social media how toIs there an easy way to engage with people in real-time while balancing Twitter scheduling needs?

Do you know when to schedule your posts to best reach your followers?

Are you looking for ways to join in discussions with real-time posts?

In this article, you’ll discover how to use both scheduled and real-time social media posts in your social media strategy.


Find a balance between real-time and scheduled social media updates. Image source: iStockPhoto.

Why Schedule Tweets?

We’ve all heard that social media means being social, being there when the conversation happens, in real-time.

While Facebook has allowed brands to schedule updates for some time, many marketers and brand managers see Twitter’s recent addition of scheduled tweets as significant proof of the necessity of post scheduling.

Keep reading to find out how you can be there when your followers are most active.

#1: Find Out When Your Followers Are on Twitter

The best way to reach your followers with your content is to know when your audience is online, and schedule your updates for these times.

A great tool to help you find those hours is Tweriod.

Tweriod looks at your followers’ recent tweets and provides you with analytics and data that show when your followers are the most active.

All you have to do is adjust the days and times you post on Twitter.

tweriod results

Tweriod results show the optimal times for you to tweet.

To further optimize your tweet delivery, use these statistics to build a sharing pattern that capitalizes on user behaviors:

  • Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends (Dan Zarrella).
  • Users are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during their commute (Dan Zarrella).
  • Retweets have been shown to be highest around 5 pm (Kissmetrics).
  • The best time to maximize your click-through rate (CTR) from Twitter is 1–3 pm (Raka).
retweet stats

Retweets have been shown to be highest around 5 pm.

#2: Share Content Throughout the Day to Maintain Visibility

Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, your followers and fans are based in different places and time zones, and that makes it almost impossible for you to be active in real time whenever they are.

It’s important to keep your social stream fully active with interesting content throughout the entire day to grow your position as a thought leader in your market.

While a good content strategy should include creating original content, it’s well worth your time to supplement your own content with content from others that’s relevant, interesting and new to your audience. More content means more updates, which means more visibility.

During your morning routine, use an online tool to help you find content, then schedule the posts for delivery.

Schedule your updates out over the day rather than publishing too many in a short period of time, and you’ll increase your CTR.

Here are a couple of tips to help as you add other people’s content into your shared updates:

  • Start with sharing between 3 and 5 posts per day on each social network (and analyze your results).
  • Credit the source and the author of the article.
  • Add your personal opinion to the post and the subject.
  • Use images for greater exposure.
ctr versus update pace

A slower posting pace equals a higher CTR.

#3: Schedule for Holidays and Events

Social media traffic is significantly greater during holidays and other major events and 57% of users turn to Twitter to determine what stores to visit. Now that you know, it’s up to you to catch their attention.

shopping conversation graph

Buzz on Twitter peaked around key shopping dates.

High-traffic seasons are the best time to feed your audience with posts that offer special coupons to existing and new customers, or to show that your brand cares by highlighting its holiday giving.

To make the most of important dates, adjust your social media strategy to include updates or campaigns for each holiday or event that takes place for your customers.

Make sure to keep these tips in mind when you post during special times:

  • Use seasonal hashtags like #lastminutedeals or #giftideas.
  • Personalize your posts with your own images to drive better engagement.
  • Pay to promote your posts and rise above the noise.

#4: Join Discussions in Real Time

Now that you’ve got your scheduled sharing in order, you can take time to join in real-time conversations when people are talking about your brand, your competitor and your market.

Here are three ways to find these conversations.


Use Mention to permanently follow your brand’s topics and keywords online.

mention alert panel

Mention’s alerts panel.

Not only does Mention let you create alerts for relevant expressions you define, but you can blacklist irrelevant expressions to filter for more targeted alerts and filter in specific languages, which is very useful for localization if you’re a global brand.


Hashtagify lets you see which hashtags were trending on Twitter for the last week or month:

hashtagify stats

Hashtagify’s top-trending hashtags.

Because many industries have specialized conversations that are curated with hashtags, it’s a good idea to find hashtag conversations around your own brand or product.

Look for keywords that are related to your brand’s identity and search for a specific hashtag to see its popularity.

hashtagify popularity graph

Hashtagify displays the popularity of a hashtag.

When you know which hashtags are best for you to follow, join a conversation with your real-time voice.


Tagboard makes it easy to check out and respond to all of the recent and trending tweets around any hashtag. Very helpful if your brand uses a unique hashtag to spark conversations.

tweet tracking on tagboard

Tagboard’s tweet results dashboard.

Use any of these tools to respond to mentions of your brand in a timely and proactive manner.

#5: Take Advantage of Real-Time Opportunity

Anticipating and scheduling posts for holidays and special events should be well-planned. But your team should also be prepared for marketing opportunities from real-time incidents such as sports games or political events.

During the XLVII Super Bowl, the lights in the stadium went out, causing an unexpected stop in the game.

Around 100 million viewers went to social media to express their frustration, where they found this brilliant tweet by Oreo:

oreo superbowl tweet

Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet put their brand in the best light during a blackout.

Within the first hour, the tweet received 10,000+ retweets, 18,000+ favorites and 5000+ shares and the media went crazy over it.

