We Are Communication Architects

Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.

July 2nd, 2012

Twitter Timing Study and the Need for Small Adjustments

If you are in any way running or otherwise managing an online publishing program then you’re likely always looking at stats. Not just for how things are performing on-domain but also how what’s being published on Twitter, Facebook and other networks are going to drive traffic back to a “hub” site, how those items are garnering on-network engagement and more. It’s kind of what we do.

One recent study that caught my eye looks at Twitter posting and shows that engagement rates are higher than you might otherwise expect on weekends. While the numbers vary from one industry to the other, Buddy Media found overall engagement was 17% higher than on weekdays. Some might be surprised by this since it’s probably broadly assumed that people are out and doing other things on the weekend and not sitting there checking Twitter, either on their computers or on a mobile device. But the same study shows that posts published during weekday “busy hours” – between 8AM and 7PM – see higher engagement than whatever the baseline is.

Other advice for increasing the number of mentions, replies and Retweets from this study includes using hashtags (not a terrible idea when there’s a real purpose behind doing so but it also makes your updates look ugly), using images (even more important with Expanded Tweets and the fact that images display in apps like Tweetdeck) and only Tweeting about four times a day (not exactly a realistic option for any sizable publishing program but I get what they’re saying).

Meanwhile Buddy Media also looked at Facebook publishing timing and found that, when it comes to dayparts at least, almost the exact opposite is true, with posts published outside that 8AM-7PM window performing better than those broadcast during the so-called “busy hours.”

Much was made in some of the industry press in the wake of this study about how the results showed marketers were “failing” at Twitter in particular but, as usual, that’s not quite accurate.

In order to “fail” the game has to be over. And the game’s not over.

Social media is a game of small tweaks. The word “pivot” gets thrown around a lot by commentators who like to sound interesting and professionals who want to make sure they’re using the latest jargon. But I always think about it in terms of driving and the way you never keep the steering wheel perfectly straight for very long, instead making small adjustments in one direction or the other as the road and conditions dictate.

Yes, you turn sometimes and occasionally turn all the way around to head in a completely new direction. But it’s not always about big changes that completely reconfigure how you’re doing business. It’s sometimes about the small adjustments that help make a small improvement that then is built on the next time you make a small adjustment that leads to another small improvement.

So take the findings of this study and, if warranted, make small adjustments. Then measure and see if it’s working for you since, as with all findings from every study, your mileage is going to vary. Then keep turning the wheel.

About the Author
Chris Thilk works on the Client Services team, part of Voce Connect, developing and executing social media strategy. You can follow him at @christhilk on Twitter.

Filed in Microblogging, Publishing Programs

Comments are closed.