As a social media platform, Twitter’s effectiveness is subject to its users’ wants and needs. When people sleep, for example, they won’t be reading their Twitter feed. They’re much more likely to be checking their Twitter while at work, during lunch breaks, or at home in the evening. If you only tweet early in the morning or late at night, it’s likely that followers will never see your tweets because they’ll be pushed to the bottom by the rush of new content.
How can one capture attention on Twitter when its real-time nature, by definition, entails a short attention span? Some apps and sites have made a move in this direction. Tweriod, for one, tells users when their followers are most active, while Cotweet allows users to schedule tweets ahead of time, at any time. These abilities seem like no-brainers, but a new app, SocialFlow, does even more, removing the extra steps altogether and even adding an algorithm-based content selection feature.
Aimed at brands and businesses, SocialFlow aggregates information about a user’s followers, picks the message they will be most interested in, then posts that message at the time when they are most likely to see it. The New York City-based startup, founded by Frank Speiser and Mike Perrone, has been active since 2010. Since that time, it has garnered attention from major organizations like the New York Public Library, which uses the app on its own tweets, and has been accepted to be shown at SXSW 2012.
So, how does it work? SocialFlow’s AttentionScore™ algorithm ranks, for each customer, messages based on what it thinks that customer’s followers will be most receptive to. It then monitors the precise time at which most interested users are online and then posts the message for these customers. In a time of unprecedented competition for attention within the Twitter-sphere, SocialFlow could be the tipping point in the social marketing space. In the same way that one optimizes a web page to get more hits, a tweet can be optimized to get more clicks. In theory, the optimized tweets will result in more user interaction, and ultimately more followers.
Critics, on the other hand, say SocialFlow deals too much with the “automation” of the Internet and that it removes the human aspect of social media. But it may actually be doing the opposite. By catering to the interests of its users and disseminating information at intelligent times, it’s optimizing the user experience as much as the effectiveness of the tweets. The app doesn’t claim to be a fix-all solution and doesn’t provide a 100-percent guarantee that you’ll become Twitter famous. It only provides a tool to assist those with important messages and the words to articulate them.