January 17, 2013 30 Comments
There are apps that allow you to space out your tweets over time (I use Hootsuite for this). Some people protest the use of timed tweets – and while I understand the sentiment behind that stance, I don’t agree with it.
I use Twitter for several purposes:
- Back-and-forth interaction with people (banter, brainstorming, encouraging, etc.)
- Sharing interesting news and other resources
- Connecting people with each other
- Sharing my own blog posts and pictures
- Sharing other people’s blog posts (especially those with whom I have a closer connection)
- Making ironic comments and bad puns
- Giving good morning greetings
Some of these purposes are more real-time – for instance, back-and-forth chatting with folks is not something that can be automated. But I do automate a fair bit of one-way sharing of “stuff,” for the simple reason that the audience on Twitter is constantly shifting. People are looking at their tweetstreams intermittently throughout the day, which means that something tweeted at 7:22 am might not be seen by a person who first logs in at 9:57 am.
While it makes sense that you might then tweet your own blog posts at a few different times during the day (I do), the really creative and helpful part of this isn’t the self-promotion aspect. The less-discussed secret is the way you can benefit your network of readers and writers.
Why use timed tweets? To gain wider exposure for others’ work! <<–(click to tweet this).
Let’s say that I read an interesting post from Shelly Kramer‘s blog that, in the (very real) example below, actually touches on a similar theme (the timing of posts getting read on Facebook). If she posts it at, say, 7 am, and a number of her followers retweet it over the next half hour, then most of the exposure for her post may occur in a pretty narrow window.
But if a reader makes the simple choice to “time” a tweet with a link to occur at, say, 10 am, then that reader’s audience gets the benefit of seeing something they might have missed at 7 am, AND Shelly gets wider exposure in a new time slot as well.
You know how most people get retweets immediately after they tweet something? Why not do everyone a favor and time-delay your tweet for a few hours – or even a day (I’ve seen some of my friends do this. It can give the tweeted link a whole new life).
So – when we understand that part of Twitter is for sharing things that may not be designed for real-time interaction, automating certain tweets makes perfect sense. Especially with this small tweet-tweak – give the people who feed you great content the gift of a fresh audience.
Have you been doing this? And here’s a question that’s been on my mind – I have done very little with scheduling tweets for overnight/overseas reach. If you’re doing this, how’s it working out? Any tips to share?
ALSO: See some interesting stats and perspectives about tweeting blog posts from Mack Collier.