Social Media Engagement – Timing is Everything, Sort Of

When is the best time to share on social media? With so many platforms for connecting with current and future customers these days, it can be extremely difficult to navigate how to best serve your customers through organic posts. Managing these networks and posting engaging content is already a difficult task, but knowing the right time to reach those people is harder yet with the ever-changing algorithms within each specific medium.

Tip: Always sail where the wind is blowing.

Knowing the highest engagement times could be a difference of two conversions or 20. Digging into the data will be your best bet. There are a number of social media engagement tools to help track and analyze what’s working and what isn’t. Some have limited freemium options, but most do require paid subscriptions:

Social Media Analytics Tools:

  • Zoho Social has the ability to schedule unlimited posts, manage social networks, and measure performance all in one place.
  • Sprout Social offers Social Media Publishing Tools for Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and Facebook.
  • Later offers the #1 marketing platform for Instagram.
  • Pinterest has a built in analytics tool for businesses.

No two social media environments are the same. That means when you post content on Facebook and it has great success with certain metrics, it doesn’t mean the same will hold true for Instagram, Twitter, or Google+. Where the real challenge comes is in the results of ongoing studies hoping to understand the habits on social media. The challenge online marketers have found is that there is no one, specific time to post. Instead, what they have found is that the best remedy is a range of hours that works within each platform. Here’s what we found:

Peak Times:

  • LinkedIn’s ideal engagement times are around 12PM or 5PM and specifically, the best days are Tuesday – Thursday, with worst times on the weekend.
  • Pinterest’s peak times happen in the evening, but mostly on weekends.
  • Google+ results vary as it is a smaller platform, but Wednesday is best with the optimal time being 9AM
  • Twitter is one of the quickest ways for B2C communication, giving Twitter a large window between Monday – Thursday, with best time around 12PM and early mornings and late nights being the worst. Unless, of course, you’re Donald Trump.
  • Instagram works a little differently. Based on their algorithms, the ideal times to post on Instagram are 2AM, 8AM, and 5PM with the strongest days being Monday – Thursday
  • Having over a billion users makes Facebook one of the most difficult platforms to dissect. Their algorithm changes frequently but, at the moment, trends point to best times to post between 9AM and 3PM — Thursday is the most active day.

Statistic: According to a recent study done by Sprout Social, around 35% of consumers said they preferred social media as the best point of contact, which is also the highest rated of all point of contact avenues.

As we said in the beginning, timing is everything — sort of. Don’t be fooled into think that the timing of online activity from your customers is the only lens to look through to find success. Let’s not forget other factors that should not be overlooked:

Other Factors to Consider:

  • Audience
  • Quality of the content
  • Quantity or frequency of content (overpopulating feeds has been shown to have negative effects on engagement.)
  • Type of content in terms of video, photos, text within a platform
  • Type of industry you’re involved with
  • How easily the media can be shared and connected to

This list is not an end-all, be-all. The point is, when sharing your content and telling your story to your viewers/readers, there are many variables but one of the most important of those is timing. Since social media is constantly being pushed with new content, it continuously washes away what came before it. Even if you post a vivid photo, exciting video, or capturing read, if you don’t strategize the timing and understand the platforms you’re working with, your content could be lost in the massive ocean of online media.