It might sound counter-intuitive, but a new study of some of the top brands on Twitter shows that tweeting with fewer hashtags and sending your tweets when people are busy is part of an effective Twitter strategy.
Buddy Media took a look at tweets from the top 320 brands on Twitter between December 11, 2011 and February 23, 2012. They isolated a variety of factors that impacted the engagement rate – including retweets and replies – for these brands in order to come up with Twitter strategies that work.
One of the report’s findings was that tweeting when people are busy will get your brand more engagement. Tweets sent between 8AM and 7PM received 30 percent more engagement than tweets posted outside that timeframe. And interestingly, Buddy Media’s earlier report on Facebook engagement showed opposite findings.
The report also found that shorter tweets (100 characters or less) got 17 percent higher engagement than longer ones. 100 characters seems to be the “magic number” on Twitter, because it leaves room for both a link and a username.
Hashtag stuffing is also a big no-no according to Buddy Media. Hashtags can be a great addition to a tweet – but there is a limit. Tweets with one or two hashtags receive 21 percent higher engagement than those with three or more of the little symbols. More than two hashtags typically leads to a drop in engagement, so don’t use them unless they’re essential to the content of your tweet.
The full report from Buddy Media is worth a read. You can also take a look at the cheat sheet they created that summarizes the Twitter best practices from their report, and even print it out as a checklist to make sure you’re doing Twitter right:
(Hashtag image via Buddy Media)