Social media surgery: do you tweet too much?

Here’s a tough nut to crack for all you social media aficionados, how many tweets are considered ‘too many’? Most twitter users will have followed (and probably subsequently unfollowed) users who have crossed the line from a reasonable numbers of tweets, to spamming your stream.

If you run a Twitter feed, you have to work hard to build a loyal follower base and ideally you don’t want to start losing followers purely because of the volume of tweets you post. From a strictly mathematical stance your ideal volume of tweets could be worked out something like this:

According to recent research, on average every twitter account has 126 followers*. The majority of Twitter users either have a 1:1 following to follower ratio, or worse. If you assume that each of the accounts they follow tweets once per day then you can assume that their stream will receive a minimum of 126 tweets per day.


Using this method to prevent your tweet volumes appearing spammy, I would advocate aiming to avoid having two of your tweets appear in the most recent display on Twitter when a user logs on. i.e.:

Inbound Tweets Visible on Potential Frequency Suggested Frequency
126 20 7 per Day (= Inbound ÷ Visible) 4-5 per Day

I’ve created a diagram here to show how that mathematical principle would work:

Do I tweet too much?

Personally speaking, I think that this kind of approach is a bit too formulaic. We’re talking about human social interaction, not engineering! After all, the reason we all use twitter is to follow people who say or discuss interesting things. I’m not going to stop following them just because they throw out a couple of extra messages a day.

It’s when a Twitter user is no longer producing interesting content that I would start to consider my options. Overall I would suggest that good content planning is more conducive to retaining followers than concerning yourself too much about a ‘golden’ number of tweets to deliver.

Try to think about your end user’s experience, review your twitter profile and read your stream. Are you adding value to your users by providing them with important content, or are you just retweeting other news sources? More often than not, you will find followers will decide to take their content from the horse’s mouth if you aren’t adding value to it.

My advice would be add your insight and comment to stories you share, that way you aren’t just aggregating other people’s content, you are creating your own.

Which after all is kind of the point!

Alex Walker, Sage Accountants’ Team @alexatsage