Consistency is key to maintaining a professional presence on Twitter. Writing every day can be hard though. Especially when you're in the middle of building a business or halfway through a project.
Twitter has a free scheduling feature that's great for one-off tweets. Paid tools like Chirr App make building a comprehensive content calendar easy. It shows all your content on a calendar, helps find the best time to tweet, and lets you schedule Twitter threads.
If you want to schedule a tweet on Twitter there's a scheduling button on the compose window.
This takes you to a screen where you can pick a date and time and then there's one last confirmation step.
If you want to edit or cancel a scheduled tweet finding your scheduled tweets isn't obvious.
You have to start writing a new tweet.
You'll see an 'unsent tweet' button in the top right of the compose window.
This lets you to a section with all your scheduled tweets and you edit or delete them as you please.
Storing all your scheduled tweets in one long list is great if you only have a few tweets scheduled. It's not the most practical solution if you're planning out a whole week or month's worth of content.
Twitter's scheduling function only works in the web app, not the mobile app
For some reason, you can only schedule individual tweets. You cannot schedule a thread on Twitter.
Chirr App's scheduling feature shows you an entire month's worth of content on a single screen. Visualizing your content on a calendar makes it easy to see what goes out on which day. You can see where the gaps are and add or remove content from specific days.
Building a content calendar with Chirr App
Scheduling a month's worth of content can be handy when you're leading up to an important event. If you're not working on a campaign we don’t recommend automating your tweets that far out into the future.
Twitter is about having conversations. It's about interacting with the people in your space. It’s hard for people to relate to you when you automate everything you say.
Finding the right balance between automation and interaction is tricky. We don't recommend planning more than a week's worth of content. That way the content you put out and the conversations you start are relevant to where you are at the moment.
We also have a weekly content view to help you schedule tweets for the week.
KP is the program Director of On Deck’s No-Code Fellowship. Here is a one-minute clip of how he uses Chirr App to plan his content for the week. KP has over 24 thousand followers on Twitter and he explains how he strikes a balance between automation and interaction.
Scheduling tweets on Chirr App begins in the editor.
The default publish button is set to publishing right away. If you click on the clock icon it opens up a menu of different scheduling options.
You can schedule content at a specific time, just as we did on Twitter in the example at the beginning of this post. Schedule something at a specific time lets you pick the date and the exact time you want a tweet to go out.
Creating a content queue
Deciding on a time and date each time you want to schedule something can become annoying. With Chirr App you can create a queue with set publishing times once and then you never have to think about it again.
Adding to your queue
The 'Add to queue' option lets you add content to the queue. By default, your queue is set to 9 am, noon, and 4 pm. You can customize this in the settings on the top right corner of the schedule page.
Let's say you have slots set up to 5 pm and 7 pm every day. Then you add 3 pieces of content. Your queue will send the first piece out at 5 pm today, the next piece at 7 pm, and the final piece at 5 pm tomorrow. You can fill your queue up without ever having to worry about when each piece of content will get shared.
Jumping the queue
The 'Share next' scheduling option lets you add a piece of content to the front of the queue. This option is handy if you want to schedule something time-sensitive. Say a piece of news that only makes sense if you share it today. You can jump to the front of your queue without having to rearrange anything. All your existing content will move over by one slot.
Picking a scheduled slot
If you wanted to schedule something for next week's Thursday 5 pm slot you can use the ‘pick a scheduled slot’ option. It brings up a mini-calendar view with all your available upcoming slots.
Forcing you to pick a scheduling option every time would defeat the purpose of creating a queue. The big green publish button on your editor defaults to the scheduling option you last used. If you like to add things to your queue with 'Add to queue' then that will be your default until you use a different option.
By default, your queue is set to 9 am, noon, and 4 pm. You can adjust these times in the setting on the top right corner of the schedule page. You can also set up different timeslots on different days of the week.
There seems to be some consensus that sharing content around noon is good for engagement. But it’s unclear how long the window of opportunity stays open. There are links to some original research on posting times at the end of the post.
At Chirr App, we're a little skeptical of the whole idea of a universal ‘best time’ to tweet. If an optimal time does exist then that's when everyone will schedule their tweets for. All the noise would then make it the worst time to post.
Another way to think about ideal posting times is to think about it in the context of your following. You can use followerwonk to run a free analysis on when your followers are most active on Twitter.
Go to followerwonk.com/analyze
Connect your Twitter account
Set the analysis to "analyze their followers"
You'll end up with a series of charts, one of which is the one below where you can see when your followers are most active.
This chart shows you what percentage of your following are using Twitter at a certain time. You can use this information to pick timeslots that make the most sense for your audience.
The only problem with this approach is that it treats your following as a single group. The reality is that you will likely have clusters of people in different time zones. If you want to go deeper a neat trick I learned from Aadit Sheth is to schedule for each of your major timezones.
You can use a free tool like Tweepsmap to map out which country the majority of your followers are in. Here's an example of the general breakdown on my Twitter account.
I could then make sure that I schedule at least one slot for around noon in each of these countries.
Chirr App makes this whole process much simpler by showing you a heat map of when you get the most engagement.
The heat map takes a while to populate after you start using the platform. Once it's ready you don't have to worry about timezones and when people are on Twitter. You can see when people engage with your tweets the most and then set your slots to match your most popular times.
Automating your content calendar
Chirr App has one last tool to make building a content calendar on Twitter easy.
If it's a busy week and you forget to schedule, you can set your account to share your most popular content.
When a tweet performs particularly well you can add it to your evergreen rotation pool. The best place to start is in your ‘Best content’ tab on the analytics page.
Clicking on the circular arrow icon at the bottom of a post will add it to your evergreen content pool. Then when your calendar runs out of content it will fall back to publishing what is in your content pool.
Your content pool can run forever. Chirr App will cycle through each of your tweets and add them to any available slots one-by-one. When it gets to the last evergreen tweet it goes back to the first one and starts reposting everything.
If you add anything to your queue your rotating tweets will stop. The next time your calendar runs out of content it will fall back to posting from your content pool. You can build up a stockpile of all your best-performing tweets in this way.
The evergreen content pool is a powerful feature but it's meant to be a stop-gap. It's for those busy weeks when you miss a beat on weekly scheduling. If you overuse your content pool you risk sounding repetitive, monotonous, and automated.
As a best practice, we recommend reviewing your content pool once a quarter. Clear out content that is no longer relevant. The goal is to avoid sharing tweets about things you are no longer interested in.
How to schedule tweets and automate your content calendar with your best content
If you only tweet once or twice a week nobody is ever going to see enough of your content to remember you. Consistency is key to maintaining a professional presence on Twitter.
At the same time, you don't want to schedule all your content months in advance. Too much automation and you turn into human spam and nobody will be able to relate to you on the platform.
Scheduling relevant, valuable content one week at a time. That's how we recommend balancing genuine interaction with the convenience of automation.
Hootsuite's research suggests the best time to post on Twitter is between 11 am to 1 pm on Monday and Thursday. According to Hubspot, the best time to Tweet is from noon to 3 pm or later at 5 pm. QuickSprout advises posting from noon up to 6 pm, but avoid weekends. Follower wonk is a platform that will let you analyze when your followers are active on Twitter. Tweepsmap lets you see what country the majority of your audience is in. Twemex is a great little tool for finding the best tweets from an account, including your own. If you're interested in improving your Twitter game and you want to build an online audience, I recommend Aadit and Brandon's cohort-based course called Maker's Mark. I was part of the first cohort and I thoroughly enjoyed the program.