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An Optimal Twitter Schedule

by Randall Craig on February 28, 2014

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: , ,

After participating in a recent panel discussion, I was approached by David Shlagbaum, a senior partner in a downtown law firm.  He reminded me of a lunch we shared, where he had asked me how often he should tweet.  I responded “David, do you see that bus outside?”  He did.  “A Twitter schedule is no different than a bus schedule.”

Consider:

  • If the bus comes too early or too late, you’ll annoy those who come on time, and earn a reputation for being unreliable.  People will stop using you.  People will unfollow.
  • If it follows a random route each day, no one will ever use the service, as the passengers have no guarantee the bus will take them to their destination. Thought-leadership is built with on-topic, relevant content.
  • If it comes too infrequently, people will seek alternatives. If it comes too often, it would be too costly to run. Twitter takes time, and there must be a balance between relevance and productivity.

What is the perfect Twitter schedule?  It is the schedule of your target audience.  And whatever that frequency, make sure it is consistent.

This week’s action plan:  Review the schedule of your posts over the last four weeks.  Is there consistency?  Are the tweets written to address the needs of a specific audience?  Or are they all about you?

Bonus Marketing Insights:

  1. If your schedule (and content) is relevant, the number of followers should be growing. Unfollows indicate either irrelevant content or poor scheduling.
  2. It is possible that you are simultaneously annoying those who want a lower frequency AND those who want a higher frequency.  At a certain point consider splitting your Tweeting into two (or more) specialized feeds, to ensure that the topic and frequency match the needs of distinct segments of your target audience.  If you’re not sure about this, ask your followers.
  3. The bus schedule analogy is very powerful.  Those who “travel” at night or on the weekends might be very different than those who use the bus during business hours.  Content for these two audiences might also be very different.
  4. Broadcast tweeting is not the goal of an engaging Twitter strategy:  engagement is.  Responding to questions, addressing concerns, retweeting others’ posts, and building relationships within different networks are critical parts of the mix – and also need to be part of the schedule.

More scheduling resources: download our (no cost) Social Media Planning Calendar.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

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www.RandallCraig.com
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About 

Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at randallcraig.com and 108ideaspace.com.

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