Engineering Social Media

They say it is to be social media is intended to be social, but for engineers it's all about analyzing the why. Here's some thoughts and trends on social media from an engineering perspective.

Engineering likes to break down everything. There is always a best way to do something. It may be the content, the method, or the time, but engineering will analysis paralysis just about anything. So let's look at the social media aspect of this. Social media applications begas as a simple means to communicate with your friends and piers and share some information clearly has turned into big business. Essentially an expansion of message boards. Companies now carry out complex studies like this have been done for exactly what is the best time to tweet for instance.

Design LevelsFigure 1: Social Media Posting Times

Social Media is now a large scale multi-multi-billion dollar business. There will be more applications, types, and transformations within the space, but regardless there will always be someone to talk about the next best way to use them. There is an endless amount of articles, blog posts, and white papers on how to use social media, but engineering will focus less on the content piece and more on the analysis piece. Here is some summaries of the research compiled by Social Media Today which also has a great info graphic with it:

  • Facebook – between 10 am and 4pm Monday thru Thursday.
  • Twitter – between 1pm and 3pm Monday thru Thursday.
  • LinkedIn – focus on posting before and after business hours, 7 am to 9 am and 5pm to 6pm Tuesday thru Thursday.
  • Google+ – 9am to 11am on workdays.
  • Pinterest – This is the one social network you should focus on posting during weekday evenings and on the weekends. specifically 2pm to 4pm and 8pm to 1am on weekdays. The best time to pin items on Pinterest is on Saturday morning.

So beyond the best time, some other interesting engineering approaches include how to build followers, what number of followers/friends influences, retweet importance, frequency of messages, etc . Here are some of these thoughts on posting/tweeting analysis:

The twitter api is listed, but most social media applications have a backend API to allow some sort of detailed drill down analysis of your own. This opens up even more ways for you to analyze social media.

All of these breakdowns don't even include the actual item social media was created for. Sharing your content. What you want to talk about is up to you, but for all the ways to tell it and at exactly what time, you still need to come up with something that will engage and grow your following!

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