[This post is part of the ongoing series The Complete How To Guide for Twitter Marketing]
Often times, the simplest sounding questions come with the most complicated answers. Trying to figure out what the best time of the day to tweet is precisely one of the questions.
The “what time” debate has raged on for years already, and it will only continue. I mean, we honestly still haven’t figured out what the best time for email marketing is, how on earth are we suppose to understand Twitter already?
There are several theories out there that attempt to answer this question. For example, theSocialMediaGuide.com suggests that 9:00 A.M. Pacific Time is best. At the same time, Fast Company suggests that tweets sent at 4:00 P.M. are more likely to get retweeted.
But, doesn’t this all depend on who follows you? Surely audience type influence when the best time to time to tweet is!
Well, there are a few theories out there that suggest tweeting during high activity periods will garner more retweets.
Dan Zarrella makes this correlation in an article over at ProBlogger.
For this task, there are a few handy tools that can help. For example, WhenToTweet.com analyzes your current Twitter stream to find out when the most activity occurs. Tweroid.com is another similar service, but it provides a much more comprehensive overview including weekday breakdowns and @reply measurement.
But, this clearly isn’t an exact science.
Could It Be, Anytime?
Perhaps anytime is a good time to send a tweet? I am personally not sure that any of these theories are solid enough to make major adjustments to ones schedule. That said, I do think there are a few rules of thumb that can help us out.
- Keep work time and play time in mind. Tweets during the hours of 9 and 5 will hit on work time. Also, keep different time zones in mind, depending on where you live.
- You can Tweet more than once. Twitter will prevent you from sending the same tweet twice, but you can change things up and sneak in a link a few times per day. No one actually reads every tweet, so repeating yourself a few times can only provide benefits.
- Know your audience. I once read about a lawyer that worked with young start-up businesses. He did most of his tweeting late at night because that is when his customers were online. When are yours online?
- Maintain good context. People are in different moods at different times of the day. As an example, I like to keep things a bit lighter in the middle of the afternoon. Harder, more straight-forward business usually takes place in the morning.
- Watch for interaction. If you spend enough time on Twitter, you should start noticing some of the trends on your own. I notice that people converse a lot more during the evening hours than they do during the day. It may not be that way for everyone though.
- Don’t over-stack tweets. Sending a whole bunch of tweets all at once is never a good plan. Tweets should be spread out in a naturally progression. No one likes a stream hog.
Guy Kawasaki once shared an interesting note about deciding when to tweet. He said, “Try this experiment: take your most interesting tweets (as measured by how many people retweet them, perhaps) and post them again three times, eight to twelve hours apart. I used to think that people would complain about repeating tweets, but I’ve never had a complaint. My theory is that the volume of tweets is so high and most people check in at about the same time every day, so people don’t notice repeat tweets.” (Source: InterLink One)
Overall, I don’t think most of us really need to worry about any of this. Tweets tend to come and go pretty easily. Certainly a lot more so than email. As long as you are regularly sharing and conversing on Twitter you will get the retweets and attention that you deserve.