Dayparting Twitter

broadcasting twitterI thought I would start off the week with what for some will be a controversial topic.

As twitter has grown in popularity the ways that businesses and brands use the service has naturally evolved.

While twitter is widely considered a tremendous tool for one to one engagement, relationship building and networking, it is also showing interesting opportunities for broadcast tactics. I know that the very mention of this this conjures up talk of spam, but I don’t mean broadcasting the “hi, click here, no value added” method. Some might disagree with this use, but I am seeing evidence of organizations successfully using twitter to promote and broadcast content, events, campaigns and launches in ways that followers find valuable.

There certainly are ways to do this poorly and simply add noise, but there are ways to do it well and add value. Guy Kawasaki may be one of the more famous twitter broadcasters pumping out tweets all day that point to interesting and useful content around the web. Some folks suggest this is a vulgar use of the tool while last count showed that over 125,000 followers seem to think it’s a valuable use.

The broadcast model also presents an interesting question for me. In my own little unscientific way, I’ve noticed that most responses and retweets to my content happen immediately. The way that people read or interact with twitter is a bit like a flowing river – people address the content that floats by at the moment they happen to be reading. Now, I know that some people follow small groups of people and may read their tweet stream more like a magazine, but for the most part, people check in and read what’s going on right now.

So, what this might suggest is that maximizing exposure for content requires reposting your tweets several times a day in an effort to catch the morning drive time, lunch surfers, and evening after the kids are in bed tweeters, very much like a radio or TV broadcast buy might include different dayparts. One might suggest that followers would grow weary of repeating content, but I don’t think many of same followers would actually encounter the repetition due to the way that content on twitter is consumed by the masses.

Purists might object to this notion, but it’s certainly food for thought and exploration.

Image credit: Steve Beger Photography

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  • Ricci Neer

    You are right, people do miss tweets and then if things are tweeted multiple times throughout the day, it can be a turnoff for those who've seen it before. My suggestion – change up the verbiage and interact in different ways with the content. Consider spreading the timing out over two or three days.

    • ducttape

      Ricci – “change up the verbiage and interact in different ways with the content” is good advice on many fronts.

  • Randy Vaughn

    Hey John, glad to hear you mention this. I think in the Twitterverse it is very acceptable and wise if you are trying to reach people in a specific time or location. I think there is a similarity in Facebook as well, BUT a different culture altogether. If you are one of those Twitterers who AUTO populates to your Facebook (as opposed to selective posting via something like Tweetdeck), then beware: the Facebook crowd might be more the magazine type and might get annoyed at your constant presence in front of them (esp if you are broadcasting self-promo). I have to be careful of that as well.

    • ducttape

      Randy, Great point on the Facebook auto post – a lot of people do that and you're right this tactic might annoy in that format.

  • Josep T. Dager

    I have been concerned about this for a while on how I can prevent multiple tweets. Especially, when I want certain hashtags assigned to the tweet.

    I think you bring up some tough questions as I see marketers forming small groups to deliver the same message. It concerns me the direction Twitter will take.

  • KJ Rodgers

    I have been noticing how twitter is becoming annoying to the personal accounts. Real time search and the networking of businesses still remain large for corporate accounts, but the I don't feel that twitter will last as a personal networking site. Individuals who are not trying to create viral content or market themselves have to filter out tons of narcissistic tweets. I have just about quite using my personal twitter account. Business marketing functions still remain valuable to those who are in it for business.

    Others like Guy tweet so much that I have become numb to almost all of their efforts. I have even read an article how he and other big marketers have ruined the initial purpose and shifted it on big ongoing commercial.

    Perhaps I am becoming Tweet jaded

    • ducttape

      KJ – I guess I don't understand this point of view – as a personal user can't you simple follow who you want to follow, tweet what you want to tweet, interact with who you want to interact with and ignore anything else – if I wasn't following Guy I would be immune to anything he was putting out so how would that interrupt my ability to use twitter as a personal networking site?

      • KJ Rodgers

        You are right in this aspect John, You can filter who you follow and pick and choose the content you want to read. I just see a better use of twitter as a b2b site than a personal one. Not to beat up on Guy, he is a great innovator of social media.

    • Markleting Donut

      I have found this tool to be very useful in examining our Twitter activity

  • Brent Billock

    I think in the case of a feed that is clearly broadcasting, repeat tweets are more acceptable. If I'm listening to a radio broadcast, I understand that they're going to keep telling me the weather at a regular interval.

    But if I follow someone because I'm interested in them as a person with whom I can have some kind of two-way relationship, then repeated tweets to promote their blog posts or upcoming events can quickly become annoying if they are overdone.

    That's just a function of the different kinds of relationships you can have on Twitter.

    I actually almost included Guy in my recent post on resisting “rules” for Twitter. I personally hate the way Guy tweets, but there are obviously thousands of people who find @guykawasaki valuable. So it's not for me to say that he's “doing it wrong.”

    Clearly, Guy understands the very one-way nature of the relationship he has with his followers and gives them a steady, consistent stream that meets their expectations.

  • JustinOwen7

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  • Mark Griffin

    I've thought about this a lot because I see the same problem, but really I think it's a misperception on our part. We are each following thousands of tweeters and we only see that small fraction of tweets that happen to be visible in the stream when we check it. We know we miss many thousands more. So we imagine our followers must have the same problem, and we wonder, “How can we help them?”

