The New York Times recently discussed a study published by researchers at Cornell University who analyzed posts by more than 2 million Twitter users in 84 countries and found that there seem to be biological mood rhythms common to people across the entire globe.
It makes sense that there are biological rhythms common to all people and places – mornings can be refreshing (especially for those early birds out there), though moods tend to dip as the day wears on (we know the 3 p.m. slump all too well) and late nights can be particularly rejuvenating for those night owls out there. Also not surprising is that people’s moods sour at the beginning of the work week and increase until reaching a peak on the weekends. Researchers on this study did not find a difference in overall mood in winter versus summer months, although posts trended more negative around the fall equinox when the shorter days descend.
Certainly you need to take into account the various ways that people tweak their true feelings to fit their online personas – how many of us take to Facebook to lament about the worst parts of our days versus our ‘check in’ at a trendy club or restaurant so all of our ‘friends’ know how fabulous we are? Tweets are often fired off quickly in response to something taking place in that very moment. The ‘Think Before You Tweet’ mentality is seriously lacking among many Twitter users, celebrities are perhaps the worst – and most overt – offenders. Nonetheless, seeing global trends in daily and weekly mood shifts poses interesting questions for targeting your social media marketing.
If you use Twitter to promote your brand to customers and potential clients, should you try to focus some of your activity prior to nine in the morning, before people have a chance to get tired and cranky throughout the day? Or maybe wait until after dinner when people seem to be more relaxed and happy? Perhaps tailoring your message in a way that will speak to the common mood of the moment will spike more interest in your brand or product? Of course, in our global economy, your followers will likely be in multiple time zones, however this study presents interesting data to consider in adapting your marketing strategy to match our ever-changing moods.