I hear it all the time, from people new to Twitter and those who have been tweeting for months: “How often should I tweet?”

It’s not an easy question to answer, and I wish there was a one-size-fits-all solution I could hand out to everyone. However, there are some techniques you can use to find out the tweet frequency that’s right for you.

Finding the optimal number of times to tweet per hour, per day, or per week can increase how many retweets each of your tweets sees, and ultimately your influence level on Twitter.

If you tweet too often, your followers will find themselves inundated with your tweets, and will likely unfollow you to help de-clutter their timeline. On the other hand, if you don’t tweet often enough, you may find your follower count stagnating and the engagement rates with your tweets at a low.

A study released earlier this week suggested that the optimal number of tweets per hour is between 1 to 4. You’ll see a higher click-through rate if you keep within this number.

However, there is a huge difference between tweeting once per hour and tweeting four times per hour. Some of your followers might see once per hour as too little, while others see four times per hour as too much.

The best way to figure out how often you should tweet is by monitoring your efforts. Twitter isn’t some black box into which your tweets just disappear once you’ve sent them into the ether – you can keep tabs on engagement levels, like who is retweeting or clicking, with a little knowledge of the Twitter tools out there. And, luckily for you, many of these tools are free.

To start, I recommend you get an indepth analysis of how you currently tweet. TweetStats is a fantastic resource that will show you, using pretty graphs and charts, how many tweets per hour, per week, and per month you’re currently sending out, as well as plenty of other useful stats. Use this as your starting point, and update your stats as you change how often you tweet.

Next, you can use a tool like TweetEffect to see which of your tweets gained and lost you followers. This is useful information when strategizing how often you tweet, as seeing that you lost followers three tweets in a row might tell you that you’re tweeting too close together.

And finally, check out Timely.is to find out when your followers are retweeting you – and when they’re not. Timely.is will tell you the optimal times you should be tweeting, so that you can adjust your frequency to gain more retweets.

Once you’ve got the tools in place, it’s a matter of trial and error to find the frequency that works best for you.