The Savvy Social Media User—Twitter Handle & Sharing Frequency

By Catherine Christaki and David Friedman

The Savvy Social Media UserHere at The Savvy Newcomer, we often get questions from our blog readers about social media and blogging. We would like to share some answers and advice concerning some of these questions below and also to encourage you to email us your questions anytime. Our topic of discussion today is social media, and more specifically Twitter.

Before we move on to the questions, let’s start off with an outstanding definition of social media by Lisa Buyer (The Buyer Group):

Social media is today’s most transparent, engaging and interactive form of public relations. It combines the true grit of real time content with the beauty of authentic peer-to-peer communication.

Twitter is one of the most popular social networks among linguists. They use it for professional networking, sharing valuable resources and keeping up-to-date with the latest news and trends in the translation and interpreting industries. It enables them to more easily and instantaneously interact with other translators and interpreters and even keep track of interesting individuals, companies and trends in the areas and industries they specialize in.

How do I pick a good Twitter handle? Should it be associated with the name of my site, company or blog? What about my own name?

For branding consistency, your Twitter name should be associated one way or the other with your website or company name. The blog name (if you have one) isn’t as set in stone as your company name, it’s much easier to change. Let’s say you named your blog “Literary translation blog” a few years ago, but now you want to branch out to technical translation and you will probably blog more about that, so you rename your blog accordingly.

As a result, your company name or a keyword that tells people what you do/what you specialize in is a good choice. Your own name is ok too, but it might be lacking in the department of telling people what you do, and might not be available if you have a common name. You should avoid adding numbers to your name, as this will make it harder for others to remember and it doesn’t look good either. A few translators on Twitter have chosen handles that combine their names with the word “translates”. That’s one creative way to go about it. Don’t forget to keep your Twitter handle short and easy to remember.

How often should I share links to my website or blog on Twitter?

The most common answer to that question is the 80/20 rule. 80% of your tweets should be about useful content (i.e. links, resources, live tweets from a conference, etc.) and a maximum of 20% should be about you and your business. You shouldn’t be shy about sharing awards, interviews, and new content on your site, but avoid sales tweets, like “I translate legal texts from French into English, email me for a free quote”. Those tweets have no value to your followers and make you look spammy.

As for your blog posts, you should definitely send 1-2 tweets when you publish a new post (say once in the morning or when you publish it and one more time in the evening or the next day). For older posts, you can send a couple of tweets a week in the form of “From the blog archives: [name of post]” so that people who missed out on some of your outstanding older posts can simply follow the link and visit your blog.

As for the frequency of updates on social media, Buffer seems to have a good social media posting schedule in place (although it’s hard to find 14 different good tweets to send every day if you’re not a company with a team to manage your social media presence; we recommend staying under 10):

  • Twitter – 14 times per day, from midnight to 10:00 p.m. Central Time, never more than once per hour; seven times per day on weekends, from 3:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., roughly every three hours
  • Facebook – 2 times per day, seven days a week, 10:08 a.m. and 3:04 p.m.
  • LinkedIn – 1 time per day, 8:14 a.m., no weekends
  • Google+ – 2 times per day, 9:03 a.m. and 7:04 p.m., no weekends

What about you, dear readers? How often do you share updates on social media and what is your favorite network? Tell us all about it in the Comments section below.

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About Catherine Christaki (@LinguaGreca)

Catherine Christaki has been a full-time English-Greek translator since 2001 and co-owner Lingua Greca Translations since 2012. She specializes in Information Technology, Medical, and Technical texts and loves writing for the Adventures in Technical Translation blog. She regularly shares her experience and insight on social media and blogging for translators, giving interviews and presenting at conferences. Connect with her on Twitter @LinguaGreca.