By: @Garin Kilpatrick
Leveraging timing on Twitter is a great way to increase your reach and get more traffic from Twitter to your website.
To schedule your tweets I recommend using Hootsuite (free for up to 5 social media accounts) for complete control over when your content goes out.
Another Twitter tool called buffer is a great way to space your tweets out automatically, without having to specify a specific time every time you tweet.
Buffer co-founder Leo recently published the findings of some very interesting data they derived from their users:
“People that start to Buffer their Tweets increased clicks on links they posted by 200% within 2 weeks of using. The amount of retweets doubles on average. Finally Buffer users increase their follower count by 104 followers within 3 weeks on average.” – the study concluded.
The Twitter management and analysis tool SocialBro can examine the activity of your 5,000 top followers to determine the best time for you to tweet. To access this feature click the “Best time to tweet” button from your dashboard.
Below is an example of the type of heat map report SocialBro can generate. A neat feature of this report is that it can be exported as a .PDF as well.
The only downside to this report is that it can take several minutes to create, but this might just be due to the fact that it had to analyze over 400,000 followers for my account.
Once your report is ready you will get an email notification which will bring you to the following heat map:
The SocialBro report also has four other graphs visualizing the best times for you to tweet in different ways.
More Strategies for Timing Your Tweets
For those who have networks larger than 5,000 followers it is also helpful to consider some more general Twitter timing trends as well.
Social Media scientist Dan Zarrella analyzed a large sample of accounts and drew some conclusions about timing and Twitter. Kiss Metrics visualized data from his study about twitter timing into the infographic below:
Another important thing to take into consideration is the time zone of your followers. If you are in North America and following mostly other North Americans you should consider the density of people in different time zones when timing your tweets.
Clearly the Eastern Time zone has the most people living in it so lining up a few tweets near the 5PM EST peak time is a good call.
Twitter is based in San Francisco and many people use Twitter in the PST so if you are in the EST like I am right now it’s a good idea to line up some tweets until 8PM EST so that you hit the 5PM peak time for those living in the Pacific time zone.
Sysomos analyzed 20 million tweets and published some interesting Twitter stats, including the graph below showing that tweeting activity is busier during the week than it is on weekends:
Based on my own experience I have noticed that I get many more retweets during the week, and it seems to me that many people take a break from their regular tweeting routines on the weekends.
The data visualization company lemon.ly came recently designed an infographic with some cool twitter timing stats that might give you some more insight into the art and science of Twitter timing.
The main takeaway from this post is that you can have more influence and achieve more clicks if you space your tweets out so that more people see them and less people unfollow you.
Flooding your followers with a bunch of tweets at once will piss some people off, but tweeting is a good thing so don’t feel like you absolutely must schedule every single tweet you send.
Twitter is based on the question what are you doing? after all, so send live tweets and make your tweets feel real.
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