21 AprTiming is everything — almost

When you send out tweets or Facebook updates, do you give much thought to their timing?

There are a number of interesting considerations to be made about timing with social media marketing, depending of course upon the intention of your tweets.

Ideally, if you’re using social media for the purposes of personal branding, promotion or other communication with your people, you’re also actually being social. It’s what makes it fun, connected and gives people a reason to pay attention. But that’s for another post.

How can you be more sure that the people you serve are able to benefit most from your, let’s face it, tiny, 140 charater messages? ┬áJust broadly, I’ll give a few recommendations. These will shift depending on your specific demographics and goals, but it’s a jumping off point.

1. Promotional tweets (or Facebook messages) should be sent at times when your target market is present in that social space. Give some thought to this and if you aren’t there yourself during those times to do the posting, consider a scheduling service. Hootsuite offers a free service that includes scheduling as does SocialPing (still in private beta).

2. Think about the content of your message and if it is appropriate for that time of day. For example, if you sell pizza and you’re running a 2-for-1 special, when do you suppose you’ll get your greatest return on tweets promoting the offer?

My guess as to a good approach (mind you I haven’t done any pizza-lover research outside of consulting my stomach) — I’d think about tweeting about it once around 4:45-5:30 (when people are leaving work or just left work), then around 7:00-7:30 mention it again in a different way (avoid I’m a robot syndrome). I’d also tweet something social or fun once or twice in between the two promo tweets. You don’t want to have your profile filled with promo tweet after promo tweet.

3. It’s also highly useful to align yourself and your message around what is relavant with current trends. And sometimes to have fun heading in the opposite direction from how others are doing it.

We want to be relevant with the current happenings in the world (seasons, holidays and even events with large media coverage or anything really high profile) but ideally to do so in a way that sets us apart from the rest.

A great example of this was a ski resort commercial I heard on the radio not long ago. They were promoting their social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and the like, but they did it completely differently and hit their target market square on the head.

The commercial was with the usual absurdly-booming voice declaring that they were now on “Twitbook” and “Faceplant”. It was a riduclous commercial and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I don’t snowboard or ski, so I didn’t go look em up; but I guarantee if I were into snow sports I’d have been there following them.

So this all relates to timing in that social media is now widely accepted as a marketing channel and promoted everywhere. But the message gets stale. Their ad was on target and also refreshing change from the usual “become a fan on Facebook”.

Can you think in different ways about your timing? Are there areas that could be improved? And what can you add to this conversation?

For more ways to think outside-of-the-box about social media for business or just to connect, follow me on Twitter or subscribe to this blog

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Joshua Guffey

Project Manager at Dependable Data Services
Father. Husband. Search Marketing Professional. Conversion Optimization Consultant. Love Rumi.