If you want to know how to test what works in social media, the Office for National Statistics have put together one of the best pieces I’ve seen on the topic.
Their post on the most effective tweets about the Census Singles interactive covers a number of key points in social media optimisation including:
- The importance of timing (they normally publish at 0930, but switched to 0700 and 1730)
- The importance of context (the most popular tweet was tweeted alongside a similarly-themed TV programme)
- The different types of engagement: from retweeting to favouriting, clicking, replying, and impressions (more people clicked because the tweet invited them to; labour market stats, however, have historically led to more retweets).
But above all, it shows the importance of measurement: you don’t know the best time to tweet, or what people are doing, unless you check your metrics. Which now, thankfully, you can do at analytics.twitter.com.