There has been a growing trend on Twitter to automate tweets and schedule a bunch of messages to be sent out onto your timeline throughout the day. Scheduling posts is an awesome idea, especially if you know just when to do it (hint: between 2-5pm seems to be the best traffic time for Twitter.) But, how often should you tweet the same thing? Or, should you re-tweet the same thing at all?
Repetitive Tweets Are Annoying, So Why Make Them?
I follow tons of great SEO and content marketing resources on Twitter. But, I can’t tell you how many times I stare at my Twitter timeline and feel like I’m having déjà vu. In fact, it’s not. People really are tweeting the same articles daily, and sometimes even more than once in the same day. What is up with this?
Now, there are obvious advantages to being repetitive. First of all, the half-life of a tweet is really, really short. I could quote some stats, but they’re likely to be outdated soon enough. In fact, the busier Twitter becomes, the harder it will become for your tweets to be found. Hashtags certainly help in getting people interested in particular topics to find your tweet. But, unless you’re hitting on hash-tags with extreme tweet volume, it’s likely your tweet will go unseen if you don’t have thousands of Twitter followers.
Also, you never know when your best followers will actually see your tweet. It’s very likely that someone may not even know about your article until you’ve tweeted it for the third time. Posting a link to an article at different times throughout the week sounds like a logically good approach. You’ll increase your reach and get people that may have otherwise missed your content another chance. But, when people start seeing the same exact tweet over and over, it gets old and can cause unfollows.
Can You Tweet About the Same Thing Multiple Times Without Being Annoying?
Even risking frustration from their followers, certain Twitter feeds keep sending the same repetitive messages every few hours. All this does is often cause people to unfollow. One website that I used to follow a lot kept sending the same five tweets every day until they had a new post. There’s a difference between keeping followers informed and simply spamming them trying to soak up every possible click.
It’s often the case that you actually won’t lose followers in great numbers by doing this. But, it’s likely you’ll lose the attention of those getting annoyed. If the same articles get shared over and over again, people will just stop clicking.
Of course, you CAN tweet about the same subject, if you change up how you talk about it. It may annoy people if they click and realize it's something they've already read. But, the chances of that are much lower. It also just makes your Twitter feed look far less spammy.
My personal philosophy is that you can certainly tweet the same thing again, but never on back-to-back days unless you have some new spin to put on it. Certainly, don’t tweet the same thing in the same day unless there's some major update to it!
I personally find it incredibly annoying to favorite an article that I enjoyed, only to sit there the next morning wondering why the tweet wasn’t favorited anymore. Then, I realize that it was a new tweet that read exactly the same.
Cannibalizing Your Tweets by Repeating Them Too Often
I’ve personally re-tweeted things that I posted perhaps a month or two ago as long as the content was still relevant. I still get people that complain: hey, I’ve read this before – this is annoying, stop it. You’re never going to please everyone, sure. But I personally find it annoying to be reading the same tweets over and over again.
I understand that this is a Twitter phenomenon – you don’t really see it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere because you will be unfollowed or even blocked for frequent duplicate content there. Twitter is a great tool, but I think some people are getting carried away with tweeting the same things.
The other problem with repeating the same tweets is that you end up cannibalizing your tweets' engagement. What do I mean by that? Say you get some retweets or likes on a certain tweet. I will say that I'm guilty of this, too. If a tweet gets no engagement, I'll wait a few days before posting basically the same thing again. But, if you tweet something very similar, and it already got a lot of engagement before, the better way to take advantage of it is to quote it with some kind of comment. Otherwise, you're taking away from the original tweet. It's better to take advantage of something getting attention than simply tweeting the same text again for hopes of getting more.
Tweet As Often As You Like, As Long As It's Relevant and Fresh - Within Reason, Of Course
My philosophy is tweet as much as you like, as long as you’re providing relevant and unique content. Even if you're promoting the same link, that's OK if it's coming from a different angle or asking a new question If you want to re-tweet 20 different things, that doesn’t bother me at all. If you want to share something you wrote 3 months ago, and make it clear that you did but that it’s still relevant, by all means, do so.
Re-purposing is fine. Spinning old content of yours is fine. But, please, people, get a little more creative and stop just scheduling the same five tweets over and over! Also, please stop tweeting ten of your articles at once. Give me time to breathe! Many experts will say try to spread out your Tweets at least every fifteen to thirty minutes. I don't necessarily agree with that. Just don't tweet every fifteen to thirty seconds unless you're responding to something!
I would love to hear other opinions on this topic. The traffic gain from repetitive tweeting is probably well worth the aggravation to loyal followers, especially with larger accounts. I’ve recently un-followed a few Twitter accounts simply on account of this, though – because I find myself favoriting the same article twice far too often. These are just my thoughts. I would love to hear yours.