Social media success is all about the timing
Posted by: Clare.Rose
With over 1.82 billion users worldwide social media is a great tool for reaching a big audience. Although sometimes the silence can be deafening when no one engages with the content that you’re putting out there. That’s why knowing the best times and the best channels to post your latest news or insights could save you a lot of time and effort.
Most people don’t have the time to be on Facebook or Twitter all day. So if you only make a few social media updates a day, or even a week it’s a good idea to pick your moment to make sure you get the most engagement from your potential audience.
Get to know your audience’s habits
As a simple rule of thumb people that habitually check their preferred social media do so during idle moments and as a break from work or chores. So this could be the commute to or from work, their lunch break or when they settle down for the evening with housework and meals done.
When it comes to B2B messages they’re usually accessed during the working day why most B2C posts are more effective during weekends and evenings.
But these may not always be true of your audience. Find out what your core customer likes, when they are online and what makes them most likely to interact with others on social media. You could discover this with a user survey on your website, or by tracking activity on social media accounts that are similar to your audience or your business. Also are there events that are important to your audience, such as a TV programme or a conference? Send out updates during these specific events, perhaps even engaging with the event’s social media when you do with a tag or hashtag. That way if your followers are actively following the event they’ll also see your updates in their timelines.
That said, each social media channel has a different demographic of user and are often active at different times, here is breakdown of the main contenders:
- Number of UK users: 15 million
- 80% of users access it on mobile devices
- Ideal for B2C and B2B, realtime engagement, sending out brief news, linking to other content
While it’s the world’s most popular social media platform nearly half of Twitter users simply read the tweets of who they follow and never tweet themselves. So don’t be surprised if you don’t get a response, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been seen. A lot of people access Twitter during idle moments. So to increase your chances of getting a retweet post as people commute to and from work, as well as during lunch breaks. Make sure you include a link when appropriate, click through rates go up around midday and 6pm on weekdays and over the weekends, although there is generally a drop off in activity after 8pm.
- Number of UK users: 30 million
- Core demographic: 26% of users are in the 25-34 age range
- Ideal for B2C, creating special interest groups, product news, promoting events
A lot of Facebook users access the site via mobile devices and rarely look at it during work time. It’s worth noting that your update will get the most engagement within the first 30 minutes of posting, before it begins to start sliding down everyone’s timeline. So early morning, early evening and before bed are prime times for grabbing people’s attention. Thursday and Friday see the most Facebook activity during the week, although late Sunday and early Monday can also be busy as people update what they’ve been doing over the weekend.
- Number of UK users: 10 million
- Responsible for 64% of visits to corporate sites from social media
- Ideal for B2B, building contacts, sharing business knowledge, recruitment
Naturally LinkedIn is visited by business people and professionals interested in their own industry and careers, which makes it ideal for B2B messaging. The site sees the majority of traffic at the beginning and end of the working day, with most visits occurring on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Just before lunch or at the end of the working day midweek would be the ideal time to post business news. However, if you were posting a job ad prospective candidates are more likely to look at it outside of work such as in the evening or at weekends.
- Number of Worldwide users: 150 million
- 1 billion likes are made every day
- Ideal for B2C, creative and inspirational content, product news, promoting events
Photos always prove popular on social media and the beauty of Instagram is that you can post the images across your other social media channels as well (which you should do as per the above recommendations). Thursdays attract the most postings but unlike the other social media platforms this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the largest audience since what you post could get lost among the torrent of other new content. Instead Saturdays and Sundays are the slowest days for new content which will increase your chances of being noticed.
Blogs perform best when they are updated regularly and consistently. So if you post once a week, the same day and time every week is best. If you post more regularly try to space them out evenly over the week. We’d also recommend you use Google Analytics to find out when you get the most traffic then tailor your updates and social media support in line with your findings. Choose the most appropriate social media channel and schedule accordingly, but don’t be afraid to send out multiple updates across different channels at different times to increase engagement and extend the blog post’s shelf life.
Email newsletters or marketing messages can often be dismissed as spam and be deleted before they’re even read. Plus nearly a quarter of all emails are opened within an hour of being received, so picking the right time can be crucial. If it’s a B2B email where you’re targeting someone at work that may want your service then within work hours are best. It’s common knowledge that lot of people deal with their emails in the morning, although a study by Mailchimp found that most marketing emails are opened between Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm to 5pm. Although as a general rule B2B newsletters work better during the working day while B2C emails perform better in the early evening and at weekends.
It’s not a precise science and can differ depending on the type of business you are, so it’s worth experimenting and monitoring the times you get the most opens, clicks, likes, shares and follows. Then schedule your content to go out around these times, then use your other social media channels to boost the content at a variety of times throughout the day to help spread the information further. Of course you shouldn’t forget the most important ingredient - content that your audience want to read and share.