The Advanced Guide to Timing Tweets

Over 500 million tweets are going out every day. In such a crowded space it’s more important than ever to pick the best times to send your tweets. Thinking carefully about your tweeting strategy can have a big impact on who sees them and how far they reach.

Preparing for important days and events throughout the year should be your first step. Twitter recently released their own #OwnTheMoment planner to help you do just that.  Check it out, it’s fantastically helpful! But there are several more advanced strategies you can employ everyday to maximise your impact.

Find your followers at the right time

As addictive as Twitter can be, your followers are not online all the time! When they are active might depend on the type of people you have following you. A following of predominantly young people will probably tend to tweet more at the weekends. A B2B audience will be more active during the working week.

Take a look at the community activity of these two groups. Can you guess who they are?

Advanced Guide to Timing Tweets

The blue line represents a community of tweeters under the age of 25. The red line is the followers of @Peerindex!

Picking the right time to tweet will get your content seen by a whole lot more people so plan your schedule carefully.

Experiment with different types of tweets

shapes and sizesTweets come in all different forms. The tone and content of each one depends on its intended effect. If you’re getting it right, you won’t solely be pushing sales messaging or only ever tweeting funny pictures from Buzzfeed. You’ll want to have a targeted and interesting mixture to really engage with people.

Experimenting with the timing of different types of tweets will tell you what sort of content is popular at particular times.

Try to categorise the different styles of tweets you tend to send out. These might be:

  • Sharing relevant news stories
  • Marketing your product or services
  • Sharing some interesting research you’ve done
  • Asking questions to stimulate conversation
  • Making people laugh with something funny you’ve found (or made)

Once you have segmented your tweets, see what happens when you send them out at different times of day. Make sure you pick the metric that you are most interested in.

PiQ’s reporting functionality includes a Tweet Performance page where you can see the best performing tweets from the past two weeks. Sort your tweets by the reach, RTs or clicks and see which days are getting you the best results.

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 14.30.29

You can also see the same report for your competitors’ tweets so you can discover what they’re getting right that you’ve been unaware of.

Look at target communities to gain followers

It’s all very well knowing when your followers are active but sometimes it’s not them you’re interested in reaching. This could be when:

  • You’re just started out and don’t have many followers yet!
  • You want to reach an audience you don’t usually target.
  • You want to reach a specific segment of your audience.
  • Your community of followers isn’t ‘healthy’. That is, they’re not the right kind of followers for your brand.

In this case you want to look at a target audience of the kind of people you’re interested in reaching as well as your followers. PiQ, the PeerIndex social media platform is build around communities for this exact reason.

PiQ lets you look at target audiences around a specific topic or demographic so you can see who they are, what they talk about and when they are active.

baby ferrariFor example, a sports car manufacturer may have a large following on Twitter, but what if those followers are all teenagers (or younger!)? That’s useful in the long term, they’re nurturing fans who will aspire to own one of their cars in the future.

But if they wanted to tweet about a test-drive marketing event are these the people they want to target? Probably not. That’s when driving engagement and attracting new followers from a different target audience (one who can afford to buy the car in the first place!) becomes key to their strategy.

Make a strategic timetable

Planning your tweets around your followers’ or a target audience’s activity is great. But you should also consider your own activity.

On any given day, you’ll probably have one or two tweets that you consider the most important. These will be the ones that have a call-to-action, getting people to visit your site, download your content or, even better, buy something!

With this in mind, it’s key to consider how the rest of your activity during the day is going to affect your engagement on Twitter.

You want your call-to-action tweet to be prominent when the largest number of people are looking at your timeline.

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PiQ lets you see the engagement rate of your Twitter activity over time and that of your competitors so you can understand when the best time is to post your most important tweets.

Friendly Twitter types will often go to your timeline when they see you’ve followed them or if you’ve shared some of their content. When they check you out, make sure there’s something juicy like a punchy blog post or a nifty piece of research that they can share.
If you’d like to find out more about how PiQ can help your brand engage with target audiences and plan your tweeting strategy accordingly. Try it free today!


Why Twitter is about more than just follower counts

It’s a great feeling when you see that you’ve gained a new follower. Without any followers, Twitter would be a very lonely place! But when the number of followers you have becomes the most important thing you measure, you’ve started missing the point of Twitter. And you’re probably missing out on much of what makes Twitter so great. Twitter offers so much more than a race for followers. It’s a place where you can:

  • Meet and learn from people around the world you never could have connected with before.
  • Discover communities that are talking about the content and ideas that you find interesting.
  • Become an influential figure in your area of expertise and share your own knowledge with others.
  • Have fun!

Twitter’s fun, but it’s not a game

It was Facebook that first stretched the meaning of the word ‘friend’. People who had only been alive for just over a decade had apparently amassed tens of thousands of ‘friends’ in that time, if their profile’s were anything to go by. But boasting about how many friends you have quickly became passé and among people over school age was barely ever a thing at all.

facebook friends

With Twitter, the term ‘follower’ immediately meant something different. A follower could be anyone at all, anywhere in the world. But rather than embracing the gift of being able to connect with people across the globe who share similar interests or want to discuss similar ideas, many became anxious that they didn’t have as many followers as they could or should.

maskPerhaps for real-world celebrities or sports teams follower counts could be seen as a measure of popularity but for most of us it’s not always a helpful number to obsess about. And while celebrities get more followers the more famous they are, ordinary Twitter users inevitably start trying to ‘game’ the system when followers are all that matter.

Charlie Brooker, in typical tongue-in-cheek fashion, put Twitter at the number 1 spot in his list of ‘Video Games that Changed the World‘. And while he’s right that there is always going to be an element of competitiveness and obsessiveness when it comes to something like Twitter, you won’t find his feed full of spam aimed at attracting more and more followers. He’s got his 800k followers by being funny and engaging.

