The right time to tweet? Hootsuite thinks they know (and are willing to share!)

Hootsuite’s tweet scheduling feature has been an amazing piece of my personal marketing strategy as well as for the brands I’ve worked with. It makes it so convenient to make sure that I am getting specific tweets out during the day, even if I am swarmed in meetings and I can customize how/when I want them to send.

But, it’s always had one downside: human choice. Is 1:10 or 1:20 better? What about 9am vs 3pm?

So, when I checked out Crowdbooster about a year ago for the first time, I was intrigued by their ‘suggested tweet time’ feature and noticed they were pretty right on with the suggested times. But, because it didn’t integrate directly with hootsuite, so over time I forgot to use the suggestions (it was a pain to go look them up every day…)

Because of that, I had gone back to the ‘schedule based on the time I saw had the best results’. Unfortunately, I still knew I was missing something and was waiting for the right tool to pop up and help.

Well, thank you Hootsuite! When I logged into my account this week, I saw this little gem pop up when I went to sent a tweet:

I turned it on and spent yesterday testing it out. Other than replies to people (timely), I scheduled every tweet that I sent. In some cases, they sent just minutes after I scheduled and some sent hours later. The big shift I noticed was an average of 3-4 more replies per tweet that I scheduled. Maybe I was just more clever yesterday…but I’m guessing it had nothing to to with me and was all about the better timing of the tweets

Of course, the geek in me automatically starting wondering what crazy algorithm was under the surface, but the social media community manager in me was just happy to have something other than me to choose the time ;) The best part? Even if you click ‘auto schedule’, you can go into your scheduler dashboard and manually change the time later, if you don’t like what was selected. So for those Type-A people (of course that doesn’t include me…) you still have full control over the time of every tweet you send.

HootSuite CEO, Ryan Holmes did a great job explaining the new, totally awesome scheduler:

“It’s really quite simple – instead of our users manually selecting what time they want to schedule or post their social media messages using our Scheduling feature, they can opt to use our new AutoSchedule technology to optimize and automate the scheduling process. We want our users spending more time finding and sharing content and less time worrying about the best time of day to share it.”

Personally, I am excited to test it out some more and see if the trend of increased participation continues.

Do you schedule tweets?

If so, and you use hootsuite, what are your thoughts on the new feature?

If not…why do you choose not to schedule them?

 

Category: Social Media
  • Audaciouslady

    I think there should be a detailed explanation as to why their way is better. I’m still lost here. Hootsuite is ok but tweetdeck allows me to retweet and ADD my two cents to the RT. I can’t do that with hootsuite.

    • http://wrightcreativity.com/ Kirsten Wright

      Actually, you can. you just need to change it in the settings to allow you to do so!

  • Brittney Roberts

    Good conversation starter. I have not used the auto-scheduler yet with Hootsuite. I will now after your suggestion. Thanks!

  • Connor from HootSuite

    Glad you are loving the new AutoScheduler Kirsten! Thanks for for the kind words. I won’t get into the specifics of our algorithm for scheduling – I will say that all sorts of Owl magic is at work.

    Let us know if we can help with anything.

    -HootSuite Community

    • http://communityethics.co.uk Josh Chandler

      Connor, thanks for the great addition to Hootsuite! :)

    • http://wrightcreativity.com/ Kirsten Wright

      Connor – thanks so much! I would love a few more details on improving it so that the scheduling spreads out more when you do a few at that same time? Thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/peterjjarman Peter Jarman

      Hi Connor, thanks for the info – is there any way to limit the number of tweets per day?

    • http://twitter.com/OnlineStrategy Ava Naves

      I agree that some more information on the algorithm would go a long way toward building some confidence in this feature. Especially given that there are other tools out there (Tweriod and SocialBro, to name some) who offer customized data on the best time to tweet.
      For example, Hootsuite could at least tell us if the autoschedule feature is based on the retweets that a user has received during a certain period of time, etc.

    • http://twitter.com/OnlineStrategy Ava Naves

      Ha. I’ve just found this in the comments in one of their blog posts (http://blog.hootsuite.com/autoschedule/):
      “The auto-scheduler is ‘smart’ and will look at what you and your followers have done in the past to send at the optimal time for maximize engagement. It also learns based on your current activity how many posts are right for each social account, and fine-tunes the posting algorithm to better suit your followers.”

      This helps!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/smithlaurence Laurence Smith

    I am using AutoScheduler (1 month only) and it’s very useful indeed, although I just can’t stop amending it’s recommendations. Reading across all relevant data about best time to post etc. it seems to post outside of this info. I know Hootsuite hasn’t published definitive information about how it gets it’s data, but some clarification might be useful. That said I’d probably still keep fiddling with it. I think ‘go with the flow’ is relevant here!

  • http://dowco1.tumblr.com DowCo1

    No doubt about it, Hootsuite folks got it right with this one! Kudos for them! Great tool!

  • http://twitter.com/uiuiui7 Manuel Wolff

    Autoschedule works for me … it’s crazy. For Twitter this Hootsuite feature is crazy. I don’t understand how they do it though.

    For Facebook pages, I don’T see any results. Probably this edge rank things that is making me suffer. I hate the Facebook guys.

  • http://www.fitnesstipsforlife.com/ Bill Nadraszky

    I just tried the autoschedule on a couple of tweets and you are right is seems to give it a different time than I usually would and probably better as I am in a different time zone and they would be better optimized for Eastern or Pacific.

    I love that now I can just post lots of stuff and let Hootsuite push it through the day. I don’t want to bury people with 5 or 6 tweets in 10 minutes but now people get stuff through the day

  • Ann Brennan

    I found you blog because that is the questions. To use it or not to use it. I have been scheduling them out in advance on my own and I don’t want to seem inpersonal. Definitely wondering what the answer is.

  • Amitesh Misra

    It’s a bit difficult for a program to find out the best possible demographic time for a marketing campaign. Mainly because there are too many factors that govern individual campaigns. Sometimes you would want to market the same thing once in a day and sometimes you will market it once an hour.. there is now way a program can determine this. I also like the scheduling features of sociota.tk… their scheduling is quite advanced in other ways.

    • http://www.sociota.net Sociota

      Thanks for mentioning Sociota. A small correction though… the Url is sociota.net…

  • Think Box

    Thanks for sharing so interesting article with us. I agree with your idea completely. I am looking forward to another great article from you.

    Marketing Research

  • @Complain2Them

    More granularity and clearer intended outcome from scheduling options is needed by way of explanation. Others may say that creating an algorithm to determine when is the best time to post might be difficult, but I’m not so sure about that if one takes a sideways look at what is a useful purpose for scheduling. I am on record in other places as saying that the question has to be is the scheduling for the benefit of the creating program (such as hootsuite for example) or the networks or the user or any combo of those. But getting to granularity in the exploration for a useful algorithm to schedule tweets is to recognise that Twitter knows the hashtags trending and so does your Twitter client in all probability (even if not visible to you).

    Being in possession of those facts means an algorithm to sort out what is best for your hashtags is really quite easy. They know the volume of traffic, they know when, and they also know the other word contents that you didn’t tag. I could write that script up in an evening if the data sources are there, which in all probability they are and bigger and more capable than you might imagine. Once thoughts are written as digitised words the data is big data; the kind of trawl data that certain agencies have all the capabilities you might possibly suspect and more to look for the real trends. Would anyone like to join me to write up this script?