On Social Media Timing Is Everything! [Research]

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Blog Post Timing – 12 Tips

Timing is everything in social media On social media platforms not all shared content is equal. As in real life, some social shares are more effective at achieving marketing goals than others.

As marketers are continually challenged to create sufficient content, how do you maximize the effectiveness of each piece of content marketing regardless of whether it’s a Facebook update, a tweet or a blog post? As any accounting student can tell you the answer is “It depends.” [Here are some general social sharing tips.]

To extend your content marketing’s reach and life, study research from Bit.ly, Hubspot’s Dan Zarella and Buddy Media. (Understand that each firm’s research is different and isn’t entirely comparable. Taken together, however, they provide useful insights.)

Facebook

With Facebook’s usage across age groups, research shows that people view it as a personal platform.

  1. Have lunch with Facebook. Bit.ly found links posted between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, the lunch hour across US time zones, had the highest click-throughs, peaking on Wednesdays at 3.00 pm.
  2. Think me time for retail posting. Consistent with Bit.ly’s findings, roughly 90% of retail brand posts are made between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm according to Buddy Media. This makes sense since this is when marketers and consumers are working. Wednesday’s the best day for retail Facebook posts based on Buddy Media results. While Bit.ly found links posted at night didn’t attract as much attention, those people that are reached may have more time to engage. Similarly, Dan Zarella found that Saturday was the best time for sharing content, especially if you’re looking to break away from the pack. Prime time for Facebook retail engagement Facebook fan engagement for retail by day
  3. Less is more for post frequency. Posting less than three times a day increases Facebook fan engagement 40%. Further, keeping posts to under five times a week increased consumer engagement over 70%, based on Buddy Media research. Similarly, Dan Zarella found that likes declined when posts increase.
  4. Kiss theory applies. Keep it short and simple. Don’t make prospects think. Use dollars off versus a percentage off to double engagement according to Buddy Media.
  5. Leave room in the conversation for prospects. Buddy Media found posts containing questions doubled interaction and posts containing fill-in-the-blanks increased engagement ninefold.

Twitter

Unlike Facebook, Twitter tends to be used for business related engagement and the research in terms of when to tweet confirms this. [Here's more research on Twitter content.]

  1. Come tweet with me. Twitter activity peaks between 9:00 am and 3:00pm according to bit.ly while click count is highest from 1:00pm through 3:00 pm Monday through Thursday. As a marketer or blogger, you must assess the tradeoff between the number of people who are active versus your tweet’s ability to break-through the noise.
  2. Click me baby. If you’re looking for higher click-through rates (aka CTRs), then tweet later in the day and on the weekends according to Dan Zarella’s infographic on his website. While on the surface this goes against bit.ly’s advice due to the number of active participants, it focused on getting more activity from each tweet. [Here's more research on making each tweet count.] Tweet for CTR

Tumblr

The age of Tumblr participants shows through its activity. Most of its users are between 12 and 25 based on comScore data and activity as reported by bit.ly confirms this.  Usage on Tumblr by age

  1. Hoping for clicks? Since Tumblr’s core users are in school during the day, post after 7:00 pm to generate more click-throughs over a twenty-four hour period since traffic peaks between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Sundays.
  2. Partying yet? No surprise this young platform’s deserted on Friday and Saturday nights.

Blog

With blogging, your business objectives are a critical determinant for publishing since results vary.

  1. Looking for Mr. Goodreader? 70% of readers consume blogs in the morning peaking at 11:00 am US Eastern time and Monday’s the best day to post in terms of pageviews according to Dan Zarella via Kissmetrics. Blog post views by day and time
  2. Optimizing posts for links. If so, Mondays and Thursdays are your best bet with activity peaking at 7:00 am based on Dan Zarella’s findings delivered via Kissmetrics.
  3. Seeking blog comments? Comments peak on Saturdays and at 9:00 am according to Dan Zarella. This makes sense since readers take the time to think and engage when writing’s involved, so they do it when they’re not working. (Of course, it’s critical to consider that 90% of your audience lurks, 9% of your does something small and 1% creates content.) For bloggers, the business question is how do comments (especially those that read “Nice post”) translate to revenue and other important business information?

If you’re looking to minimize content creation and maximize social media impact, it’s critical to post your content on different social media platforms taking into account how and when users engage on each one. To this end, it’s important to align these activities with your business goals and editorial calendar.

Have you seen other research regarding social media timing? How would you change your marketing based on this information?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alancleaver/2661425133/

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  • http://www.VirtualFundamentals.com/ Nancy

    This is a very informative article with so much important data.  I’ve been looking for this type of analysis for some time now.  I get questions about this very subject from small business owners attending my social media marketing workshops.  Thank you. 

  • http://twitter.com/chuckblake Chuck Blake

    Great actionable article!  I read several times to extract as much information as possible.

  • Suzanne Mannion

    Very informative and documented article! I heard some time ago that social media is not a job, but a way of living, an idea I totally agree with. So I strongly believe that timing on social media platforms is very important in order to reach your target audience efficiently. This, of course after a thorough research of the target audience’s social media behavior.