There has been heaps of research into sleep, and how our circadian rhythm effects our working lives. For instance research last year suggested that our unique homeostatic process combined with our circadian ryhthm are the key to our levels of alertness throughout the day. It found that so called morning people suffered more as the day progressed because their homeostatic process increasingly wanted them to go to sleep, hence their performance dropped.
Other research has suggested that we're at our most creative when we're tired. The rationale behind this is that as we tire we lose the ability to focus so much on a single task, and it's this fuzzy thinking that helps us to foster creative thoughts.
Ok, so to the point of this article. Can Twitter be used to gauge our collective mood? It's not uncommon to take our individual online behaviours and attempt to draw patterns from it. Google Flu for instance attempts to predict when and where flu spreads based upon what we type into Google. Twitris attempts to do a similar thing in the political world.
What about our mood though? Research conducted at Cornell University recently suggests we can. The research team analysed tweets from over 2 million people, covering over 500 million tweets in total. They then ran the messages through an application to pull out words indicated positive or negative moods.
They found that our happiness tends to peak early in the morning, and again near midnight, but starts to dip during the middle of the morning before rising again after dinner. The worst time for Twitter happiness was found to be around 4pm.
Shape your tweets according to mood
With this information at hand, it might be good therefore to tweek your tweets according to the expected mood of your followers. For instance during that afternoon slump you might want to talk about offers and impulse purchases that we often engage in to pick up our mood.
People in a happier mood however tend to make faster buying decisions, so whilst the afternoons could be used for promoting impulse purchases, the morning could be used for more considered purchases, as people will be in a much better mood to both receive and act upon things.
There's a nice paper here on how mood effects buying behaviour in a wide range of circumstances. With mood being so important in the consumption process however it really is something you cannot afford to ignore.