Social networking sites require a watchful eye and dedication for brands, so much so that we have ‘social media experts’ and ‘social media agencies’ whose jobs revolve on said web sites.

Facebook status updates should be upbeat and friendly; it is, after all, the mecca of friendly chat and atmosphere. Twitter, however, is very different.

I often describe Twitter as an ‘industry-based social network’. More often than not, Twitter is used by young professionals, celebrity watchers and tech-savvy teens. It’s a place where b2b (business-to-business) companies can market themselves, interact with customers, and keep updated with their brands, who are interacting direct with their consumer. Retailers can promote things relevant to their communities while reaching out to their target market. Young professionals can build a public identity, blending the friendship-based Facebook with the networking-side of LinkedIn.

But how do you know if you’re tweeting too much? Or not enough? Well, simply put, it depends on how your brand interacts with your clients, and why your clients and customers follow you.

Case Study #1: Charlie Sheen, “Unemployed winner”

We’re all familiar with the story of @charliesheen‘s rise to fame. The man’s iconic 1-day, 1-million-follower launch led to millions (literally) of followers with nonsense-themed tweets immediately after the loss of his position with Two and a Half men. His tweets often used catchy hashtags like #winning, #tigerblood, and #fastball, and the followers flocked to him. People followed Sheen for a number of reasons: they enjoy his acting, they wanted to keep up-to-date with the scandals around his name, they enjoyed the nonsense tweets and the unusual humour behind them, or they wanted a front-row seat to the potential train wreck, all from the convenience of their computer o smart phone.

Ultimately, Charlie Sheen’s claim to Twitter fame was managing his public image to be as outrageous as possible and simply put, to get the press talking (and to launch a series of comedy shows across North America).

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At the height of @charliesheen’s online Twitter presence, he even went so far as to launch a social media internship for one fan who could prove they were “all about #winning”. Again, we saw this celebrity receive millions of applications to join ‘Team Sheen’.

Just like his up-and-down performances on his “Torpedo of Truth”, Sheen’s tweets became less frequent, going from 5 tweets or so a day to (under the direction of his new intern) 1 tweet every 2 days or so. His followers, just like his tendency to appear in the Trending Tweets, have become less frequent, and his appearance in the press has followed. The lower frequency of tweets have lead to a lower brand presence for Team Sheen, and lower brand loyalty.


Case Study #2: Kid Carson, Local radio host

As some of my clients already know, @kidcarson is one of my favorite references for brands looking to find the perfect balance of tweeting to relevance of the brand. As the name behind The Beat 94.5’s morning show, Kid Carson has filled his tweets with things that reflect the friendly banter on the airwaves, the occasional contest promotion, or allude to future topics to the show, which acts as resource for listeners to find what they’re looking for, whether it’s information about a contest or a reminder to download and watch Ancient Aliens.

After a YEAR, the full dysfunctional family is back on Monday. What will @NiraArora want to fight about first? @AmyBeeman @AndrewIntern945

The number of tweets from Kid Carson seem to be reflective of the topics on the show (a tweet every two hours or so during show hours), with a tweet every day or so in the afternoon, in the “off” hours. It’s just enough to remind followers to listen to the show the following morning. The number of tweets are directly related to the time of the tweets, making Kid Carson’s frequency of tweets irrelevant.

Brands who tweet too often ultimately risk irritating or alienating their followers, whether they’re already consumers or potential clients. Ultimately, the number of tweets you make should be reflective of what your brand is and who your audience is. Beyond frequency, the time stamp on your tweets matter, too. After all, what’s the point of tweeting at 2 in the morning if your business only operates from 9 am to 5 pm?

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