Study of One Billion+ Tweets
It’s hard to argue with numbers – especially the number “one billion.”
Social Quant has analyzed over a billion tweets in this study to show you what their data says about Twitter marketing.
Are you sick of hearing what you should do from so-called “experts” – many of whom provide contradictory advice?! “Do this. Don’t do that. Why? Because I said so.”
Well, forget that. Let’s see what big data has to say about how to handle your tweet activity to get the most from Twitter.
Social Quant has connected over 15,000,000 people and businesses on Twitter. This has given them access to a ton of actionable data, including the effects of tweeting frequency and hashtag use.
In this post, I’ll delve into some of the key insights from this data study and how you can use this info to maximize the success of your Twitter marketing.
The Big Takeaway from One Billion+ Tweets
The most glaring insight from the tweet activity data is that the more you tweet, the more successful you’ll be with your Twitter marketing.
For most small-medium businesses, the ultimate goal of Twitter is to drive traffic back to your blog post, email opt-in, product pages – whatever content will increase leads and sales. In other words, a win on Twitter is when your followers click on a link and land on your site.
In examining the data, link clicks were studied in great detail and a fascinating statistic was discovered. Less than 1% of the accounts in the study were responsible for more than 20% of all link clicks!
I’ll refer to these power traffic-driving accounts as the A-Team and the rest of the accounts as the B-Team for the remainder of the post.
What the big data showed is members of the A-Team tweeted approximately 80 times per day versus the B-Team, who tweeted an average of less than 14 times per day.
Here’s a chart that will help you get a better idea of what that difference in engagement per tweet looked like:
Now I know what you’re thinking: “Well, duh! If you want more engagement you need to post more tweets!”
And yes, I agree, it stands to reason that if you increase your tweet activity, you will get more clicks and engagement.
For instance, if you are tweeting 10 times and get 20 likes, you would expect to get 40 likes by tweeting 20 times, right?
That’s how it would work if the growth was linear.
But the data says that’s the growth isn’t linear. The numbers show that the growth is EXPONENTIAL.
So instead of engagement doubling when you double the number of tweets, it actually triples or more.
Real Data Example of Tweet Activity
The B-Team tweeted an average of 13.68 times a day per account and got 9.23 URL clicks – an average of 0.67 clicks per tweet.
If the number of clicks increased in a linear fashion based on the raw number of tweets, the A-Team should have gotten 53 clicks per day from their 80 tweets.
But that’s not what the data shows.
If the relationship were linear, these two graphs below would be identical. As you can see, they are far from it:
The A-Team actually got an average of 291 clicks per day, with an average of almost four clicks per tweet. That’s over 30 times as many clicks per day and over five times the number of clicks per tweet as the B-Team!
Tweet Activity Quality vs. Quantity
There’s one thing that the data cannot take into consideration: quality.
Most of the B-Team probably wouldn’t get the same levels of engagement as the A-Team simply by tweeting more. The A-Team is largely comprised of marketing experts who understand:
The power of using great images along with their tweets.
How to provide value with information that’s helpful and actionable.
Copywriting techniques that will drive clicks, such as a strong call to action.
How to use a well written pinned tweet to get new followers to click your links.
Using tools to automate their Twitter marketing and put it into overdrive.
How can I possibly tweet 80 times per day?
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “how can I possibly tweet 80 times per day?! I don’t have enough content for that!”
I can completely understand that reaction but I am willing to bet that you probably do – or at least have enough content to Tweet much more than you currently are.
Unless you’re getting started, you probably have at least 10 blog posts on your website, hopefully more. Look at each blog post and create five to eight unique tweets for each post. One tweet could be the name of the post. One could be an interesting quote pulled out from the post. Another could be a statistic or just teaser text enticing people to click to find out more.
While it sounds like a lot of tweet activity for each post, I promise you that it’s easier than it seems.
How to Tweet More Often
To take a tip from the A-Team, go ahead and create a few graphics to go along with at least a few of those tweets as you’re creating them. Or if you hate creating graphics you could also just create the text for the images and then outsource the graphic design.
While the process may take a while, when you’re finished, you should have at least 50-80 different quotes.
Next, sit down and create a tip series with 50-100 tips. If the idea of creating that many at one sitting is overwhelming, try doing 10-15 per day. When you’re finished, follow the same process you established with your blog, turning some of them into images.
Finally, compile a list of your favorite quotes – I would aim for 100 – and turn some of those into images as well. If you’re having trouble finding quotes you can actually find them easily on Twitter using the #Quote (or just do a Google search). Chances are you already have a number of these created for Facebook or Instagram.
