Replicating impression patterns in tweet schedules

If you do something once, you look for patterns and try to figure out if it’s possible to use those patterns to repeat the experiment. 

When that works and you get a repeated pattern, you’re onto something.

Below is a graphic of Twitter impressions for a series of tweets I scheduled yesterday and this morning. The schedule was based on an experiment I did with multiple tweets on one topic last week (which some of you read about; thanks to everyone who plugged this post last week and again earlier this week). This schedule added the early-evening tweet (5 p.m.) as a bridge in between the noon and late-night tweets, and had a next-day tweet scheduled for 7:30 a.m. in an attemp to capitalize on the early-morning rebound I observed for the late-night tweet in last week’s test.

This data shows that the tweets performed almost exactly how I had expected them to perform given last week’s results; the basic pattern is the same. The biggest first-hour impressions came in the noon and 10 p.m. tweet, and the mid-evening tweet underperformed both of those overall and died pretty fast but still generated good impressions in the first two hours. It also rebounded slightly the next morning, which I didn’t expect.

The morning tweet was scheduled at 7:30 a.m., so its first hour seems to underperform — but it pulled 159 impressions in 30 minutes. Had I scheduled that tweet at 7 a.m., it seems likely it could’ve performed better than the first hour of the 5 p.m. tweet.

However, what’s notable about the morning tweet is the huge 8 a.m. hour – it pulled 181 impressions in its second hour, which was far and away better than the first three in the schedule. 

I’m torn between scheduling the morning tweet at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. for the next one of these experiments; I think I could get a bigger first hour by scheduling it at 8 a.m than I could at 7 a.m., but there’s clearly an audience in the 7 a.m. hour that’s not being reached by the previous day’s tweets. I’ll have to try going to 7 a.m. first and then moving it to 8 a.m. and seeing what happens.

Overall, though, this definitely reinforces the need for a multi-tweet strategy for news you want to make sure people see. That first tweet at noon yesterday pulled 900 impressions and completely died after 15 hours. Adding the three reminders should more than triple the number of impressions for the message by the time today’s morning tweet dies out, and that signal boost is exactly what I was going for.

Fun stuff.

As a bonus, I also have been pulling engagement stats from Twitter’s analytics on each of these tweets — they show data for link clicks, favorites, replies, detail expands, etc., for each — and once there’s more information on today’s morning tweet I’ll talk about those as well. Early indications are that the morning tweet is super important for overall engagement; but, again, I’ll have more on that later when more numbers are in.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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