Standing out in the crowd. Giving your social media content a chance among the masses

You’ve just spent hours polishing your blog post to go live. The next step involves spreading the word and what better way to do so than integrate your message into your social media channels.  A simple tweet can further leverage the reach of your post. While Google Analytics is a fantastic tool to gain insight into the peaks and troughs of traffic to your blog posts, when it comes to your tweet (and without similar analytics), it almost feels as though we are speaking into a void.

Favourites, retweets and replies are common clues we are being heard on Twitter. With over a billion registered users, there is great potential for someone to hear us. On the contrary with so much competition, it is likely many of these messages are being lost.

In late March, Twitter experimented with Twitter View Count, a feature that showed how many times individual tweets were seen by others. Finally, users were able to know if they were being heard and whether they were speaking to an empty room or a room that was actively ignoring them. Although these numbers may have been confronting, this type of measurement is fundamental in shaping communication strategy.

Scenario 1: I’m speaking to an empty room. Ok, so this is all about timing. Everyone has only left the room momentarily, and your post just happened to be missed. This means you can repost it! Remember no one has actually seen the post, so don’t worry about recycling the old news, it’s new to everyone else.

When is the best time to post?

This is the million dollar question and research in this area is conflicting. Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella  found:

  • Retweets have been shown to be highest at around 5pm
  • Click-throughs have been shown to be highest at noon and 6pm. This seems to be coinciding with lunchbreaks and commuting. In fact, Twitter did a study and found users are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute.

Posting during times of high traffic targets the masses but the message may also get lost amongst the noise. On the other hand, posting during times when fewer people are online may give posts more prominence. It is about finding a balance between the two.

Followerwonk is a tool that can help each Twitter user effectively analyse their followers activity. It can identify over a 24 hour period the key times when followers are active. Thereby allowing posts to be scheduled at a time when the followers are more likely to be online.

 Scenario 2: I’m being ignored. Don’t be disheartened, rather this is a reminder that content is king.  Content needs to be engaging and relevant for the reader. Evaluate the content and ask yourself and colleagues around you- Is this something that is really of interest to your audience?

How do I further increase engagement?

  • Visual appeals! People are more likely to engage with your material if it has an image
  • Be interesting. Retweets are likely when the content is interesting. Be familiar with your audience and know what they find appealing
  •  Short is sweet. Tweets less than 100 characters attract more engagement
  • Two is the magic number.  When it comes to hash-tagging, don’t overdo it, two is ideal.
  • Link it! Be sure to include links to the content you are citing as it is more likely to be retweeted

While there are a number of tracking tools available, the potential roll-out of the Twitter View Count feature would be the first time Twitter has made these analytics available to everyone.

At Appetite, we like the idea of the Twitter View Count. The tool has the potential to help all users make necessary modifications to ensure the optimal reach of their messages. In the meantime, a combination of clever timing and engaging content will go a long way in driving the reach of your posts.

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