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“What’s The Best Time to Post on (Insert Social Media Platform Here)?”

This is one of the most common questions we get from clients who want more out of their social media marketing efforts and it’s a fundamental piece of any good marketing strategy. We all wish there was a magical formula for finding the right hour and day to post that would guarantee our content receives the most likes, shares, and engagement from our audience every time. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.

Back in 2012, Lyn shared a few strategies and tools to help you discover the optimal times to post to your social media networks. She wrote that most people usually begin by researching what the peak times for posting are and then start sharing their content at those times too. But she explained this strategy doesn’t always succeed in garnering more interactions for your posts because those peak times are also when your content will have the most competition. Lots of content is posted during peak times, but this doesn’t necessarily result in your posts actually being interacted with more or even seen by more people.

Since most people start by looking up what the peak posting times are on the various social media channels, there are a lot of articles and infographics on the web providing this information. Click here for an example of one of these infographics shared on Hubspot’s blog.

This is cool data, but what we really want to know is what times users seem to be most engaged and participatory on these channels. That’s why I think this Slideshare from TrackMaven is much more illuminating:

It presents the days and times most brands blog, email, and post to social media and juxtaposes that information with the days and times those platforms receive the highest amount of user engagement and interaction. The discrepancy between the two is pretty astounding!

That’s great, you say, but why should I care?

REMEMBER: Engagement is the key to unlocking brand loyalty

As good social media marketers, we want quality not just quantity. Large numbers, impressions, and ‘likes’ are all great to have; after all, we have to build our audience. But then what we really want to see is our audience engaging with the content we post. Engaged users are not only more likely to share your content, helping to spread the word for you and your brand, but they are also much more likely to sign up for your services and buy your products. These fans/followers/friends become brand advocates who provide real return on investment for your marketing efforts.

So how should you proceed with this information, you ask?

Experiment To Target More Effectively

Figure out what times are best for reaching your followers by posting at different times and days and tracking the results. Start by trying out the times suggested by Trackmaven; since most people are active on social networks in the evening and on weekends, try posting at those times. Keep a record of your results and look for patterns over time.  Using your own data for your audience, and tracking changes in your audience’s engagement with that content is the sure-fire way to know what times you should be posting to your social media channels.

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