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Does the Timing of Your Tweets Matter?

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Previously, before the blog went on a little hiatus, I’d update the Inari Media twitter account throughout the day, usually at five-minute intervals. As my followers are based throughout the world, I never worried about whether anyone was awake to see it, or if people were about the leave the office. News is news, so I’d read the headlines in my feed reader, select the interesting ones and queue them up in HootSuite.

But what if you target Twitter users in a particular country, or who have certain habits? For instance, Kenya is two hours ahead of my local time, and I am fairly sure that evenings would be a better time to catch amateur DJs than first thing in the morning. So if I were tweeting on issues relating to Kenya, I’d probably try to schedule my tweets for when most Kenyans are in the office, or at least awake. Similarly, trying to get in touch with DJs would mean sending out tweets fairly late in the day, to increase the chances of people actually seeing them.

So far, so logical. But does it actually work? One of my internet buddies, who tends to know about these things, reckons that only about 10% of your followers are likely to see any one of your tweets at a particular time. Given the number of tweets I’ve sent out from my side-project account recently, it’s enough to make me weep. Just one in ten of my precious tweets! I know that someone must see them, because I get a good number of retweets per day, but such a low hit rate is almost discouraging.

But there is still hope! Apparently, the best time to target your tweets is to schedule the most important ones for between 2pm and 4pm of the time zone you are targetting. This does make a kind of sense: those are the hours when people have been at work for a number of hours, may just have come off their lunch-breaks and probably susceptible to goofing off for a while. You might believe that every tweet you send is important, but maybe you should save your super-special ones for this time period.

Depending on how you manage your Twitter account, or even what you see as the purpose of the platform, knowing when the best time to catch your followers’ attention may or may not make you reconsider changing the way you tweet. Disseminating information is all well and good, but as with all social media, you also need to make yourself available to react to others’ responses too.

[Image by Talke Photography]

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