Tweet, Tweet and Retweet — Your Audience is Fleeting so Hit Them Multiple Times!

I’ve long had the feeling that much of what I (and others) tweet about is like the old saw about a tree falling in the forest. Is anybody there when I tweet and, even if they are, are they paying attention? Well, research done by Sysomos indicates that 71 percent of the 1.2 billion tweets they reviewed over a two-month period produced no replies or re-tweets. Further, the study indicated that when a retweet does occur, it’s most likely to occur in the first hour after someone initially published the tweet.

Egad! Are we all just blowing in the wind? Maybe. Although, I would offer some caveats:

  • Many, many people online just don’t like to “get involved.” Yet they’re out there. (Think of them as the “little creatures of the forest” watching–and listening–as the tree falls, but not choosing to make themselves apparent.)
  • With Twitter, it’s not necessarily about creating conversation. Often it’s just about creating awareness. I’m finding this is particularly true with some of my clients who are literally “brand new and unknown” – Twitter is a great way to easily, and inexpensively, create awareness (depending, of course, on what it is they have to be aware of).
  • Timing is everything. I like to spend time on social media at the end of my typical work day, but I need to recognize that this may *not* be when my audience is online. To be effective, I need to determine when my “one hour window” is likely to be and then tweet – or schedule tweets – during that timeframe. And that’s what you need to do too. Who are you trying to reach? When are they likely to be online?
  • There’s safety–and success–in numbers. Taking part in online Twitter events that appeal to your audience can be a good way to leverage the chance of being heard.

I try to read as much as possible about marketing best practices, and these days, about social media marketing best practices. Recently I read a tip from Guy Kawasaki that I’ve been experimenting with and it seems to be providing some traction. Instead of just sending a tweet once, schedule it across a 24 hour period so you’re hitting different time zones and different audiences. I’ve tried this with my own and client accounts and, as he suggested, we’re actually picking up greater traction on posts scheduled the 2nd, 3rd or even 4th time. In fact, I’m now experimenting with posting across different days and time segments. Makes sense. Think about how you consume social media. Your attention is fleeting – and so are the many messages from those in your circle of connections.


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