The articles here at Sprout Insights keep you informed about ways to improve your social media presence. But beyond this publication, Sprout Social has tools that help you track and control that presence.

While it certainly might seem like the Twitter world never sleeps, it’s important to know your audience and the best times to reach them when developing your social strategy. We’ve all been up at 4 AM and watched a commercial about sleeping remedies, or been bombarded by toy advertisements just as schools let out.

This kind of targeted marketing is just as relevant on Twitter, as user activity and engagement changes throughout the day. Luckily, Sprout Social takes some of the guesswork out of this process with tools to help you schedule your content and suggest the best times to post your tweets.

If you want to try it out, start a free trial. In the meantime, here’s how it works.

Should You Schedule Your Tweets?

Scheduling content sometimes gets a bad rap among community and brand managers — and in some cases, it’s fair. If it isn’t done properly, it can easily be perceived as lazy and could put your brand at risk. If messages being published are not relevant or timely and it becomes clear that you are just using your accounts to regurgitate news and information, you’ll quickly lose following and engagement.

But when done thoughtfully by targeting non-timely content to the times your audience will most want to consume it, scheduling posts on Twitter can allow you to focus your time on quality content creation and spend less time directly managing your accounts. If you’re smart about when you schedule the content, actually, you can reach more people when they are open to engaging.

Scheduling also allows you to prepare for upcoming events in advance to avoid rushing around at the last minute. Additionally, if your brand uses Twitter as a support channel, you might use scheduling to push out content and allow your staff to focus and respond to support requests as they come in.

Instead of posting as you go, you could create a set of content and then schedule it to appear on your account throughout the day to keep your feed healthy and active. If you’re still not sure if scheduling is right for you, we’ve written about some of the brands that have had really great results with scheduling, including Bloomingdales and Taco Bell.

For teams working remotely, scheduling can be an important way to allow team members to collaborate and share ideas before they go live. By seeing your entire day at a glance, you’ll be able to move content around to be more effective and engaging. Managing a virtual team can be difficult, but scheduling content can encourage more organization and planning in your social workflows.

Schedule Content With Sprout Queue

To keep customers engaged with your brand at all times, having scheduled content is key. To make this even easier within Sprout Social, there’s Sprout Queue. Released in July, this feature lets you add content to a publishing queue and have it automatically publish throughout the day.

Sprout Queue offers a host of customization options that allow you to make pre-scheduled content work for your brand. Set the number of posts per day, the time of day you would like content to be published, and whether or not to include weekends when posting.

You can add content to your queue from any website, mobile applications, or from a browser extension. By automating the sharing process, you can spend more time focusing on other tasks within your company and avoid social media burnout. Sprout Queue also encourages content discovery and sharing. Just as you might browse the web and bookmark links you find interesting, now you can easily add them to a pool and share them with your entire community just as easily.

Find the Right Time to Share with ViralPost

While Sprout Queue is great for helping you get content loaded up and scheduled for the day, it doesn’t help you hone in on the best times to reach your target audience. Sure, you could utilize Sprout Social’s reporting tools to gain valuable insight into your network manually, but there’s an even better way. With ViralPost, the guesswork of determining posting times is removed.

By analyzing your audience automatically, Sprout Social is able to determine the optimal time to deliver your content. This is based on a combination of usage, engagement patterns, content velocity and other metrics collected by Sprout Social. When your content is scheduled with ViralPost, it will have the greatest possible reach and impact. This premium feature has already helped countless brands hone in on the perfect publishing times for their networks.

Scheduling content on Twitter is one of the easiest ways to keep your accounts active and keep customers coming back for more. With the added benefit of Sprout Social’s tools like Sprout Queue and ViralPost, the task is made even easier. Give it a shot for free and let us know what you think about it!

This article discusses Sprout Social, our social media management tool for businesses. To learn more about our editorial ethics and our commitment to objective coverage of the social media space, visit our About page

[Image Credits: thecapbells, athomeinscottsdale, photopia]