Twitter has become the Swiss army knife of social media marketing tool sets, boasting 645,700,000 users as of the beginning of 2014, according to metrics website StatisticsBrain.With all of those eyes on the site, it would seem that accuracy wouldn’t matter a great deal, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Much like stores tie sales to major shopping holidays, or discounts to tax return season when disposable income is abundant, Tweet timing makes the most out of that massive-and-growing site user base. Here are a few tips on finding that timing “sweet spot” for engaging with your customers via Twitter:
Study Your Target Customer Where They Already Are
The networking potential within Twitter is the social media service’s true strength. The site’s inter-connectivity extends to user-created groups, friends lists and even profiles. While the users themselves use these searchable expression points to project their personality, savvy marketers can use it to track promising Tweets back to their origin. For example, if your product is one that stay-at-home moms are likely to use, find and study the conversations and friends lists of other businesses – even rivals – to get a great crop of potential users to follow. You might start with peeking at the Twitter accounts of popular parenting magazines, playground manufacturers, or even mommy advice blogs to start setting up a “plan of attack” for your Tweet timing.
When Is Your Audience Tuned In?
If real estate is marketed as “location, location, location,” the same could be said for timing your social media updates. Successful Tweet timing should put an emphasis on posting frequency, preferably daily, though a business should still stay nimble enough to respond to lucrative opportunities and events. Nabisco, for example, became an unexpected viral darling with an in-the-moment Twitter ad for its Oreo cookie, hastily but beautifully created in an ad agency “war room” in response to a sudden blackout during the 2013 Superbowl. If you know that your target audience is likely to be commuting to or from work, away from a computer, or unable to safely check their smartphones, in the morning or late afternoons, push your posting time back or forward to be sure you aren’t missing those sets of eyes on your words and products.
Don’t Drop Off, Or Your Readers Will Too
Twitter is an agile ally, but can also be a cruel mistress – a quiet or silent account can do more harm than good, even with occasional Tweets, if it’s being used to represent a brand. A dusty Twitter account and poor Tweet timing aren’t issues that the active user base are likely to overlook, with Pew Research citing daily Twitter use by approximately 46% of all Twitter users – 29% of which report popping in more than once daily. If they can make an effort to catch up on social media despite work and family obligations, they expect a brand they’re considering to do so as well. In addition to pre-planned marketing Tweets, focusing on Twitter engagement and availability will work in your favor for public relations as well. Advice columns in several major news outlets from the Huffington Post to the BBC inform customers that reaching out to companies on Twitter is one of the best ways to get in touch with a company that has offered sub-par service – offering the chance to escalate and highlight the issue and damage future business if the complaint isn’t handled expediently.
If you take the time to study when and where your best potential customers appear on Twitter, you’ve already won half of your marketing battle. In short, take cues from your “ideal” customer’s schedule, do a bit of spying in your industry’s marketing community, and keep your Twitter feed fresh and current. Hit all three and you’ll reap the joint benefits of positive social media exposure and intuitive connection with your customers via perfect Tweet timing.