Doing this should produce 250-300 unique tweets.
How to Space Your Tweet Activity
Now, to tweet 80 times per day, you need to tweet three to four times per hour if you’re tweeting 24 hours a day. If you know your ideal client is only in the U.S., modify the hours so you’re only tweeting when most of your audience would be awake. And then tweet more frequently.
Now, obviously you don’t want to manually schedule that many tweets on a daily basis.
I would suggest using a site like SocialOomph or Edgar and set up your content to run in a loop continuously. This will also make it easy to add to your content with each new blog post or tip you create.
Studies have been done by multiple social media experts who have come to the conclusion that an average tweet posted by a Twitter account with approximately 1000 followers will have a lifespan of 18-20 minutes.
According to eMarketer.com, Twitter users spend an average of 17.1 minutes on the platform each day. That means most people are going to miss the majority of your 80 tweets. It also means it’s highly unlikely that they would notice that your content is in a loop.
However, because you’re tweeting so frequently and would most likely tweet during the window of time they were on Twitter, they’re far more likely to see your content than if you were tweeting less than once per hour.
What is the Optimal Number of Hashtags per Tweet?
Now, getting back to our deep dive into data, something I failed to mention that the A-Team is also nailing is the effective use of hashtags.
I’ve always been cautioned not to use too many hashtags on Twitter. Hashtag-stuffed tweets will definitely make an account look spammy. For my own marketing, I typically just use one or two, and occasionally as many as three hashtags.
But is that optimal? Well, let’s take a look at what the big data tells us.
For this deep dive into hashtags, 4,076,439 tweets were analyzed. Those tweets had a total of:
2,501,718 link clicks
This is a massive sample size and the results of the analysis were actually quite surprising.
More Hashtags Doesn’t Equal More Impressions
On Instagram, I always encourage my clients to use all 30 hashtags because it’s one of the primary ways people uncover content and it’s a generally accepted practice on the platform. More hashtags equals further reach (i.e. more impressions). I’ve inadvertently proven this every time I’ve accidentally forgotten to put hashtags on my IG images. My engagement plummets.
This is NOT the case on Twitter.
The impressions actually start to go down after two hashtags, with the exception of one outlier.
It’s no surprise that tweets with zero hashtags got fewer impressions. These tweets missed out on additional traffic from keyword searches. If you’re optimizing your tweets for impressions, two hashtags appears to be the magic number.
What was more surprising than the impression data, however, was the engagement data.
The highest engagement was on tweets that had between four and ten hashtags and the highest number of likes occurred on hashtags with nine or ten hashtags!
But remember that the ultimate goal is driving traffic. Those tweets with 9 or 10 hashtags got significantly less link clicks than tweets containing fewer hashtags.
The tweets with the most link clicks had between zero and six hashtags.
My takeaway from examining the data, and applying common sense, is that it’s best to tweet with one to three hashtags. This will keep you in the highest ranges for impressions and engagement – with an emphasis on link clicks – and keep your tweets looking clean and spam-free.
It comes as no surprise that as the number of hashtags increased, the clicks went down quickly. Lots of hashtags are associated with spammy Twitter accounts and users are more wary of clicking those links.
Choose Your Hashtags Wisely
Because you’re limited to just a few hashtags in your tweets, select them wisely. Remember, the keywords you select as hashtags have a big impact on whether your content is found in a Twitter search.
Start by compiling a list of all hashtags that are relevant to your niche. Hashtagify.me is a great resource since it makes it easy to find hashtags related to the ones you know you want to target. You can then use those hashtags along with the original to increase your reach – although remember to avoid using more than three, total.
Hashtagify.me also has great data on the popularity of hashtags. Hashtags that are rarely used aren’t searched for. Remove those from your list.
For even more ideas, take a look at the hashtags that your competitors or industry experts are sharing with their tweets. This will help you get an even better idea of which hashtags are most relevant for your audience.
You could also jump onto trending hashtags. There is a list of tending hashtags on the left side of the screen inside Twitter. You can substantially increase the reach of a good piece of content by including a relevant trending hashtag.
Remember, great Twitter marketing is a skill that takes time to master. It’s not going to happen overnight.
Focus on creating great content, both text and visual, that your audience will find valuable. This data is a great jumping off point to help you adjust your tweet activity to get that content in front of more people and make you Twitter marketing more successful.
I’d love to hear what you think about what the data says in the comments section below!