When to tweet

Posted on January 7, 2013


One type of item from these pages that gets shared the most is around when to post – to blogs, social media and so on. Last week I came across a site that nicely gives some answers to this question for Twitter accounts, a service called xefer.com.

In the example screen grab (which isn’t complete – I haven’t included the lower page showing individual retweeters), you can see how the service clusters tweets and retweets around times of the day.

Xefer CCUK example

It handily tots them up by day (right-hand side) and by hour of the day across the period in question (bottom of screen).

And because the period in question is variable it makes xefer.com a great tool for reporting – eg back to clients – on how campaigns worked.

The left-hand side is in reverse day order, so for this example, using a period of activity for the @ColContent account for my Collective Content agency, you can see Saturday is the quietest day of the week for Twitter activity while Friday is the quietest day of the traditional working week. (The distinction between weekend and ‘working week’ is much less apparent for the corresponding analysis of my @tphallett account.)

Thankfully the chart shows some things we have planned. It also gives a few insights we only suspected.

–          Busy times for UK interactions are the 9AM hour and around lunch time – these show larger numbers of tweets and replies, often from people who know me and the Collective Content business

–          The biggest time for activity is mid-to-late afternoon (UK time) – planned that way because it catches our UK audience and our next biggest market, the US, as it wakes up

–          There is another spike towards the 9PM and 10PM hours, when we try to catch the US East coast clocking off (eg the Tuesday 10PM hour looks like a good one for retweets)

–          Our policy of using Sunday evenings – the new beginning of the working week – is backed up by the stats here.

Have a play around with the service and see what you think. I have no interest in their success but compared to the hundreds of others out there it is relatively pain-free.

Follow me on Twitter (how apt) – @tphallett

Posted in: Social media