Back in my email newsletter days, one of the key metrics I focused on was when we got the best responses from our campaigns. We tested days and times until we hit on a formula that seemed to work best for our goals. It turns out that we got the most orders on a day and time that was actually quite counterintuitive, which illustrates the importance of testing when you're doing anything related to online marketing, blogging and social media.
The same formula can be applied to Twitter (and other social media) when you're deciding when to send out messages. I recently came across a thorough and fascinating article about the best time to Tweet (and kudos to the author for going back to refine the data when commenters questioned some of the results). Some of the times are quite counterintuitive (which the author discusses) and having that information might be very beneficial when you're deciding when to Tweet (or use other social media).
If you're just starting out, scheduling Tweets around the times suggested in the post might be helpful to start learning how and when your audience interacts with them. It's a good jumping off point to find out what works for you. Then you can tweak your scheduling based on the results to gain even more traction. Personally, I've tweaked my social media posting times for the Somerville Beat a lot over the years based on what content I'm pushing out, what my goals are with it and past results from Tweeting at those times.
So when should you Tweet? The short answer is when you have time and will do it consistently. The long answer is to test a variety of days and times based on your goals and see what works best. Every industry is very different and you might find you get the best results at completely different days and times than someone else. The awesome thing about the Internet in general and social media in particular is that it's always evolving and you can change things on the fly to try something new. And then do it again and again until you find what works best.
Don't have time to test, test and test again? Or do you need help setting up social media accounts for your business and learning to use them to maximize results? I can help.