The result of one well-timed, creative tweet: $0 spent on marketing, 525,000,000 earned impressions.

When uncommon events happen, the media turn to social media to get the answers, drama and creativity, and that’s where all brands have their chance to hit the spot.

Post a relevant, real-time update as soon as something happens and you increase your chances for massive exposure. That’s effective social media marketing.


Great social media campaigns and strategy help you be in the right places at the right times.

The tips in this article will help you use both scheduled and real-time posts to execute a more effective social media strategy. You’ll reach your audience with more regularity and increase your visibility where it matters the most.

What do you think? What methods do you use when you schedule posts? How do you manage posting in real time? What helpful tools have you found? Join the conversation below and let me hear your thoughts!

Images from iStockPhoto.
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  • Excellent article Lior. Social media scheduling and real time conversation both are important in social media marketing strategy. I share content whole day with specific interval of time to maintain consistency.

    One question – Will Tweriod perform similar to “When your fans are online” feature in Facebook insights?

  • liordegani

    Tweriod works similar, but providing its insights based on analyzing your followers’ last 200 tweets.

  • This is a great article, I have been always to read something with specific tips! I will have to work on the time for scheduling my tweets.

  • Completely agree with the idea of sharing interesting content via a regular schedule aligned with when your community is online, and reserving time for in the moment interactions, such as participating in twitter chats. Great tips!

  • Lady X

    Thanks for this article 🙂 great information!!

  • liordegani

    Thank you! 🙂

  • liordegani

    Thanks Erika! happy you found it useful 🙂

  • liordegani

    Thank you! 🙂

  • Vicky

    Great insights Lior! Do you know any tools that recommends great content to share with your followers? I’ve been trying out tools like BuzzSumo and Swayy, what do you think of those?

  • Great article Lior. Just one question: when using tools like Tweriod, that supposedly analyse when followers are online, what happens if most of those followers are also scheduling most of their content? Does the app consider if the content has been published manually or scheduled, and thus estimate the best timing based on this?

  • Vince Workerbee

    Recent addition of scheduled tweets? Where have you been?

  • Sarah Bauer

    What’s your take on tweeting the same content [your content] more than once in a day? I read in a QuickSprout article recently that that’s totally OK, but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia

  • What a great post! The tips and tools you’ve mentioned here are very useful. And thanks for introducing us to Tweeriod – something we can use now on our Tweets!!

  • Jitendra Padmashali

    According to me its very important to keep updating in Social Media like twitter , Lior !!! Really here you add top to toe detail about twitter scheduling.

  • liordegani

    Thanks Vince, Twitter recently added the option to schedule Tweets for advertisers, as I added in the link –
    Lots of apps implemented it long time ago, but Twitter’s recent introduction has a strategic affect on the social network.

  • liordegani

    Great question Sarah!
    My personal take is posting one additional time in a different manner. The second post is like a “reminder” of what you announced or promoted (not the exact same tweet).

    Also, that’s very important in order to A/B test content headlines.

  • liordegani

    Thanks! I’m a long time user of Tweriod – Would love to hear how it’s working for you.

  • liordegani

    Thanks Jitendra!

  • liordegani

    Great thought Antonio. I’d think they don’t do more than checking the tweets’ time (perhaps i’m wrong though).
    What you’re suggesting is a follower/following live-lock, but the truth is that most tweets are live posted, so we can assume the majority of the data Tweriod produces is correct.

    Really interesting point – will be great to point it out to the @tweriod guys.

  • liordegani

    Thanks Vicky!
    Actually as you can see on my bio here, I’m the co-founder of Swayy 😉

  • treb072410

    Thanks for sharing a great idea Lior.. Really had a great read..

  • Natalie

    Really good article and very helpful. Thanks fr sharing your thoughts.

  • liordegani

    Thanks! happy to hear you enjoyed it.

  • liordegani

    Thank you Natalie, happy to hear you found it helpful!

  • Javi Pastor

    Great article, it’s just a perfect way to put in common scheduling and real time.

  • liordegani

    Thanks Javi!

  • Madhava Verma Dantuluri

    Wonderful article. Really meaningful information.

  • treb072410

    I really did Lior, can’t wait to read your next post..

  • liordegani

    Thank you so much Madhava!

  • Pingback: Weekend Update - Feb15()

  • Lots of solid advice here. I tend to cue up a batch of tweets using Hootsuite early over coffee, as I do some reading. I’ll engage here & there throughout my day when that makes sense, but if I need to be offline at least I’ve got some consistent presence–as you point out that is important. Will check out Tweriod, hadn’t heard of that.

  • liordegani

    Thank you David, happy you found it useful.

  • Nice article Lior. You give me another idea on how to track or to know when is the better time to reach my followers. Using Tweriod, I can monitor the schedule of my followers on when they are most active.

  • liordegani

    Thanks Maegan, happy to hear you found it useful! 🙂

  • Anyone got specific twitter scheduling tools to recommend?

  • Grace Duffy

    Hello Kwan, One of our writers offered her recommendations on Twitter scheduling tools in a post earlier this year: