Depending on the industry, big brands may actually see better engagement posting tweets on the weekend, rather than on weekdays, according to a new Twitter engagement study from Buddy Media. Twitter differs from Facebook in that it may actually be better to post during the “busy hours” of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (all times referenced are EST), whereas on Facebook, the non-busy hours of 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. may lead to higher engagement.
These insights are contrary to recommendations we reported on from Bitly last month; they advised that the sweet spot for tweeting was between 1 and 3 p.m., Monday to Thursday. There are a few identifiable reasons for the huge discrepancy, so don’t write off the studies just yet:
- Bitly and Buddy Media each examined the information available to them. Bitly, as a URL shortening service, examined clicks on links, while Buddy Media looked at aggregate data including retweets and replies.
- Bitly’s study covered tweets by companies of all sizes, while Buddy Media focused on the accounts of over 300 of the biggest brands on Twitter over a period of just over two months.
Here are seven more tips and insights from this latest Twitter timing study:
1. Use Less Than 100 Characters Per Tweet
Tweets with under 100 characters had 17 percent higher engagement. Keeping tweets short allows room for followers to retweet and add their own comment.
2. Add Links to Your Tweets for a Higher Rate of Retweets
Buddy Media reported that link clicks account for 92 percent of all interactions with big brand accounts. Further, links drive more than clicks; tweets with links had an 86 percent higher retweet rate than those without.
3. Tweet 4 Times Per Day or Less
The more you tweet per day, the less engaging your tweets may become, said the report. They also recommend tweeting more on the days your tweets perform better.
4. Ensure There is a Space Before the URL in Tweets to Prevent Unclickable Links
Links that don’t work frustrate users and decrease engagement. Buddy Media said that 92 percent of all linking errors are due to users forgetting to leave a space before the URL, forcing followers to copy and paste it into their browser.
5. Ask for Retweets by Spelling Out the Entire Word
Big brands who spelled out “retweet” saw a retweet rate 23 times higher than average. Those who used the shorter “RT” still saw a retweet rate 10 times higher than average, compared to those who didn’t ask for one at all.
6. Use Images Where Possible
Big brands tweets with images had two times higher engagement. Use services like pic.twitter.com, yfrog.com, instagr.am or twitpic.com to add images to tweets.
7. Use Hashtags Wisely
One or two hashtags in a tweet increased engagement 21 percent, but more than two resulted in a 17 percent decrease.
For the full report, download directly from Buddy Media.
Do you analyze tweet performance for your own company? It is important to remember that while these studies offer helpful guidelines, nothing beats your own data. Let us know in the comments if you have any trends or insights to share!