In the relentless search for increased engagement and conversions in social media, timing and network use patterns focus our attention and our marketing spend.
Lindsay Kolowich, writing on Hubspot blog, collected, curated and analyzed research from multiple sources, like CoSchedule and Buffer, and produced a report on the best times to post content on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest based on click-through rates.
The good news is that these clues might improve marketing productivity. The bad news is that many marketers will rush to test the recommended timing and, in so doing, will change or skew the timing dynamic.
Consider Lindsay’s conclusions which are geared to Eastern Time, with implications for social platforms used by people in the other US and international time zones. Take into account the fact that different demographic groups in different geographies use each network in unique and different ways, often with different interests or intentions on an array of devices. Assume that a growing majority of social media users everywhere access social media on smartphones where individual movement through time and physical space impact attention, awareness and interaction. So, finding the right moments to post are just the beginning of a serious engagement strategy.
Instagram. The best times to post are 1 pm and 5 pm on Friday suggesting maximum attention and clicks at lunchtime and as work is ending.
Facebook. End of the week, Thursday through Sunday are strongest times on the biggest platform. 9:00 am and Noon see click-through spikes suggesting that people check in on Facebook when they get to work or school and at lunchtime. There is a secondary spike from 3:00p till 4:00p hinting that as biorhythms slump people use Facebook as a mood elevator.
Twitter. Use may vary widely based on who people follow, the perceived newsfeed value of the platform and how intensely (or not) they care about The Donald’s tweet storms. Optimal posting times mirror the national news cycle – 8-10am and 6-9pm. Retweets spike at Noon and from 5-6pm in sync with broadcast news cycles.
LinkedIn. Twenty-five percent of US adults are on this platform, though it's not clear how many are daily, weekly or monthly users. Daily users include recruiters and HR guys and job seekers. It’s no surprise that the premiere B2B platform is most active during business hours. Mid-morning posts (10a-Noon) especially mid-week (Wednesday) generate the most clicks.
Pinterest. Active female users dominate this network. High click rates from the 8-11pm hint that Pinterest is a “me time” destination where women can pin, search, shop and pursue a variety of interests uninterrupted. Spikes in interaction from 2-4 am suggest significant engagement outside the eastern US.
In optimizing social media, timing matters. But it isn’t everything. Use this data. Test its validity. Compare it with the pattern of responses to your content and your brand. Share what you learn.
Danny Flamberg, EVP Managing Director of Digital Strategy and CRM at Publicis based in New York, has been building brands and building businesses for more than 30 years.Prior to joining Publicis, he led a successful global consulting group called Booster Rocket, as Managing Partner. Before becoming a consultant, he was Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP, SVP and Managing Director at Digitas in New York and Europe and President of Relationship Marketing at Amiratti Puris Lintas and Lowe Worldwide.
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