Then people get into work and retweet intensely, as they do their morning surfing. The number of retweets drops as the day progresses with a slight uptick at 5 pm.

Then it picks up again later "when people get back to their computers after dinner, or are out at a bar or restaurant using their phones", said lead researcher William Rand from University of Maryland.Rand and his team has demonstrated that an algorithm that takes into account the past activity of each of your followers -- and makes predictions about future tweeting -- can lead to more "retweets" than other commonly used methods such as posting at peak traffic times.

For this, the team examined the retweeting patterns of 15,000 Twitter followers during two different five week intervals from 6 am to 10 pm.

A "seasonal" model of posting -- the folk-wisdom model -- would suggest posting whenever there are peaks in that recurring weekly pattern."Which peaks you choose would depend how many tweets you expect to send," the authors noted.

The findings serves as a demonstration that applying analytic methods to Twitter data can improve a brand's ability to spread its message.

The paper is forthcoming in the journal Proceedings of Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM).


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