Earlier this month, as I was curled up in bed with my beloved Glamour magazine, I came across an article entitled “Twitter DOs & DON’Ts: Your 10 Tweeting Commandments” and, naturally, I was intrigued. As I quickly breezed past the basic rules such as “DO play nice” and “DON’T bitch about work. This is not the place (and—hello!—they can see you).”
I was about to turn the page since it is all stuff I’d heard before… that is, until I reached Commandment Number 6: “DON’T exceed your tolerable four-tweets-a-day limit.” My heart stopped.
WHAT?! But BufferApp lets me schedule up to FIFTY-TWEETS-A-DAY, and you’re telling me that I can only post four times if I want to be nice to my followers?!
Once I collected myself, I decided I would hold a personal Twitter-vention and ask a few friends who are in similar industries as I what they had to say. Luckily we were already in a group Gchat so I didn’t have to look too far to get some advice.
When I announced my surprise, frustration, and yes, shame at the number of allotted Tweets per day, I was greeted with affirmation that more than four Tweets a day was a little excessive. But there was a catch: more than four Tweets a day was only excessive if the main purpose of the Tweeter in question was to inform their followers of their personal life. (See Commandment Number 2: “DON’T overshare.”)
After we established that some people share way, WAY too much on Twitter, we also agreed that it was okay for certain accounts to post more than their allotted four-tweets-a-day. These accounts include (but are not limited to):
- TV/Web Personalities (as long as they are entertaining)
Happy birthday to the first lady, @MichelleObama! Love, the second lady.—
Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 17, 2012
- Informative Blogs/Websites
Wikipedia Will Go Offline Wednesday for SOPA Protest gizmodo.com/5876660/—
(@Gizmodo) January 17, 2012
- Amusing Bloggers
Love In 365 Days bit.ly/Ag9rhN—
Thought Catalog (@ThoughtCatalog) January 12, 2012
- News Stations
Mom says tot with mental delays heartlessly denied transplant abcn.ws/wKljJf—
ABC News (@ABC) January 17, 2012
- Innovative and Funny Accounts
alternate uses for the moon—
Norman N. (@oldmansearch) August 08, 2011
- Harry Potter Parodies (as long as they are funny)
Madonna, you are not British. Stop with the "British accent." The only way this could be more awkward is if she tried to speak parseltongue.—
The Dark Lord (@Lord_Voldemort7) January 16, 2012
- Justin Bieber
back to the studio tonight to keep working on #BELIEVE - also been reading about the amazing charity work alot of you are doing. PROUD—
Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 17, 2012
Whew. My anxiety subsided a little bit. I tend to use Twitter for a combination of personal and professional information – an activity that I don’t recommend since it is not easily accomplished. I never post things immensely personal to myself or my friends. I don’t post anything that I wouldn’t want my boss to read or that my parents would be shocked to see. Sometimes I post opinions, include videos, or share random thoughts, but that is very rare and definitely doesn’t exceed the four-a-day limit.
I do, however, post an average of seven professional/newsworthy Tweets a day, as well as one or two good retweets. (Note: This number is for week days – on weekends I hardly ever post professional/newsworthy things, and I tend to only post four times a day on Saturday and Sundays.)
Today I cam across the following Tweet from @BufferApp:
After clicking through to the link and reading through the blog post, I was put at ease. The post encourages bloggers to retweet their post four times in order to gain maximum coverage. That is 14% of your weekly Tweet allowance. If I’m writing three blog posts a week and Tweeting about those posts four times each, that takes up 42% of my allowance!! No way is that correct.
How Often Should You Tweet Your Blogposts? j.mp/qleANW—
Buffer (@bufferapp) January 17, 2012
Through the research I’ve done since discovering that Glamour article, I’ve decided that the four-tweets-a-day allotment goes for personal Tweets. That does not include professional tweets, articles, retweets, or replies to followers/Tweets you find interesting.
Maybe I’m kidding myself and I’m just a Twitter addict, but either way, until I’m proven wrong, I’m going to just continue doing what I’m doing.
What do you think? How do you use Twitter? How many posts is too many on any given day? What are your favorite accounts to follow?