Engagement Peaks: The One Twitter Insight You’re Probably Missing

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We’re all searching for strategies to grow our twitter following and get influential individuals into our community (in fact, we previously outlined some here). But you may be overlooking one stat that can drastically affect how many of your hard-earned community members see your tweets – and thus, how many shares and followers you gain.

This insight can cause even the best piece of content to fall short of expected social goals. It’s based around engagement peaks for a person’s or a brand’s twitter account.

What is reach in traditional marketing?

I worked in traditional marketing for close to five years, selling advertising for the ABC television network and on a local radio station in NY. We sold based on three factors: demographics, frequency, and reach.

    1. Demographics: who you’re targeting with your message.

The groupings were usually very basic, based on data such as age, sex, and household income.

    1. Frequency: how many times the demographics you are targeting saw or heard your message.

Amongst the advertising community, the magic number everyone seems to know is three. They say it takes someone seeing your message three times before they’re likely to take action – that’s the traditional advertising guideline, anyway.

    1. Reach: how many people your message has the potential to reach.

Don’t forget, this comes from the traditional advertising universe, so it concerns people watching a TV show or listening to a radio broadcast at that time of day.

Your Reach: Estimated Versus Actual

We’ve talked about tips for defining your audience demographics using personas and customer types. We also discussed increasing frequency by utilizing different copy in your tweets for the same link target. One factor we’ve yet to touch on is reach (the number of potential viewers for your message).


Followerwonk helps you explore and grow your social graph by helping you find and connect with influencers within your niche. They provide highly actionable data in easy-to-understand visualizations to help compare your social graph to others’. You can find answers to questions like:

  • What are the basic demographics of your followers?
  • Where are your followers located?
  • When do your followers tweet and thus when should you tweet to get the best reach?
  • How do I find and connect with new influencers in my niche?

What data does Followerwonk provide?

Below, you’ll find a sample report for the “Analyze Followers” tab.
twitter follower analysis

Mapped locations of an individual’s followers

Followerwonk approximates the geographic location of up to 5,000 users and map them for you.

Influence scores of an individual’s followers

It ranges from 0 to 100, where higher scores generally indicate greater influential activity on Twitter.

Inferred gender of an individual’s followers

Based on an analysis of users’ profile data, when applicable and available, we guess their gender.

Follower counts of an individual’s followers

Followerwonk has analyzed individuals’ followers and assembled a chart to show you the number of people who follow those users.

Following counts of an individual’s followers

Here, Followerwonk highlights the following counts of an individual’s followers.

Account ages of an individual’s followers

The age of an account is an interesting way to measure value. Those that have been around awhile are more likely to be “real” than those that just started.

Last-tweet timestamps of an individual’s followers

If a person hasn’t tweeted recently, their account may be dormant or it could be a spam account.

Total tweets of an individual’s followers

If a user has a low total tweet count, they may not be a “real” user. Or perhaps they tried Twitter and gave it up.

Languages of an individual’s followers

Please note that Twitter only allows users to select from a few languages.

Most active hours for an individual’s followers

This chart provides a percentage breakdown of Twitter activity by hour of day for the analyzed users.

Bio word cloud of an individual’s followers

To help make sense of the “biography” field of each Twitter user, they’ve assembled this word cloud.

Location word cloud of an individual’s followers

Similar to the above word cloud, here they show you the relative frequency of words used in the “location” field of an individual’s followers.

The Key To Understanding Engagement Peaks and Your TRUE Reach

The key to unlocking the potential of your twitter reach is in one piece of data – the “Most Active Hours” section. Most people believe that all their followers see every one of their tweets, but this just isn’t true. Let’s look at the below graph as an example.

follower time and reach

As you can see, the most active time for these followers (the times most are on Twitter either tweeting or engaging with tweets) is early morning – over 12% of this person’s followers are engaging at this time. Knowing this stat can help you increase the number of people that may see the content you tweet.

So, if this person hypothetically had 1000 followers, tweeting in the early morning would have a reach of 120 followers. That’s far from 1000, isn’t it? That means this person should not only tweet the content at that time, but also two to three other times during the day when Twitter interaction is high among their followers.

It’s always been difficult to nail down an absolute “golden hour” when anyone’s tweet can maximize its value. That’s because most people’s or brand’s engagement peaks happen at different times, based on their followers’ “Most Active Hours.”

Quick Tips to Increase Your Reach By Utilizing Engagement Peaks

  • Understand your target audience
  • Know what kind of content they’re most likely to engage with
  • Understand what time they’re at their engagement peak
  • Make sure you tweet the same link with different supporting text – more than once a day if it’s an important link
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