As fleeting as Tweets are, it is not surprising that marketers wonder about - and experiment with - the best times to send a Tweet. Certainly this is a subject of intense interest to email marketers and much of the same reasoning that is used in timing an email marketing campaign can translate to a Twitter campaign.
But not all as - obviously - Tweets are far shorter and can be blasted out, with slight changes in content, by the hour. With such flexible boundaries, there are a lot of theories as the best time to Tweet, as Predictive Marketing points out in a recent blog.
Around the Clock
The Social Media Guide found 9:00AM Pacific Time is the best time to Tweet. "You are hitting three major break times: People arriving at work on the West Coast of America and Canada. It coincides with lunchtime (12:00 pm EST) on the East Coast of America and it coincides with the end of the business day in London (5:00 pm GMT)."
Another handy tip from Social Media Guide - if you want to target a specific person, try Tweet O'Clock to determine when is the best time to tweet that individual.
Gary McCaffrey believes any time between 9:00AM and 3:00PM is best based on Twitter referrals to his websites.
Malcom Coles says 4:01PM is the best time to tweet based on a survey he conducted - with 11 am to 12 the next best window of opportunity.
Guy Kawasaki tells Tweeters not to worry about posting too many times - the best or most important tweets should be sent out at least four times, at intervals of eight to twelve hours.
Twitter Time Fingerprint
As for Predictive Marketing, after compiling this list it discussed its own approach to the question. It collected data for a business whose followers consist primarily of event professionals, then decided it wanted to zero in on whether or not a follower had tweeted within a given hour. It found there are actually two optimal hours to tweet: 10:00 - 11:00 ET AM and 12:00 - 1:00 ET PM.
"Tweets during these two hours reach 23.7% of the total number of followers, an 18% advantage over the next best time, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, and a 31% advantage over 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM."
The post also questioned whether this pattern could apply to any group of followers. The answer, it was determined, was definitely not after the study of a second group of followers of a CRM company, which were most likely to be active during the morning hours. "Each business has a unique set of followers with their own Twitter 'time fingerprint'", Predictive Marketing concluded.
Bottom line for marketers: track your followers to see when they are most active.