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Friday, April 27, 2012

Twitching Over Twitter Traffic

I must admit that I have increasingly become obsessed over Twitter.  I have an account for years but barely tweeted until I started my blog nearly a year ago.  Now I tweet 3-6 times a day and wonder it it’s too much or not enough.

I still think most tweets are stupid and useless but I also recognize they can change discussions on politics, entertainment, and business.  It’s a tool that can be used quite powerfully by anyone.

I use Twitter only for professional reasons and almost exclusively to promote my blog posts.  I’m too challenged by the 140-character limit to post anything of substance without a link attached.  Tweets are the equivalent of a three-second commercial.

But Twitter’s an awesome tool for networking, taking something viral, and for spotting trends.  But its emphasis on brevity abbreviates those who want a real dialogue.  Twitter teases us.  It bastardizes our language and feeds into our ADD, narcissism, and a culture obsessed over celebrity, stupidity, and the present. 

Nevertheless, I am in my honeymoon phase with Twitter.  It’s free and always accessible to me.  It can serve my purpose even if I harbor a disdain toward its very existence.  Twitter can’t be ignored by anyone trying to promote themselves, market a book, or further a cause. 

Make sure you tweet something useful, timely, and interesting—otherwise don’t add to the clutter.  Tweet frequently and consistently.  As far as the more strategic hours or days to tweet, consider the information shared in a Ragan.com March 28th article:

·         9-11 am EST and 1-3pm EST is when the most Twitter traffic occurs.  Also, 5pm EST.  About half of all tweets originate from EST, a third from Central Time Zone and a sixth from PST.  Nearly 80% of the US population resides in EST or Central.

·         People are more likely to click on Twitter links at the end of the week/weekends.

But all of this is a generalization.  You need to focus on the habits of your set of followers and in the space or industry you tweet on.  Business people act differently than say stay-at-home moms or teenagers.

To play it safe, tweet at all hours.  Then see if you notice getting more replies, re-tweets and link clicks based on the time of day you tweeted.  You can also look at your feed of followers and see when they are tweeting.  How many tweets did you see from the past 20 minutes now VS. other times of the day?

You can also follow the lead of model tweeters or people in your field that you respect and feel do a good job of using Twitter.  See when they tweet and follow suit, if possible. 

Time zones are a factor too.  In Europe they are 5-6 hours ahead of EST.  In other parts of the world they are 6-12 hours behind.  If those you want to reach reside out of the US or in other time zones, give consideration to their needs.

Of course you can make yourself crazy over Twitter, so if you want more tools to drool over, try these:

Free

Fee

Ok, that’s enough talk about Twitter.  I’m twitching to send another tweet so I have to go now. 

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s leading book publicity firm. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person

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