    Here's the rub. If they do have the same problem, it is because they too are following thousands of tweeters and the plain unvarnished truth is, they are not actually interested in anything we have to tweet or they wouldn't be following so many. Really, we're trying to find a way to bludgeon our messages through so we force them to notice.

    So think how that would look to those of our followers who ARE interested in what we tweet and are only following a small number of tweeters just so they are able to read everything. We are suddenly going to spam them with our tweets!

    We need to ask who is following us, and why, and tweet according to THEIR needs – not ours.

    You too can follow me on @cyberpoint, I tweet to be read, not just to be noticed. :-)

    • ducttape

      Mark – I think you're right – I've always been puzzled by the people who think if you're not following thousands you're not engaged?

      • Mark Griffin

        Not being as world-famous as you are :-) people like me can only be found and therefore build an audience if we appear high up in the various rankings. To do that, you have to follow-back everyone who follows you because that's the etiquette of Twitter. Most of the thousands who follow me are, I strongly believe, only following me because I will follow them back and they want to boost their own rankings. Shallow, but that's how it is. I have to believe *some* of them are interested in what I tweet :-)

        Incidentally, I have a separate Twitter account for following the people I actually want to listen to and I don't let anyone follow me on that.

  • Justin

    I agree with Ricci. Same tweets can be somewhat annoying but we also have to realize that some have yet to see the tweet and we should respect that. If repeat tweets have valuable meaning, we could look at it as though there is a reason I keep seeing this tweet….maybe a reminder to take action. Thanks for the discussion.

  • Chris McMahon, Cincinnati

    One of the things I did to separate the voluminous from the people I want to read everything from was set up to separate accounts; I have a personal account where I follow close friends and another I use for following related businesses

  • mizmedia

    I like this because I was just thinking about it this morning. I've never repeated a tweet, either for myself or a client, but I do try to daypart my client's tweets. So I was thinking this morning about reviewing my updates and seeing if there was anything I should retweet at a different time to hit a new audience. I have to say I worry a little about this because 1. If I start seeing duplicates from the people I follow with any regularity, I'm probably going to unfollow them, and 2. With the traffic jams Twitter is already experiencing, imagine what it will be like if dayparting catches on. Great comments and some useful suggestions here, btw. Thanks for the topic.

  • Mizmedia

    You're not alone. I'm having the same experience.

  • Terrence Kommal

    Couldn’t agree with you more! we now sit with the dilemma of valuing the followers or the max content exposure.

    I think just as with all media consumers/followers need to understand your need to actively promote your content, yet without driving them nuts with the repetitions…

    I agree that the multiple accounts is a great people can separate ”marketing” from personal lives’

  • Kevin Dervin

    Interesting discussion that I was just having with my business partners this morning about tweeting things multiple times. I know that the each of the three of us tend to be watching for things floating by on the river whenever we happened to be logged on. From that standpoint it certainly seems to make some sense to not only daypart, but maybe even week-parting and month-parting. It all depends on your objective with using tools like this. NOW, if you're about providing useful content to an audience, that should mean that your tweeting (or re-tweeting) others useful content in this same dayparting/week-parting regard.

  • QuantumGood

    You lose people who cultivate their followers in smaller numbers if you do that. These are people who pay more attention to your tweets in the first place.

    (Note that TwitterCounter points out we're overtaking GuyKawasaki in a few weeks, thought I'll believe it when I see it!)

    – @Twitter_Tips

  • Marty Thornley

    What about using Twitter accounts like RSS feeds? Create two (or more) that people can subscribe to, the same way you might create three or four categories of RSS. If I want your helpful broadcasts 100 times a day, I can follow that and if I want your personal messages, I can subscribe to that.

    I don't do this, only just thought of it while reading your article. But there are plenty of tools (seesmic desktop and hootsuite come to mind) that allow management of multiple accounts, filtering of the users you follow, etc.

    I personally use Twitter for a little of both on the listening end and on the broadcasting end. I send out personal messages and informational links. I follow personal friends and the broadcasters who blast links all day long. For me the next step will have to be multiple accounts.

  • Bradford Shimp

    I post links to each day's blog post several times throughout the day. I try to keep it interesting by tweeting something a little different each time, but not so different that my friends will keep clicking on the same link over and over.

    One idea I have also implemented is taking interesting “sound bites” from my articles, that can stand alone as useful tweets, and adding the link to the end.

  • Kris Bovay

    I do duplicate posting but I do change up the content and make a point of repeating only 3 or 4 days after the original post. I agree John that people are reading twitter posts at the moment in time that they're 'on' – so many can miss your posts unless you repeat. Rule of thumb – don't be annoying! (that works for most communication tactics)

  • Matt Rouge

    I agree with Mark Griffin. Rebroadcasting tweets is lame. If people are sincerely interested in what you have to say, they will try keep abreast of what you're saying. If they're not, then they're not.

    I totally disagree with Mark about following back. That's lame. I am now actually blocking followers that I don't think are sincerely following me (the SM gurus and wealth coach types).

  • Gaurav

    Well, Twitter can be used by business in many ways, like, for marketing, promotion, or for developing customer relations.
    Social Media tools connect a company directly to its customers.
    I recently came across this information, about a webinar on “Social Web and Operations” by Dave Evans to be held on this thursday (4 june).
    You may register at

  • Markleting Donut

    I have found this tool to be very useful in examining our Twitter activity