Every weekend, something peculiar happens on Twitter: it gets really really quiet. I follow about 550 people on Twitter, and uring business hours on a weekday, I get dozens of updates every few minutes. When I’m away from Twitter for an hour, there are 100 new Tweets waiting for me.
The weekend is another story. I can go a couple hours without checking Twitter, and come back to very few Tweets. Heck, it’s almost manageable!
So what does this tell me about Twitter? A few things:
- Twitter is primarily used as a part of people’s careers. They are most active on it when sitting in front of their computers all day at work.
- People tend to talk about interesting news and ideas on the weekdays. This is similar to how many blogs update daily on the weekdays, but don’t update at all on the weekends.
- Yes, the people of Twitter have real lives, and are not always updating the world as to what they are eating and where they are going. They – thankfully – seem to reserve the weekend time for family, friends, and perhaps stepping away from screens.
- Despite the many trends that have emerged, we are all not lifestreaming – constantly sharing every moment of our days. Even those I know who are very active on social media services have quiet periods, or obvious chunks of their lives that are rarely shared on sites like Twitter.
- A social media strategy has balance. Yes, perhaps some people do check Twitter 20 times a day, but that those hours are often when doing so is most effective. These same people may not check at all after 6pm, and may take weekends and vacations off. There is an odd sense of balance here.
Mostly, it tells me that the weekends are an opportunity. I’ve noticed how TechCrunch will often try to sway the weekend discussion by releasing a big diatribe on a weekend. It usually isn’t related to breaking news either – because the vacuum of the weekend is a chance for someone to open up a new line of discussion.
Much like the many weekday trends (Follow Friday, etc), weekends on Twitter could turn into something else entirely for your community. New types of content, discussions or connections. How will you use this opportunity?
Opportunity often lies not in following what’s popular, but in looking for the gaps – discovering something no one else sees, and slowly shaping it into something of value.