Archive for November, 2012

Optimize Your Tweets

Retweets are arguably the most powerful metric on Twitter. Compelling your followers to Retweet (RT) your brand’s message is essential if you want to make full use of the platform. So, how do you increase these shares?

In this blog post, we examine how the average RT/Tweet rate varies based on daily Tweet frequency, post-time, and post-type. Using data from about 7,000 brand Tweets* we looked at how frequency, time of day and post-type effect the average RT rate (%) of a Tweet.

*Methods: Brand Tweets were sampled from ~30 accounts associated with 13 big brands; Twitter accounts used included regional and global audiences; all data is less than 6 months old (11/5/12). RT rates were normalized against the total number of followers on the day of the Tweet.

 Tweet Frequency: 4-5 Tweets/Day

How many times a day should brands be Tweeting? Is it better to under-Tweet rather than over-Tweet, or vice-versa? In order to address these questions, we categorized Tweets based on the total number of Tweets made by the brand in that day (Tweets/Day) and then plotted the average RT rate (%) to see if there was a trend, and indeed there was!

Tweeting four times per day is the optimal frequency in terms of highest RT rate. Tweeting once per day returns the lowest amount of ReTweets. The average RT rate on accounts that Tweeted 5-6 times a day were about 60% higher than those that only Tweeted 2-3 times a day, so erring on the side of over-tweeting is better than under-tweeting.

**Data not shown

The trend seen here complements a recent socialmediatoday post, which also found the optimal tweet frequency peaks at ~4-5 tweets per day.

Tweet Time: Between 7-8am for your target follower base. If you do not know where your followers are, posting at 4, 7, and 11am EST is a good jumping off point.

When is the best time of day to Tweet? Using the same data set as above, we looked at the average RT rate based on the time of day the tweet was posted (EST). The results are shown below:

The data above is plotted as Eastern Standard Time (EST). The largest peaks occur between the hours of 7 and 8 am in three heavily populated time-zones: London, England, and the East and West Coasts of the US.

The largest peak occurred at 7am EST, and was 75-85% higher than either of the other two peak times.

 

 

 

This is likely due to a combination of factors such as:

  • A larger proportion of the follower base is in this geographic region
  • This time slot benefits from being between the other two peak times
  • The followers in this area are more engaged

Based on these results, it is advisable to coordinate your post time with the geographic region of your target audience. Depending on your location, simply posting between 7-8am in your time zone may put your Tweet in one of the ‘lull’ periods between peak morning hours, so be aware of the time change between your area and EST.

Tweet-Type (Link vs. non-link)

Will adding a link to you Tweet significantly affect the number of Re-tweets it receives? Probably not…according to the data there’s almost no difference between the two types in terms of Re-Tweets.

Tweets that contained links got only 3% more RTs on average than just regular ‘Status Update’ Tweets. While adding a link may benefit the site the link targets, it’s will probably be detrimental to the share rate of the Tweet. Users typically perform only 1 action on a post, and if a link is present it competes with the RT functionality for engagement. So use links carefully in your Tweets, as they may be costing you RTs.

Main Take-aways:

Many factors will determine the success of your brand’s Tweets. If changes to content don’t increase the average RTs per Tweet, consider varying other factors such as Tweet frequency, post time (plus location of followers), and post type. Below is a summary of the recommendations for optimizing your brand’s Tweets:

  • Tweet at least 4 times a day! The average RT rate more than doubled when the Tweet frequency increased from 2-3 Tweets per day, to 4!
  • If you are targeting Tweets to a specific region (outside of your timezone), adjust your post time so the Tweet goes out between 7-8am in the area of your audience.
    • If you’re not targeting by region, Tweet at 4, 7, and 11am EST. This will put your posts at the top of users feeds in the most densely populated regions around the world.
  • Use links with caution! Keep in mind that most users will only perform 1 action on a post. Adding a link will likely decrease the number of RTs your Tweet receives.

The Lowdown On Global Facebook Pages

 

A single global Facebook Page or several local Pages?

Until now, if you were a brand posting on Facebook, those were your options.

Historically, this choice has been tricky when deciding on a strategy for your brand, as both came with their own set of pros and cons.

Single Global Page

  • Large global fan count
  • One Page in search
  • One vanity URL

BUT…

  • No way to localize content/look (i.e. cover photo, profile picture)
  • Limited regional insights data
  • Geo-targeting can be tiresome

Local Pages

  • Localized look to Pages
  • Regional insights data

BUT…

  • Search is cluttered
  • Fan counts are smaller (Fans tend to check the validity of the Page by the Fan count first)
  • No global community

Facebook has eliminated some of these pain points by introducing Global Pages for those brands with managed accounts (i.e. those with an Account Manager at Facebook).

What does this bring to the table? Read on…

  • Brands can have a Global Page and localized Pages (Local Pages), all using one Facebook URL.
  • Users will automatically see their most relevant Local Page, determined by a number of factors, including the users IP address.
  • Brands will have the ability to learn about all customers through one set of global insights, which include robust localized data.
  • Aggregated Like count and PTAT stats shown across all Pages.
  • Eliminates a cluttered Facebook search experience by only offering one brand Page option. Which also eliminates the possibility of a Fan liking the wrong Local Page.

Global Pages can…

  • Offer a localized look, such as localized cover photo, profile picture, news feed, apps, milestones, ‘about’ section and even a translated brand name.
  • Direct those fans without a Local Page to the Global Page as the default.
  • Group audiences by language. i.e. All English-speaking fans could be directed to one Local Page for US, UK etc. – N.B. This approach is not recommended if detailed demographic data is important to you
  • Geo-target posts on Local Pages to specific cities

Global Pages can’t…

  • Cover markets, you don’t cover – therefore if you want Local Pages, you must have the support in place in those countries to run those Pages, as Fans directed to Local Pages, will not receive updates posted by the default Global Page.
  • Show Local Page Managers stats from other Local Pages or the Global Page.
  • Publish from the Global Page to all Local Pages – Local Page Managers must post their own separate updates.

One of the major issues when choosing the single brand Page strategy was that brands lose the detailed demographic data they have with the individual local brand Pages. This update means that brands get the best of both worlds, one simple, clean URL and the robust analytics of a local Page.

Aside from a simpler search process, the user experience will remain unchanged. Fans won’t see the redirect; they will automatically see the localized Page. If a Fan prefers to receive updates from a different region, they still have the ability to select an alternative Local Page by clicking ‘Switch Region” in the gear menu near the cover photo.

Brands are now only left asking themselves two questions:

  • Do we have adequate support in local markets?
  • Do we have local audiences, which would benefit from regular targeted content and a localized look?

If the answer to both is yes, then leveraging Global Pages is the solution.

Global Pages are a great addition for large global organizations with worldwide markets and a support infrastructure to match. For these organisations, the decision is a no-brainer. If they have the support necessary to run several Pages and they desire the clout of a global Fan count and a single URL, then this is the obvious choice for them. They can localize the look and the content and keep track of their local audiences’ wants and needs – all without losing out on any Global stats.

For those brands that don’t have adequate support in local markets or don’t feel they could generate enough local content to warrant a separate Local Pages? — The old single brand Page structure is the most beneficial. Local Pages can, of course, be added as the brand and it’s markets change and grow.

For smaller brands, aside from probably having less of a need for a global presence, it is likely that they won’t have a Facebook Account Manager and therefore the Global Pages option won’t yet be available to them.