Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been playing with a service called 14Blocks to schedule tweets on my personal Twitter account. By looking at the behaviour of my followers, 14Blocks figures out the best two times during each day that I should post a tweet to reach the maximum number of people.
In practice, it makes complete sense to tweet when you have the highest number of followers online. Based on a report, we published last year about how 92% of retweets happen in the first hour after a tweet has been published, tweeting to as many people as possible seems to be the way to go.
That said, it does seem strange in some ways to have such a structured approach to social media given social media is suposed to be real-time, authentic and engaging. It’s like being at a party but deciding to not have any conversations until the right number of guests appear.
Scheduling tweets may be about maximum impact but I’d be curious to see if it works as well as expected. This is only anecdotal but I don’t see tweets being more or less successful depending on when they happen.
In many respects, a successful tweet hits the mark based on the quality of the content. It may be something that captures the imagination of people because it’s entertaining, striking or different. Or it may be a link to content that resonates.
As much as there is growing interest in managing and structuring social media to be as effective and efficient as possible, it’s an approach that may not consistently deliver bang for the buck.
Being a social robot and sticking to a fixed schedule removes the spontaneity of social media and the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities to engage when they present themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I think structure is good and there may be a place to schedule tweets but it would be wrong to be a slave to automation.