Tweeting at “odd” hours

by vernsanders on February 15, 2011

I’m in the middle of a series of updates about social media and ministry…

The backstory is this…

In April, 2009, my friend Doug Lawrence convinced me–not a social butterfly–to join Facebook. From time to time I’ve updated my progress (here, here, here, and here, for instance), and this month I’m looking at social media (SM) and ministry again…

One of the coolest things about computers is their ability to do regular tasks without too much supervision. In social media, that means you don’t actually have to “be there” when you post. Instead you can use software to automate the process. There are many of these software packages out there, but I use Social Oomph (you can find a link to them on this page–it’s the long skinny one in the column just to the right of this one, or just click here). It allows me to create a “bucket” of posts to interesting things, and then schedule them whenever I want to have them posted.

If you use this strategy, it makes it easier to trickle or flood your posts, depending upon which system you want to use (see here to determine which is best for you). It also makes it easier to “time” your posts to when your readers will be online.

If your target audience is people in the community in which you live, it makes sense to post to them when they will see it, and you can find that out by either asking them, or being online at different times of the day to see when/if people respond to a post at a certain time.

In my case, my readership is all over the world, so only posting at a time that is “convenient” for the Pacific time zone is not smart.

There is no “perfect” time to post, but if you think about it, there are logical times: before work, at lunch time, or after work, for instance, especially now that a significant percentage of people read their email/social media accounts on their phones.

But in which time zone, if you are not pursuing a local audience? In my case, I “go where the population is” by posting at times that hit the Eastern and Pacific time zones in their sweet spots. In this case, thinking like a network TV program scheduler makes sense. If you want to reach young men, for instance, don’t tweet during the Super Bowl, unless you are posting ABOUT the Super Bowl. If you are trying to reach women who home school their children, posting in the middle of the night will probably be wasted effort.

If you pursue the “flood” strategy, you may want to flood once for each of your important time zones. With the trickle strategy, just use common sense.

I use both strategies, because it allows me to be less predictable, and it depends upon how much content I want to push out on a given day.

Next up: The Burma Shave Imperative

Got a story of how social media helped or burnt your ministry? Please leave a comment below.

Ipod shuffle status: 2662 (Live High – Jason Mraz)  of 7875

Get my EBook The Choir in Modern Worship



Previous post:

Next post: