4 Tools To Better Time Your Twitter Updates [HOW TO]

by Janet Aronica on Jan 19, 2011

Listening and engaging with your current and potential customers on Twitter are the first steps in jumping into the conversation. Creating and sharing content with your audience to teach them more about your industry is the next phase. But how can you take your engagement even further?

Timing is the next step. Targeting your audience when they are ready to listen with the language that resonates with them means going from beingreactive, to being proactive and strategic with your engagement.

Find out the appropriate time to engage your audience. When are they are most likely to click on your links, ask and reply to your questions? Discovering the right time to Tweet will help you manage your account – not to mention your day – a whole lot better. It will also help you prioritize. Have several blog posts to promote, in addition to an event or a new product feature? What conversions matter most? Tweet accordingly.

Here are the tools that will help you:

1. Tweetstats

Tweetstats is very basic reporting and it’s free. It’s a helpful tool to start off with to see when you are Tweeting the most and get a sense of where you are currently with your Twitter account.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Easy-to-read graphs show when you are Tweeting

Cons:

  • Can’t export graphs
  • Doesn’t analyze Twitter activity of who is following you, better for analyzing your own account
  • No language analysis

2. TweetReports

TweetReports offers two products that will help you identify the right time to Tweet. Follower Analysis delivers hour-by-hour Tweet statistics from the past seven days from your top 25 most influential Twitter followers.

These charts are actually clickable in TweetReports, so you can look and see the actual Tweets and retweets to get a sense of the conversations that are most popular among your most popular audience members.

Tweet Analysis analyzes the Tweets around a keyword. You can set up a keyword search for your own brand name, for instance, and discover what time each day of the past week it was most mentioned. In addition, it breaks down the most active users by Tweet and retweet for that keyword and shows you the most popular links for that keyword.

TweetReports has various pricing plans, at $9/month, $49/month and $299/month.

Pros:

  • Focuses on your most influential Twitter followers
  • Tweet Analysis, Follower Analysis, and Company Evangelists products
  • Clickable graphs show you actual Tweets
  • Print graphs or grab the code to embed them in a website

Cons:

  • Analysis feels too separated: If I could combine the Tweet Analysis (of my selected keyword) plus see when my most influential followers were Tweeting and retweeting that, that would be ideal

3. Crowdbooster

Fresh out of Y Combinator, Crowdbooster offers you several best times to Tweet based on how your past Tweets have performed and the Twitter activity of your followers. You can schedule updates from Crowdbooster, and it will pre-select a good time for you to send your Tweets.

According to Crowdbooster, the best time for me to Tweet was 8:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 6:00pm.

Crowdbooster will analyze the effectiveness and reach of each given Tweet you send. It will tell you the number of retweets and @replies it generated, helping you identify the language, content and time of day that resonates most with your community to enhance your engagement.

Crowdbooster is free for consumers, and $200/month for businesses.

Pros:

  • Spells out the times you should Tweet. Very straightforward/simple
  • Identifies your most influential followers by # of followers
  • FollowBuilder lets you search for new people to follow based on keyword
  • Shows you the reach of your Tweets, reporting as far back as you want. Highly customizable

Cons:

  • Can’t print or export reports quite yet. Reporting is in alpha, so you’ll need to request it

4. SocialFlow

SocialFlow is a complete Twitter management and analysis system. It looks at the topics that your audience consumes, receives the most mentions, retweets and clicks – and when. It helps you create the right conversation at the right time so that you are relevant with your engagement.

Clicks per Tweet

Hourly Click Distribution

Total Audience Activity Analysis

Something really cool you won’t want to miss about SocialFlow is the Language Analysis. This will literally tell you want keywords fared well with your audience. So, if you’re Tweeting a blog post, you’ll know that “dogs” is a hot topic with your crew. And Tweeting about dogs at 3:30 on a Wednesday? Twitter party.

SocialFlow is $2000/month for the first account, with discounts per account with additional accounts added.

Pros:

  • Language Analysis shows you top performing keywords
  • Account Detail displays when your Tweet’s links were clicked over past 24 hours. You can customize view to display earlier reports
  • Hourly Clicks Distribution shows you hot-button times for links to get click over the course of a week or month
  • Integrates with Bit.ly
  • Monthly reports available by CSV. Shows time of Tweet, Tweet that was sent and number of clicks

Cons:

  • Like switching to many new tools, there is a bit of an onboarding process and learning commitment upfront

—-

All of these tools are bookmarked for you in my Timing Your Tweets Toolkit on oneforty, where I am the community manager.

