If you run a social media campaign, sometimes it seems like your posts just sink into the vast ocean of the Internet. The reality is that great content doesn’t always drive a massive volume of engagement on its own.
You need a strategy.
Content calendars are key. Images and video are proven to grab people’s attention. But there’s another more elusive factor that, if executed well, can earn your content more likes, shares, and comments.
Timing plays a big role in success on social media. We use it at different times throughout the day, and as a result, don’t always see everything our friends and followers post.
Let’s take a look at why timing is critical and more importantly, the optimal time to post across each network. (And for more insight into how a comprehensive social media strategy can work for your business, contact SPINX Digital today).
Why does timing matter?
“Less is more” may be a helpful approach to many aspects of life, but it does not apply to social media. As a general rule, you want to score more followers and more engagement across all of your channels. The bigger your audience, the more people will see your content.
Contrary to how it may seem, people are not always attached to their phones, desktops, tablets, etc. While they may see your post later in the day or week, they’re more likely to scroll past it if they’ve been viewing content for a while.
Timing is about reaching your audience during windows of peak social media usage.
Additionally, every network operates differently. Your audience doesn’t necessarily use Twitter and LinkedIn during the same time, so posting content to every channel all at once would be a mistake.
Here are the most popular social media platforms, and the ideal times to post for each one.
At 1.35 billion users, Facebook is the world’s most popular social network. As a result, most businesses have a Facebook page, but only a select few of them reach their fans at the ideal day and time.
Neil Patel recently posted a helpful infographic on this topic, and this section of it sums up Facebook nicely.
Why exactly does engagement peak on Thursday and Friday? No one can say for sure, although I’d guess that people are checked out of work come Friday, and perhaps more likely to spend time on Facebook than start a new project.
As for optimal timing, 1pm posts get the most shares, while content that goes out at 3pm receives the most clicks.
Micro-blogging site, Twitter is an excellent way to network with leads and followers, and provide real-time customer service.
For B2B companies, engagement is highest Monday – Friday. B2Cs have the most success Tweeting between Wednesday and Sunday, and according to Patel, even see a 17% spike in brand engagement on weekends.
If you want clicks on Twitter, post at 12 and 6pm. If retweets are what you seek, post at 5pm.
LinkedIn’s stats for time may not come as a surprise to anyone who uses the social network. The business networking site sees the most action during business hours.
Specifically, early in the morning (7 – 8am) and at 5 – 6pm (perhaps on the commute home) are when usage spikes. However, the highest engagement appears to be somewhat random, or perhaps indicates that what many of us intuitively feel: it’s hard to concentrate on Mondays and Fridays.
Pinterest is an image-based platform ideal for any business seeking to show off its camera-ready products, services, employees and more. While your employees may keep normal business hours, many of Pinterest’s users do not.
Pins see the most engagement between 8 and 11pm, suggesting that the social network perhaps consumes more concentration than is practical during the day at work. Even more interesting is that Saturday is the best time of the week to post.
Like LinkedIn, businesses that use Google+ have the most success during the week. However, optimal engagement isn’t limited to specific days. Monday – Friday seems to draw a comparatively high rate of +1s and overall engagement.
As suspected by many, Instagram remains a hugely popular platform, with engagement staying consistent throughout the week. Sundays experience a slight dip with a bit of an uptick on Mondays, but otherwise users actively participate every day.
According to one study cited in Patel’s post, Fortune 500 companies saw the most engagement among followers during off hours, when 33.4% per 1,000 followers interacted in some way with their content.
Test for yourself
Different studies on this topic find slightly different results. The rules are not necessarily hard and fast. Your particular industry and audience may experience peak times that aren’t listed here. The best way to find out what works for you is to consistently test your content.