by Flowtown, JD Rucker
Twitter can be an amazing marketing tool. Some would say that strictly from a marketing perspective you get more bang for your (time) buck than you do out of Facebook. Those who find the most success with Twitter know something that others don’t: not all Tweets are created equal. Normally, it’s timing that has the most dramatic effect on success. On Twitter, timing is everything.
As with any marketing tool, our goal is to maximize the effectiveness and exposure of your messages.
The effectiveness of your Tweets is an entire other post as crafting the right Tweets is an art in itself. Here, we will focus on exposure. Below you will find some things to consider when scheduling your Tweets.
Understand The Timing
All of the tips below will go into specifics about techniques you should employ in your Twitter campaigns. They work, but only if you understand some basic Twitter time-etiquette. First, remember the Goldilocks Rule of Twitter Timing: Don’t Tweet too much. Don’t Tweet too little. Tweet just right.
People often ask, How often should I Tweet? The answer (and it’s not a cop-out) is, As often as you need while respecting the rules of etiquette.
An active Twitter account has many advantages. If you have an account with tens of thousands of quality followers, you will want to be in regular communication with them throughout the day. As most business owners check their emails several times during the day, so too should they check their Twitter.
There are three kinds of Tweets you’ll want to use. Replying to people who address you directly is a must and is arguably unlimited in scope. If eight people ask you something or say anything directly at you, replying to them is acceptable and necessary. People like to use Twitter as a communication tool and you won’t make people too upset if you’re popular. Replying to others means you’re active, so you won’t be breaking the Goldilocks Rule.
If you receive several communications per day, you can group them. If a couple of different people give you similar compliments, replying to them both in a single Tweet is fine. If you are not being Tweeted at a lot, you shouldn’t group the ones you get; reply individually.
The second kind of Tweet is conversational:
Searching for Tweets about your niche and starting or joining in on conversations is a good way for smaller accounts to get noticed and to get attached to the right hashtags.
The third, the money Tweets, are you marketing messages:
The Goldilocks Rule applies some will go with one message a day. Others will go with several. It goes back to as often as you need. Over tweeting your messages will dilute them and may make some of your followers stop following you.
There is no magic number. It all depends on you, your audience, and circumstances surround the now of your messages. More on that at the end of this article.
Know Your Followers
Now that you know a little bit of Twittequette, having an understanding of who is getting the message is a key to knowing when to send the message. If you have a local business, it’s easy. People normally check Twitter in the early morning, before and after lunch, and at night before going to sleep.
For national or global businesses, it becomes more important to spread out your Tweets at different times. Most businesses that operate on a national level can let their Twitter account sleep. Even though it’s easy to schedule a Tweet at 3:00 am, your audience will be lower and having an un-manned Twitter account can lead to mistakes. For example, if you Tweet out a special or message at 2:30 am and someone replies, nobody will be there to answer them until much later that morning. However, for a global business, timing is dependent on exposure. Once you’ve sent out enough Tweets you will be able to put the data together and understand the best times to get your message across.
Su.pr by StumbleUpon offers excellent insights into the times when your own Tweets have the most effect. In the chart above, you’ll notice that this company that maintains a worldwide audience has spikes at 3:00 am, 3:00 pm, and 10:00 pm. Once you have 30+ Tweets under your belt sent through Su.pr, you’ll be able to start gathering data about the best exposure times.
Tweet It Again, Sam
You have the right message. You’ve moulded it into the right piece of content. You have your shortened, tracked URL ready to go.
You’ve crafted the right mix of 110 characters (leaving 30 available for Retweets, of course). You Tweet it and nothing happens.
Nobody clicks. Something went wrong. All of that work wasted. Time to start again with a new message, a new piece of WAIT!
