If you’re off and running with your social media marketing campaign, congratulations! Social media can be a highly effective tool for promoting your brand, and it often produces an excellent ROI compared to many other forms of marketing.
Your posts may already be performing well, but tweaking one variable could lead to even better results: The time of day when you add them online. Because social media timing is easy to control whether you post manually or use specialized software, there’s no reason not to apply strategy to finding the intervals in which your audiences will most likely be exposed to your messages.
A general rule of thumb when targeting national audiences: You might split your timing evenly toward the Eastern Time Zone and the Central Time Zone, which collectively cover about 80 percent of the U.S. population. A few more guidelines:
- Facebook: The best times for optimizing click-through rates on the world’s most-used social platform? Noon to 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, according to social media marketing firm Coschedule, which evaluated 20 industry studies to draw such conclusions. On weekdays, Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. are optimal. Worst times? Weekends before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. Pew found last year a whopping 79 percent of online adults in the U.S. use Facebook, more than double the percentage of any other platform.
- Instagram: Thirty-two percent of online adults in the U.S. are on Instagram, and half of those use it via mobile every day, Coschedule reports. Optimal posting times are Mondays and Thursdays anytime except 3 to 4 p.m., with videos most apt to be viewed any day between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. In other cases, marketers have had success targeting commuters Mondays from 8 to 9 a.m.
- Twitter: Many users read their Twitter feeds outside of work and during breaks from work, reports Coschedule. That means promotional Tweets are often successful on weekdays between noon and 3 p.m., with a spike at 5 p.m. To maximize retweets and click-throughs, consider noon, 3 p.m. or 5 to 6 p.m. weekdays, though certain audiences are more responsive on weekends. Twenty-four percent of online American adults use Twitter.
- LinkedIn: Some 29 percent of U.S. adults use LinkedIn these days, largely for career purposes during weekday work hours. However, more than half don’t even visit the site once a week. Coschedule recommends posting Tuesdays through Thursdays, with the best click-throughs likely achieved during the noon hour or during commuting time (7:30 to 8:30 a.m. or 5 to 6 p.m.) Posts made Tuesdays from 10 to 11 a.m. may also hit a sweet spot.
- Pinterest: Optimal times may be Saturday nights from 8 to 11 p.m. or Fridays near 3 p.m., Coschedule reports. Avoid evening commuting times. Thirty-one percent of all adult internet users in the U.S. (and 45 percent of adult female users) go on Pinterest, and 25 percent are active there every day.
- Google+: Most activity seems to happen from 9 to 11 a.m. weekdays, particularly Wednesdays at 9. Others have racked up positive responses from noon to 1 weekdays.
Finally, remember these are just basic guidelines. Specific audiences may well respond on different days at different times; the more you understand your target demographics and how they spend their days, the better you can strategize an ideal timing strategy.
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