When to Tweet?

I originally tried out SocialBro just to see what it’s all about.  After all, in a data driven world, you can’t have enough data, right?  <tongue in cheek>  I did have a purpose at first; I was looking for a utility that would let me know when someone unfollows me on Twitter.  At the time, it seemed important to know and I vindictively would return the action.

As it turns out, I still use SocialBro to tell me who has recently unfollowed me but now I take the time to look at the user and hypothesize why they did so.  I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a lot of people that are using services to follow in a block and then weed out those that post content of little interest to them.  Most of the unfollows make sense but it still hurts a bit when an educator unfollows.

But, as I started to use SocialBro, I started to poke around and find that there is so much more than just a list like that.  One of the realities of using a Social Network like Twitter is that you really live the moment.  It’s interesting to see that the interactions that I get tend to be shortly after I post.  I currently post to my blog at 1am to share the links of interest I’ve Diigoed/Delicioused the previously day and 5am for my hand created blog entry.  The logic that I used was that I didn’t want to be spamming others’ Twitter stream during prime time thinking that most people would be following new entries via RSS anyway.  And, if nothing else, it would be something to read while having your morning coffee.

Speaking of morning coffee, my routine is to wake up and proofread my own post from the previous evening and then to open Zite to do some morning reading.  If there’s something that I think others might enjoy, I post it to Twitter and also have started add them to a Pinterest pinboard.  Some of what I’m sharing is of interest to others and I’ll see folks favourite or retweet those messages.

I thought that I had it made…..until I started to pay attention to another section of SocialBro.  There’s a whole section dedicated to suggesting when the best time to tweet might be.  SocialBro presents a very interesting representation of when YOU, my followers, are online.

The graph shows hourly when people are doing what they do.  The biggest dot, as you’ll see, is Wednesday at 1pm.  38% of my followers are active at that time.  Based on that statistical data, SocialBro makes the following recommendation as to when I should tweet if I want the maximum reach.

BTW, you folks who are online at midnight on Friday nights had better be checking in with FourSquare otherwise, get a life!

Back to the topic, it looks like my 1am and 5am theories are shot all to pieces if I’m a)  looking to reach people when they’re online and b)  I’m making the assumption that people are drawn to the blog by a Twitter notification.  On the other hand, maybe all my followers are scheduling their own tweets to create an alibi or something and aren’t really online when the graph says they are.  Time can be a great illusion – I still have people who think I’m up at 4am to blog.

At the end of the day, I do wonder if this isn’t over analyzing things but it has been fun to think about.  It might even be interesting to reschedule the automatic blog postings and then follow the analytics on WordPress to see if the theory holds. 

Thoughts?  When should messages be sent?  As they happen or should one try to be strategic about it?

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2 thoughts on “When to Tweet?

  1. What do you mean you’re not getting up at 4 am to blog?? 🙂 I’m one of your 6am readers and I find you each morning through Facebook, my first stop of the day. You ask a good question about timing Doug. I find the Facebook and Twitter timelines to be quite ephemeral so with the blogs I don’t want to miss, I subscribe to the feed and may read all at once on a Saturday if I can’t catch them in the morning before work. I enjoy yours over coffee! Always a worthwhile read!


  2. Buffr’s damn good, we pay for the premium service and at $9.99 a month it’s worth it. Put simply, since twitter can’t measure open/reads we can only record replies and retweets and we certainly get more when Buffr takes care of the scheduling.

    The only problem is the website’s a little buggy so sometimes it doesn’t add a tweet. Also the link shortening tool is bloomin annoying to use!


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