You should aim to tweet at times when your followers are most likely to see your tweets. If your academic followers are mainly UK-based then it’s generally best to tweet during daytime working hours on weekdays. However, many Twitter users also use Twitter outside working hours, particularly on their mobile devices.

If there is a tweet that is particularly important to you, you could tweet it at several different times and on different days. This could also help to reach more of your overseas followers and those who missed it first time round. 

You should aim to tweet frequently but don’t tweet for the sake of it. Always try to ensure that your tweets are interesting. If you are perceived as boring or a spammer then you may lose some of your followers.

Tools such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck allow you to manage your tweets and followers more easily. You can also schedule tweets in advance which is useful if you want to tweet ‘after hours’ or so that tweets get picked up in another time zone.

There are also packages (eg Crowdbooster) which can suggest the best time of day or day of the week to send tweets to maximise impact with your followers.

Responding to negative tweets

Most users won't think less of you because of a negative tweet. However, responding in a pleasant and prompt manner can increase respect, draw attention to positive qualities and increase followers.

If you are mentioned in a negative tweet:

  • apologise where appropriate. Do it quickly and mean it.
  • offer a solution. Saying sorry isn’t enough. If you don't offer a solution or fix the problem it can appear that you don't care or that you don't understand your customers.
  • use it as an opportunity for improvement – show what you are doing to make it right and prevent similar problems in the future.

If all else fails:

  • go private. Twitter offers the opportunity to contact users via direct message (DM). This may be a more appropriate way of dealing with the issue as it hides it from the rest of your followers.