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Are You Tweeting at the Wrong Time for Site Traffic?

In my last post, How Many Tweets is Too Many Tweets?, I found that Tweeting in 15-minute intervals helped me drive my brand’s engagement & traffic. PERFECT, right? Well, not quite. If I Tweeted every 15 minutes, everyday, between the hours of 5AM & 9PM, that would be a massive 64 tweets per day…WELP! That’s not gonna happen!

That’s a lot of Tweet copy, content, scheduling, and time. So, instead of breaking a sweat trying to craft 300 Tweets per week, let’s prioritize. Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to cover each hour of the day evenly. Instead, find out which hours will give you the most bang for your buck.

Whether you’re posting every 15 minutes or once every hour, this test will help you find out when you should focus the majority of your Tweets.

Step 1: Pull The Data!

Make sure your sample size is significant enough that it can capture the full scope of your efforts on Twitter. For my sample set, I used a Simply Measured Twitter Account Report to pull Twitter data for the past 2.5 months.


Step 2: Identify How Many Tweets You Send Each Hour

Put on your hard hats people; we’re going into Excel. After I downloaded my Twitter Account Report, it was time for some Excel magic. Under the “Sent” tab, create a new “Hour” column. Using the Hour function (as pictured below), select the time stamp in cell H2. After you expand this formula, you can filter your sent Tweets by hour.

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Step 3: Identify How Much Traffic is Driven Each Hour

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 2.18.16 PMNow we’re going to dive into Google Analytics. GA allows you to see how much traffic you’re driving from Twitter, by the hour. Set your GA to the correct time period, select the correct source / medium (your custom UTMs), and change the “Secondary Dimension” tab to “Hour.” Now, you can see when Twitter drives the most traffic to your blog.

Step 4: Plot Hour, Traffic & Tweets Together

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 9.30.15 AMBy plotting the traffic & number of Tweets on a 24 hour time table, you’re able to measure how these two factors relate over a 2.5 month period. If you want to change the numbers to their daily averages, divide both the Traffic and Tweets Sent column by the number of days in your sample.

Step 5: Create a Chart & Analyze

Now that you’ve plotted your Tweets Sent vs. Traffic by hour, you can see whether the times you’re targeting are returning results via traffic.

For example, in my analysis below, I found that I was focusing way too much effort on the afternoon and not enough on the early morning. Between 5am and 8am, Twitter was driving a ton of site traffic, despite very small amount of outbound Tweets. Based on this analysis, I decided that going forward I would turn my focus from the afternoon time frame to the early morning hours.

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Step 6: Time to Test!

Now that you know where you should be spending your time on Twitter, it’s time to give it a shot! After my analysis, I began to stack my Tweets in the morning and the results were very encouraging.

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 2.58.30 PM

As you can see, the return on the 5AM and 6AM hours were huge. This also helped me understand something deeper about our audience; a lot of you are early risers and possibly East-coasters. These type of takeaways are valuable and give context to the traffic you’re driving. In addition, I saw a huge overall change between the two samples. In the first sample, 30 visits per hour appears to be the max, but in the second sample the peak is close to 120. My traffic skyrocketed, increasing by 120% (see below).

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 2.59.15 PM

In conclusion…

Stack your chips strategically. Community Managers are busy people, so it’s important to make sure your work is efficient and effective. Run the tests, find your sweet spot and track your progress!

Jade Furubayashi

My name is Jade and I'm the Social Media Manager for Simply Measured. We can find common ground in Beyoncé and Chipotle burrito bowls.

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