A Better Twitter Workflow

by Mike Shea on 8 July 2012

15 second summary

According to trend analysis, if you want your tweets to be read, post them at 2pm EST. Use tools like HootSuite, Bufferapp, Tweriod, Tweet4Me, and Tweetbot to build a workflow that lets you post your tweets at the most opportune time for the reader. If you don't think such things are important, rethink why you're tweeting in the first place.

Twitter and the Sly Flourish Empire

I love using Twitter to connect with like-minded D&D players and as a vehicle for promoting my works on Sly Flourish. Recently, the topic of best tweeting time fascinates me. Twitter contains so much data that we can analyze large trends in behavior like Hari Seldon in Foundation. We can't predict individual behavior, but we can predict large trends &emdash; like when most people are active on Twitter.

Bitly's post on best tweeting times and Dan Zarella's infographic give us these large trends. Tweriod, however, gives us something else. It analyzes our actual followers and, from that data, tells us the best time to tweet to reach them. Here's a quick breakdown of the best times to tweet from my Sly Flourish followers. The time in brackets tends to be the sweet spot:

Using these results, I can queue up tweets directly in a tool like HootSuite, or set up a pool of tweets using Bufferapp that posts at the most desirable time.

A third tool called Tweet4Me can take any direct message from any Twitter client and throw it in the buffer. This lets me use Tweetbot, my favorite Twitter client, to queue tweets for posting at the best possible time.

A better workflow for tweeting

Once a week I queue up seven new D&D DM tips using Hootsuite. I schedule these tweets for the ideal times discovered by Tweriod. I usually queue a month's worth of these tweets. Hootsuite, though horribly clunky and over-engineered, has the most articulate tweet queuing system I've used. Since I only have to use it once a week, I can't complain too much.

When an idea comes to me or I want to repost something I think has real value, I open up TweetBot, start a new tweet, and type "bbb". This lauches a shortcut set up in the iPhone's keyboard settings to insert "d @tweet4me +b ". This sends a direct message to Tweet4Me that pushes the message to BufferApp. I type my tweet and hit send. BufferApp adds it to my pool of tweets and, when the time is right, it posts the tweet. I have four times scheduled each day in BufferApp based on the results from Tweriod: 11am, 2pm, 3pm, and 4:30pm EST.

Who cares?

If you're shaking your head at this whole thing for being too obsessive, you're partly right. I spent more time dorking around with this research than any direct value I'll get in return. If you're a heavy twitter user, however, and you don't think this sort of stuff is important, than you might not be valuing what you're tweeting. If you don't value it, why are you wasting everyone's time?

140 characters can change the world. Strive to make them the right ones.

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