Unfollowers: creating the right Twitter for you

One of the cruelest and least constructive activities involved in the gamification of growing follower numbers is the ‘unfollow‘. There are only two honest reasons to unfollow someone on Twitter:

  1. You are bored or offended by what that user is tweeting.
  2. You have reached your limit for following and you need to unfollow some people in order to follow new ones.

Regularly unfollowing anyone who hasn’t followed you back after a certain period of time is like walking into the playground and demanding people you’ve just met to declare their friendship with you and storming off in a huff when they look quizzically at you and ask who you are.

unfollowTwitter is what you make of it. Who you follow will determine what turns up in your feed. So if you follow and unfollow people based on your interests, passions, desire to learn and share you will find Twitter a fascinating place to hang out. If you follow and unfollow people because you’re trying to increase your own follower count.

Influential followers and Communities

All followers are not created equally. PiQ, our social media dashboard, lets you track not only your total number of followers but also your influential followers. Because we measure influence by the amount of engagement a user is able to generate, these users will not only read your content regularly but they will be able to share it to a wider audience.

You may even find that while your follower numbers are going down, your influential followers are increasing.

follow:influential follow

This might be because a number of fake or spammy accounts are either being blocked by Twitter or are playing the ‘unfollow game’. They’re weren’t adding any value to your community in the first place.

Think carefully about the metrics you want to judge your social media success by! Influence across Twitter is one thing but influence in a specific community is even more strategically significant, especially for brands trying to build valuable followings.

Kevin Pho for Health Leaders“In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king” goes the saying. In the world of Digital Health, it is not Justin Bieber or Barack Obama who hold the most community influence but the people who create conversations around those topics with the right people. People like Kevin Pho MD (@KevinMD - pictured) and Lisa Fields (@PracticalWisdom)

PiQ identifies community influencers by looking at followers of specific accounts and target audiences built around topics and interests.

Get engaged

Having a good number of followers is not unimportant of course. But it’s the ability a large following allows you to engage with people around the world that makes it worth while. There’s no point having people follow you if you don’t know where you’re going!

Competitor engagement

Monitoring your engagement rate is a good way to see how well your social media strategy is going. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you creating conversations?
  • Are people interested in what your’e saying?
  • Are you spreading your content, thoughts and ideas to a wider audience?
  • How are you doing compared to key competitors?

If you’d like to know more about how PiQ can help you identify the right kind of followers and track the social media metrics that really matter. Try PiQ for free today!

8 Perfect Profile Pic types – and what they say about you

You’ve already agonised over your Bio. Expressing everything about yourself in just 160 characters whilst simultaneously being funny, self-deprecating, serious and boastful all at the same time was no easy feat! Now you’ve got to pick the perfect image of yourself to act as your face for anyone who ever meets you on Twitter. The options are almost limitless, so what to chose!? Well here are 8 options inspired by some of Twitter’s most famous faces.

1. The ‘Mum Chose My Pic’ – Aziz Ansari


The first thing to say about this one, your Mum will be delighted. Remember how much better things were when she got to chose your clothes? Well she does. If you can find one with a bow-tie like Aziz – even better. Other options include: pulled-up socks with shorts, fiercely well combed side-partings and bright shoes with buckles.

What does it say about you?

Fun, friendly, doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

2. The ‘I know what a Selfie Is’ – Eddie Izzard


It was the word of the year in 2013 and the selfie is still going strong. Show that you are Twitter-literate with a self-taken snap of your own. Eddie gets it spot on here: there’s no professional lighting or flashy background and he makes the phone itself prominent in the picture: classic selfie. (And yet more advertising on Twitter for Apple, the only brand not on Twitter)


Social media savvy, down with the kids.

3. The ‘Confused Older Relative’ – Danny De Vito


Take it to the other extreme like Danny and get your selfie as wrong as you possibly can. The illegible reflected words of his twitter address is a particularly nice touch here. The art of the troll is detectable here: make everyone think you’re inept while actually being acutely aware of how Twitter works and sending up the whole process.


Should be too old for this stuff but defiantly nailing it anyway.

4. The ‘Genius at Work’ – JK Rowling


Simple but effective. Nothing says this is what I do better than a picture of you damn well doing it. JK’s profile pic sums her up more than any words could (though she could probably give it a good crack). The blurred pen is a fantastic yet understated detail by the fast-writing wizard-creator.


Means business.

5. The ‘Cartoon Me’ – Alyssa Milano


Avoid the agony of going through hundreds of photos of yourself and rejecting each one because you look like a goofball that one or an arrogant idiot in that one or a drug dealer in this one. The cartoon you is never going to let you down. Alyssa’s sums up her kick-ass style without being awkward or showy. If only we could do this with passport photos…


Whatever you want it to say – in 2D!

6. The ‘Look No Clothes’ – Tom Daley


Yes, Tom Daley has an Olympic medal… But he also has a six-pack. If in doubt about what to put in your Twitter pic and you have an Olympic medal and you also have six-pack – go for the six pack. Every time.


Has a six-pack.

7. The ‘Parent’ – Joey Barton


A true classic. Getting your kids in there, especially if they are as cute as Joey’s is sure way to get the ‘aw!’ factor – even if you’re as famously un-’aw’ as Joey is. Politicians have known it for years – being seen with kids makes you popular.


What a lovely, lovely person they must be.

8. The ‘I met Obama’ – Brian Lara


Not only did West Indies legend Brian get to meet Obama, which is awesome and should definitely be the subject of anyone who is that lucky’s profile pic, he also taught him some cricket. If you’re got any pictures of you making the world a better place, by teaching the leader of the free world a proper sport for instance, that’s the one you want to go for.


They met Obama!