Twitter is the perfect medium for sharing links to your content and driving traffic, but it’s not enough to simply publish content and hoping for the best.

To give yourself the best chance of gaining retweets and clicks you need to know when to tweet and how often.

A new report from Buddy Media, Strategies for Effective Tweeting, analysed user engagement with 320 Twitter handles of the world’s biggest brands.

It looked at the replies, retweets and engagement each received between December 11, 2011 and February 23, 2012.

Here are seven of the tips it came up with...

1. Consider weekend tweeting

According to the stats, engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends, however this is when brands tend to be least active.

In my experience the people I follow are far less vocal on weekends, so it could be that engagement increases as branded tweets have far less competition for attention.

2. Tweet during daylight

When brands tweet during the ‘busy hours’ between 8am and 7pm they receive 30% higher engagement than tweets that fall during the ‘non-busy’ hours from 8pm to 7am.

Yet Buddy Media found that just 64% of brands tend to tweet during the busy daytime hours.

In contrast, on Facebook posts during ‘non-busy’ hours receive 17% higher engagement than those posted during the day.

This is because Facebook posts can remain at the top of a user’s newsfeed based on their EdgeRank scores, even if posted while the user is not on Facebook.

This tallies with data from a Yesmail report which found that Facebook campaigns reached the highest level of interaction between 10pm and midnight.

3. Tweet four times a day

Tweets are no different from other marketing tools, such as email or text, in that if you overdo it your audience will soon switch off.

Buddy Media’s report found that there is an inverse relationship between daily tweet frequency and engagement, so the more you Tweet per day, the less engaging your Tweets may become.

4. Be brief

The report found that tweets with 100 characters or less receive 17% higher engagement that longer tweets.

In our blog post ‘20 simple ways to get more retweets’, we suggested that 65 characters is the best length for a headline. This then allows space to insert a link, and also gives your followers space to enter their own comments to a retweet.

5. Links drive more than just clicks

One of the greatest strengths of Twitter is its ability to drive traffic elsewhere on the web. According to Buddy Media's data, link clicks account for 92% of all user interaction with tweets.

On average tweets that contain links receive 86% higher retweet rates than tweets with no links.

So, Tweets with links not only drive a lot of traffic to desired destinations, but they also amplify your brand messages to more than just your followers.

6. Use hashtags, but don't overuse them

According to the report, tweets with hashtags receive twice as much engagement than those without hashtags.

Yet only 24% of tweets contain hashtags, which means that brands could be missing out on an opportunity to increase engagement.

But on the other hand, if all brands started constantly using hashtags then the impact would inevitably begin to wane. This is underlined by the fact that tweets that use more than two hastags show a 17% drop in engagement.

7. Ask for retweets

Asking for retweets can seem needy, but tweets that specifically ask followers to retweet or ‘RT’ receive 12 times higher engagement rates than those that don’t include this call to action.

The type of call to action also has an impact – spelling out ‘retweet’ will get 23 times more retweets than average, while ‘RT’ get ten times more.

Obviously you don’t want to overuse this tactic, but it is an easy way to boost engagement with your most important content.

David Moth

Published 28 June, 2012 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (8)

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Stuart Miles

Excellent tips. I always find asking for the retweet when you really want to spread the word helps lots.

Was surprised that tweeting more than four times a day has a negative affect.

about 6 years ago


Recruiting Animal

Good pithy sayings get Retweets as well. These are not the endless quotations you see everywhere on Twitter. You have to read something and then reword it or condense it into something striking.

"Common sense says: if you can't manage yourself someone else will."

That got a few RTs for me.

about 6 years ago


Nick Stamoulis

You have to be willing to be active when your audience is, even if that is outside of normal business hours. I am a big fan of scheduling things to go live in the evening and over the weekend just so I'm there when my audience is.

about 6 years ago


Russell O'Sullivan

simple straight forward and helpful article chaps...

about 6 years ago


vijay vasu

Good article, nice research.

Tweeting 4 times a day is good in theory, but you can hardly engage with your audience if all you have is 4 tweets per day?

What do you think?



about 6 years ago


Richard Burns

Yes Coca Cola and Ford can get away with tweeting twice a day, but YOU can't. THEY have millions of built in followers and advertising budgets in the hundreds of millions to drive traffic and build attention.

YOU are not one of the top 320 brands in the world. YOU are a small business that needs to build a following, inform, perform customer service, influence, and drive traffic with your social media.

The top PEOPLE doing business on Twitter all tweet a minimum of twice that per day and most post 20-30-40-50-100 times per day.

Kawasaki, Bullas, Voss, Coates, Lee, Koster, Northey, Green, Olsen, Hayes, Tran, Whitlock, Stark, Lee, Rubin, Garrett, Husong, Fitton, Waldow, Kramer, Trapani, O'Reilly, Jantsch, Moreno, Rowse, Karthick, Baer, Pencak, Schaefer, Gardner, Dodaro, Zarrella, Ross, Idugboe, Naslund, Meerman Scott, Clark, Hines, Todd, Baroudi, Brogan, Handley, Vaynerchuk, Stratten, Gilmore, Strauss, Falls, Smith, Monty, Moore, Barron, Coine, Solis, Mayer Orsburn, Ruff, Oatway, Owyang, Garst, O'Neil, Taylor, Schaffer, Farnsworth, vonRosen, Collier, Abraham, Rubel. and Penn to name a few of the best.

Most of those names are Forbes list of the Top 50 Power Influencers on Social Media.

Emulate what THEY are doing, not what Coca Cola or General Motors is doing UNTIL your business is the size of General Motors with a similar media budget.

about 6 years ago



It's strange how simply asking for a RT can actually get you more RT's. I suppose if you don't ask you don't get.

about 6 years ago



Good replies in return of this query with firm arguments and describing everything regarding that.

about 6 years ago

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