Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Fallacy of Social Timing and the Wisdom of the Crowdbooster

If you read any smart Social Media guidelines available, one of the absolute most common pieces of advice you'll see is to be mindful of the timing of your statuses and tweets. "Put them out there when they are most likely to be seen!" is the seemingly obvious advice from all quarters. There's a science of social timing that is both absolutely correct....and completely, utterly worthless.

I've been using Crowdbooster.com to get a clean visual image of the impact my Tweets and Facebook posts have in their spaces. Here's an example:

This chart shows me which tweets were most replied to, retweeted and which got the most impressions. Crowdbooster also will suggest new influencers that have followed me, and suggest I interact with them, or which Tweets I should share on Facebook, since they were popular on Twitter (not always the best advice, either, but that's another post.)

Overall, I'm really happy with Crowdbooster, more so than many other measuring tools I've used. If you'd like an invite, ask in the comments and I'd be glad to share what I can.

But the wisdom of the Crowd fails in regards to timing. Not because it's wrong - but because it misses the point. And so do most articles that discuss the importance of timing in Social Media.

This seems like a very reasonable suggestion  - and it is, honestly, I get great feedback when I post on Twitter around 7AM, 10AM and 2PM. So where's the fallacy? The fallacy is in thinking that this time is important for me to post. The reality is - this is when I spend time interacting, posting and replying almost every single day. So, of *course* that is when I will have developed an audience, who will read, retweet, reply, share, etc.

The fallacy is in assuming that the times you should post are being driven by some external wind that you have no control of, and all you can do is hang on and get your posts out there. This is obviously not true. If you run a branding workshop every Monday at 9AM Pacific Time (as @Brandingexpert Rob Frankel does every week,) then after a few weeks, you can imagine that Crowdbooster would tell you that running that workshop at 9AM Pacific Time every week is the best time to do it.

Forget Social Timing, Create your own schedule. Create your audience and your market. Take control of your time and don't let the wisdom of the crowd - or the Crowdbooster - tell you when you "should" be on social media.
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