In a recent study, Buddy Media reports on when brands should Tweet for maximum engagement
Buddy Media recently produced a report analayzing engagement trends for brands engaged in social media marketing through Twitter and Facebook. Engagement was measured with three factors: the Reply rate as a percentage of followers, the Retweet rate as a percentage of followers and the Engagement rate, which combined both replies and retweets while factoring in the number of followers.
Some of the information was surprising, such as
Twitter engagement rates for brands are 17% higher on Saturday and Sunday compared to weekdays, but most brands don't take advantage of this trend.
Really? I'd always read that weekdays were best for brand engagement. But to be honest, whenever I Tweet on behalf of a brand over a weekend, I'm always surprised at the response. This report found that most brands Tweet mid-week, when engagement is lowest. Much better to schedule a Tweet for a weekend and use some type of notification tool (I use the free Boxcar iPhone app) to be notified immediately of Retweets and mentions via smartphone.
It turns out that when brands Tweet during the "busy hours" of 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM Eastern, they enjoy 30% more engagement than during off-peak hours. Interestingly, the reverse is true for Facebook: the study showed that posts on non-busy hours (between 7:00 PM and 8:00 AM Eastern) get 17% better engagement than during busy hours. So for an always-on strategy, Tweet during the day and schedule Facebook posts to appear during non-busy hours.
Interestingly, the report indicated that brands that Tweeted more often than four times a day got diminishing returns in terms of engagement. From the chart below, it would appear that even just Tweeting once a day (with good content, presumably) can result in a very high level of engagement.
Shorter Tweets are better, the study found:
Tweets that contain less than 100 characters receive 17% higher engagement than longer Tweets.
It's always been considered polite to keep a Tweet under 140 characters to allow space for the retweeter's account name and comments, but this study shows that it's more than a best practice; it actually drives better results. Plus, it's a good exercise in condensing your message into a concise little chunk.
Link it or lose it
Again, it's always been a best practice to link to interesting articles and videos, but now there is data to back up the practice:
Tweets that contain links receive 86% higher Retweet rates than Tweets with no links.
So while it's good practice to Tweet your opinions and questions, for a high level of engagement via clickthroughs and Retweets, make sure you're linking to good content. This not only drives traffic to your destinations and increases your credibility when you link to external authoritative sources, but it allows the possibility of amplification of your brand and its messages to additional followers.