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Timing is (almost) everything

The old adage struck a chord when I read a recent article about best times to spread messages via social media. The piece references social media researcher Dan Zarrella’s research into the science behind social media timing. As marketing anthropologists, we love science. Here are a few interesting takeaways to consider:

  1. Wait until the noise dies down. Twitter is most quiet in the afternoons, when blogs and news sites are slower, and on weekends. With fewer messages out there competing for attention, retweet and clickthrough rates spike.
  2. Tweet, retweet, and tweet again. Tweeting the same links two or three times a day gets your message out to more people. Only a fraction of your followers will see the message each time, so change the language a bit and keep tweeting.
  3. Email more, and embrace the weekends. Companies often struggle with how often to email their audiences. This study finds the actual number of emails makes little difference. It is more important to focus on engaging new subscribers right away, and continuing a dialog with them. And, emails are more likely to be opened and read on the weekends or in the early-morning hours any day, before readers get caught up in their to-do lists.

While these are just a few specific examples, paying attention to timing is an important part of developing a marketing strategy, be it social media, media relations, or any other part of the mix. A lot of this research can be boiled down to relying on good old common sense. Who is your audience and where are they when? Keep timing in mind when plotting out your marketing strategy and your carefully crafted messages will be more likely to reach and resonate with your target audience.


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