Did I miss anything? Any tools you’re using we should know about? If you have any other suggestions or questions, please leave them in the comments for me.

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Post Author

Janet Aronica is the community manager at oneforty, an online community where people can review, discover and share social media tools for business....

  • Nice post. How about http://timely.flowtown.com?

  • Nice post, Janet!

    Readers: Please do ask for an invite by filling out the form on the website. We are regularly letting in batches of users so we can ensure the best performance. It won’t take too long to hear from us, I promise!

    Ricky
    Co-founder, Crowdbooster

  • Nice post, Janet!

    Readers: Please do ask for an invite by filling out the form on the website. We are regularly letting in batches of users so we can ensure the best performance. It won’t take too long to hear from us, I promise!

    Ricky
    Co-founder, Crowdbooster

  • Nice post, Janet!

    Readers: Please do ask for an invite by filling out the form on the website. We are regularly letting in batches of users so we can ensure the best performance. It won’t take too long to hear from us, I promise!

    Ricky
    Co-founder, Crowdbooster

  • Hi Janet –

    Thank you for including TweetReports in your article and in your “Timing Your Tweets” toolbox — very much appreciated!

    Even more-so, thank you for your suggestion listed under “Con”. We love getting feedback like this — it tells us exactly what our users need and where to make improvements. Incorporating aspects of Follower Analysis into the Tweet Analysis reports is a good idea and we’ll be looking at ways to make those reports even better.

    By the way, I’m really glad to see TweetStats listed. It’s a great little app by Damon Cortesi (@dacort) and was one of the inspirations for us to create the Follower Analysis reports.

    Thanks again.

    Michael Kristof
    Founder, TweetReports

  • Anonymous

    You’re welcome! :) Glad I could provide some insight. And thanks for always being supportive with the stuff we’re doing at oneforty. High five!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Ricky! Love what you guys are doing with Crowdbooster.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for reading, Liz! I’ll give Timely a try :) I’m a Dan Martell/#leanstartups fangirl (is that weird?) so I can’t believe I haven’t yet.

  • Hi Janet, just wanted to add to your list InfiniGraph.com the timing is a big deal and part of what we do. More focused on the type of content and interaction view pure raw activity. Found that content type drives interaction greater than timing. Here is another tool list from Jason Falls on Influence. http://bit.ly/f610zZ @chasemcmichael

  • You beat me to it Liz, I second Timely..

  • Anonymous

    Hey Chase – Thanks for sharing Jason’s post! Saw that, loved it. There are tons of influencer tools out there that I love highlighting in other posts but I was excited to talk specifically about timing Tweets in this post as I think it goes overlooked. :) Also want to note the language analysis feature I pointed out in SocialFlow, focusing on the right keywords for your brand, seeing what language is associated with your industry and also what your competitors are using is all important. Influencers, language and timing – I think these should all be paid attention to.

  • Janet very insightful! hope to get a chance to show you what were doing around the post optimizations as well. We build out keywords very different and would like your input our latest performance numbers we posted here Social Stream Marketing and Content Automation http://bit.ly/h3jyXQ Chase

  • Hootsuite also has a good option of gauging the click-rate of tweets, though it doesn’t go quite as in-depth as knowing how often that brand name was mentioned etc. It does have a neat Google Analytics plugin to track clicks and website traffic according to time of day.

  • Anonymous

    That’s a really good point, looking at GA to check out time of day w/ this stuff. That’d be a good hack for identifying the right time of day when to Tweet if you are already using Hootsuite and aren’t ready to invest in something else like SocialFlow.

  • Mehhhhh…I say tweet when you want to tweet. If you’re spending tons of time focusing on micro management of WHEN to tweet, then most likely you’re not paying enough attention to the day to day routine of your own business.

    That being said, if you hired a firm or an assistant to tweet for you…well that’s a different story altogether. Then I’d say figure out when most people hit your site and tweet shortly before that rush. Or experiment and tweet at different times to track the results.

    Great article though. :D

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