Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Social Media Experience: How often Should You Tweet and Repeat?

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I have been tweeting a lot this week about my "Pinterest Experiment" for cultural heritage and archives. I want to make sure that everyone online who might be interested in it hears about it. I am still seeking additional contributors to the "What do archivists do?" Pinterest board and I want to encourage volunteers. However, I am concerned that if I tweet about my own blog or my own interests too much people will start to get annoyed with me. (Have you ever worried about this with your own posts?) So, I posed this question to Twitter followers: "Any studies out there on how often you have to / should repeat things on Twitter to maximize / not annoy Tweeps?"

In general, these are my rules of thumb based on my experience:
  • I tweet about a new blog post 3x on the first day - morning, afternoon, then evening (The automated system Networked Blogs then tweets once more for me - a fourth time.)
  • If I am tweeting about a timely topic that requires or invites interaction, I take the subject up again the next day, but I then only tweet about it once or twice.
  • If it is an ongoing topic, I tweet about it a few times a week, but try to spread it out. I change the wording and try to make it interesting.
  • I aim to promote others more than I promote myself.
So, how often should you repeat things on Twitter? There has been a study by Guy Kawasaki and his observations seem to be the guide for experts on the matter...Here are some good links I've found on the subject:

One thing can't be overlooked in my personal experience on the Pinterest project in terms of drumming up support for it. I have spread myself over social media and have stayed alert for topics that relate to what I am doing. Soon after I tweeted multiple times about the Pinterest Experiment, I saw a LinkedIn post about using Pinterest for non-profits. I commented on the post and linked to my own related blog topic. The next day, hits to my blog spiked higher than I have ever seen with the Pinterest Experiment reaching double the number of viewers of any post I've made in the past - reaching over 1,000 hits.

The moral? Experiment, engage, learn about your audiences, seek new related audiences, AND vary your social media energy. Sometimes finding the right audience for your work is trial and error. The benefit in finding the right online audience? Get attention for you and your organization. Think of social media as a wonderful outreach tool to boost your interests, but try to avoid annoying people. (This is always a good practice, right?) Once you find the audience, you can turn to them again and again for support in all that you do. Just remember, tweet and repeat is not the only answer.

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