Last month, we suggested the best times for professional sports teams to tweet based on consumer usage data and media research. Today, we are sharing a tweet time analysis of the Philadelphia Phillies for online sports marketers to use as a benchmark, and to see how closely the Phillies are sticking to the optimal tweet times through the first six weeks of the season. We chose to use the Philadelphia Phillies as our benchmark because our recent Twitter Followers and Facebook Fans research revealed that the Phillies are leading MLB in Twitter followers.
This analysis is based on every original tweet made by the Philadelphia Phillies official Twitter account from Opening Day through May 13, 2011, resulting in a sample size of 174 tweets.
Chart 1 – Day of Week
Day of Week Insights
* As expected, the Philadelphia Phillies tweet less on the weekend, as staff are likely out of the office.
* The fewest tweets for a weekday occurred on Monday and Thursday, which are common off days in MLB.
* Tweet activity spikes on Tuesday and Friday, which are the most common days for series to begin.
Chart 2 – Time of Day (all times Eastern; by hour; military time)
Time of Day Insights
* Tweet frequency gradually increases throughout the day, and doesn’t trail off until 2 AM – somebody’s working hard there!
* There is a definitive pattern that may indicate tweets are being scheduled at 1 AM, 10 AM, 2 PM, 5 PM, 8 PM, and 10 PM.
* 32.76% of tweets occur during or immediately following game time (between 7-11 PM).
According to our tweet time research, the Philadelphia Phillies are doing a very good job of optimizing the performance of their tweets by tweeting at the right times, and I have only a couple of suggestions. Since tweet clickthrough rates remain steady throughout the week, the Phillies could see improvements by increasing their tweet frequency on weekends and off days. Also, the Phillies are already using our recommended tweet time for professional sports teams by tweeting during game time, but there is a noticeable dip just before first pitch during the 7 PM hour. It has been my experience that this time, along with immediately following a game, are the points when fans are the most engaged. The Phillies would be best served by either increasing the frequency during the 7 PM hour to match the 8 PM hour, or moving the tweets scheduled for the 8 PM hour up to 7 PM.
Timing does matter, and I hope you found this benchmarking exercise valuable for your team or brand. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment below.
Ryan Sleeper+, Online Sports Marketing Guy
Special thanks to Matthew Vinson, a graduate student in the DeVos Sport Business Management program at UCF, for compiling the research used for this analysis.