by Jeanne Alexander
As you probably know, the timing of your tweets is an extremely important factor regarding which of your followers will see your tweets and when. Unfortunately there is no one perfect time to tweet out your newest announcement, but with some practical tips and helpful tools, you can target your most important demographic and ensure that the right followers see the right tweets.
Determine the best times of day to tweet.
According to KISSmetrics’ statistics, the best times to tweet are noon (around readers’ lunch breaks) and 6p.m. (right after work). These are benchmark times, however, and may not be what is right for your individual business. First, consider your ideal clients. If they are working people, sticking with the noon and 6 model might be beneficial, but if your ideal clients are college students, for example, 6p.m. and 10p.m. may be better times to tweet. In such a case, you would want to avoid the noon benchmark because many of your followers would be in class. This is a perfect illustration of the correlation between tweet timing and demographic, which is highly specific to your individual business. There are a variety of free tools available to help calculate what your best times are based on your ideal clientele and your Twitter history.
TweetWhen is a simple and user-friendly site that tells you the days and times your account gets the most retweets per tweet. This shows when you are the most retweetable and suggests when most of your followers are interacting with Twitter.
Tweriod is a similar, but more in-depth program which not only analyzes your tweets, but also your followers’ tweets so you get a better idea of the best times to reach out to them.
FollowerWonk is an extremely strong and useful tool that calculates several statistics about you and either your followers or the users you follow. While FollowerWonk doesn’t focus exclusively on tweet times, it does touch on it briefly. Its other features more than make up for this and should be very useful to any company, small or large, using Twitter.
One common pitfall is tweeting only during office hours. As you may have found, 9-5 probably isn’t your ideal tweet time. Tweeting in the evenings and on weekends gives you a distinct advantage over the competition because you will be reaching your market when other companies aren’t. To make odd-hour tweeting as simple as possible, use a scheduling tool such as FutureTweets or HootSuite. Both let you compose a new tweet anytime then set a specific time in the future when you would like it to be sent out to your followers.
Tip: Tweet during relevant events. Having a company seminar? Post timely updates! Town hosting a famous visitor? Show your support!
Decide how often to tweet.
There is quite a bit of debate regarding how often a business should tweet, but it primarily comes down to how often you can afford to send out quality material. According to a recent study by TrackSocial, the two ideal tweet frequencies are either 4-5 per day or 21+ per day. At 4-5 per day you achieve the maximum ratio of tweets to retweets, which means the greatest amount of exposure for the least amount of work. At 10 or more tweets a day, the number of total retweets increases, but the number of retweets for each tweet decreases. The number of total retweets only becomes significant if you tweet over 21 times a day. The more you tweet, the more retweets you will get, but each individual tweet becomes less important. It sounds complicated, but what it boils down to is if you have the resources then the optimal number of tweets is 21+ per day, but if you can’t achieve such a high number, you’re better off sticking to 4-5 per day.
Tip: Consider a weekly tweet schedule paired with your typical tweets so posts seem fresh. For example, post behind-the-scenes photos on Tuesdays and helpful tips on Wednesdays.
Utilize Repeatweets Effectively.
A Repeatweet is when a user transmits an identical tweet multiple times over the course of a day, week, or even year. This can be an exceptionally helpful technique, especially if you are trying to increase the number of daily posts. The trick to this method is to make it look purposeful as opposed to spam-y or gimmicky. When deciding which tweets to duplicate, focus on your most important content. Your most recent blog post, for example, is timely and relevant and can successfully be repeated a few times in the same day then again over the next month or year. A good rule of thumb for your most recent or essential content is to post it 3-4 times on the first day, ensuring that they are evenly spread as well as hitting those important key tweet times. Continue to post it sparingly over the next few weeks. Also, don’t shy away from posting old content as long as it is still relevant.
By repeating the same message too often, however, you run the risk of annoying your followers. Avoid this by sharing others’ content generously as opposed to solely promoting your own. Interaction is also key in building a strong following with open communication so be sure to retweet quality content from your followers as well as provide timely responses to direct messages and mentions.
Tip: Using WordPress? TweetOldPost is a plug-in designed to regularly tweet out old blog posts from your WordPress site.
By understanding your demographic and utilizing the proper tools, you can determine the best times to reach out to your followers and employ some of the most effective timing strategies to make Twitter a valuable tool for your company.
This article was first posted in The Net Impact blog.