Don’t give up so easily. You can Tweet it again. And again. And¦
You just had the most successful Twitter post of your life. You Tweeted it in the morning and by mid-afternoon you had hundreds of Retweets and thousands of clicks. It’s time to put that one on the mantle and pat yourself on the back, but only for a brief moment before starting on the next super-amazing message¦
WAIT! Just because you had success doesn’t mean you can’t have more success. You can Tweet it again. And again. And¦
Depending on how often you have new content to Tweet and how time-sensitive your content is, you may be able to Tweet and Retweet content continuously. There are times when stories get very little posted in the morning but more when reposted in the afternoon. Sometimes, a story never takes off on Twitter, then reposted a week later yields opposite results. Strong content that’s still relevant can often be reposted weeks, even months later for a repeat of the same results.
Twitter will not allow you to post the exact same message over and over again, but you can change up hashtags to repost. All it takes is one different character for Tweets to pass through the duplication filter on Twitter.
Don’t get stuck repeating yourself over and over again, but as a general rule 5 or 6 Tweets in between makes reposting acceptable.
Creating A Scheduling Matrix
One thing that makes Twitter fun is discovery. People use it to learn the latest trends, hear the latest news, and share the latest content. Unless you’re a news organization, chances are you don’t have enough content to keep people engaged constantly. This is where a proper Twitter Scheduling Matrix comes into play. Spread your Tweets and reposts properly so that you can stick to a routine that fits both The Goldilocks Rule as well as the personality of your business. If you are Tweeting 5 money Tweets per day successfully and you’re only producing 5 pieces of content per week, you will have challenges keeping your Tweets relevant without the matrix.
We’ll use a local business as our example but the same principles can be expanded to fit whatever your business is doing. You have a blog that’s updated twice a week, daily specials, and a new video once per week. In your repository of old but relevant content, you have 30 blog posts and 15 videos. Below is an example of a scheduling matrix you can apply in this situation. This is an actual schedule for a local business in Southern California. The names of the blog posts and videos have been replaced with generic terms. Let’s take a look at the thought process day by day to understand why this matrix works for them:
Every day the special changes. They have one special and announce it at 7:00 am every morning, scheduled well in advance and posting like clockwork. They have a large number of Twitter regulars who look at this and often retweet it.
You will notice that Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday they post a different piece of content shortly after their daily specials. Because of the traffic they get on weekdays from their Daily Specials and retweets, they want to take advantage of people visiting their Twitter account. Wednesdays is the exception as the manager who monitors Twitter is making purchases that day.
Based upon best times they discovered through monitoring clicks on Su.pr (or other analytics programs) they plan the rest of their days accordingly.
Perhaps the world moves a little slower on Mondays as we start our work week. Regardless of the reason, the peaks in traffic occur about an hour later than other weekdays. Still, it’s a good day for fresh blog traffic, so one of their two new blog posts of the week launches that morning. At noon, an older video is posted, followed by the repost (with slightly different wording) of their morning blog post. In the early evening, they select a blog post that was very successful for them in the past and repost it before their 10pm overnight post declaring that they have Daily Specials at 7am every morning. Monday is the only day they have 6 money Tweets.
Tuesday and Friday
These two days have proven to be very similar. No new content goes out since the latest blog post went out the day before. Tuesdays are normally heavy â€œnewsâ€ days so there is more competition for eyeballs. Fridays are bury the news days when many people are just waiting for the week to end.
Everything gets moved up a bit because of what is happening in real life as the manager in charge is off making purchases. In the morning they shoot their weekly video and post it around lunch time.
Saturday and Sunday
No new posts, just rehashing from the week and in past weeks. The account is not monitored over the weekend but the Daily Special for Monday is posted late Sunday night for the loyal birds to see when they get up and around to start their week.
Even though we do not have them post anything overnight, we have a different piece of overnight content posted at 10pm so that nightowls and early risers have something different every time.
Craft Your Schedule
Terms like matrix can make it seem more challenging than it really is. The overall key to success is having a plan based upon real data that you collect and having the right tools to make scheduling your Tweets as easy as possible.
Address your fans as an audience but never try to seem more important than your business really is to them. This is Twitter. The vast majority will not hang on your every word. Penetration and exposure on Twitter becomes more challenging as the site grows and people’s feeds become more loaded. Scheduling properly is everything. Remember, your audience knows what they’re getting into when they follow you. As long as you deliver consistently and without abusing the system, your strategy will flow properly and Twitter can easily become your best social media marketing tool.