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What you say and when you say it matters on the social web

Much has been written about how 2010 was a milestone year for social media as a truly meaningful channel for businesses to communicate with their customers and audiences. Our customers have echoed that sentiment with their increasing investments (both money and resources) in social efforts as channels for driving web traffic and sales.

We’re excited for 2011 and wanted to share some things we learned last year.

Looking back
One of the things that has guided SocialFlow since we started the company is our belief that there are real ways that conversation on the social web can be improved and that it can be achieved through science and math. We began by researching how people were using and sharing language to understand the flow of conversations and associated actions on the social web. We wanted to understand how people were engaging with content and each other and what that would mean for businesses.

What you say and when you say it matters
It became very clear to us early on that just because you think you should say something, when you think you should say it, does not mean that people will care about it and do something with it. In practical terms, there has to be a better way publishing Tweets than just guessing at what you should post and when. Why not look for when the intent to consume your content and take an action is high?

In early November we released a new insights feature that shows the hourly distribution of clicks on links in Tweets sent out by SocialFlow. What’s interesting in this view is that you can see that while time of day matters, what matters more is time of day AND relevance and resonance when it comes to clicks and actions.

Here we’ve compared two Wednesdays (only two weeks apart):

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



Wednesday, December 1, 2010



In other words, we may all log on at 9AM each morning (or at anytime for that matter) to check our newsfeeds, but we’re only clicking, retweeting or paying attention when we come across things that we care about. If there’s nothing that stands out, we’re moving on. Quickly.

Getting this right is a more audience-centric approach for communicating with customers and audience. The results that we’ve seen with customers prove this out. In tests that we’ve performed with customers, we’ve found that SocialFlow produces anywhere from 20-60% higher click-throughs and RTs, and as a result more and more engaged Followers.