Is timing all that important in the world of online marketing where information flows freely twenty four hours a day, seven days a week?
Some bloggers and users of social media are satisfied to hammer out a post or send a tweet whenever they can. Others stay up late editing the next day’s blog post and setting it to auto-post at 4 AM. Is there really any advantage?
In a word, yes. In two words: definitely maybe.
Online marketers and community managers want to know one simple thing: when can they put their information, products, and special offers in front of the greatest number of people at one time. By learning about the timing of blog posts and social media updates, they’ll be able to maximize their exposure relative to the time they invest and even capture audiences that online marketers have neglected.
When to Use Social Media
Many businesses focus their blog posts and social media efforts on the work week, assuming that their audiences are most attentive during week days. However, consider this statistic from a 2009 Wired Magazine survey: 54% of companies block Facebook and Twitter. That means a ton of readers will be looking for something to read in the evenings and on the weekend. With that in mind, let’s look at some advice on when to use social media and to post blog content.
Two years of research by Dan Zarella of the marketing firm Hubspot found that the morning isn’t necessarily the best time to use social media.
- All Social Media: Interaction levels remain fairly steady on the weekends in comparison to the week.
- Twitter: Click-through rates for links shared are highest between 11 am and 5 pm EST.
- Twitter: The most retweets occur between 2 pm and 5 pm. In order to monitor the effectiveness of your retweets, check out the website Tweet When.
- Facebook: Linking to your blog or website more than once a day will not bring significant benefits. In fact, posting too frequently on Facebook will back-fire.
- Facebook: Weekends and off-peak times are also effective for click-throughs since there are fewer links shared and many readers are still looking for good content in their off hours.
- E-mail Campaigns: The highest open and click-through rates happen on Saturday mornings. If you send an e-mail newsletter or a digest of your blog posts, schedule it for 4 or 5 am on Saturday. Publishing professionals Jane Friedman and Michael Hyatt send their newsletters at that time and offer many tips valuable tips to her readers.
Whatever you do, you need to test the response of readers to your blog posts and social media updates. Different industries and users may respond in their own ways. For example, if you’re blogging in order to receive links from experts, Zarella recommends aiming for early in the morning.
One of the most important things to keep in mind for blogs targeting readers in the United States, the majority of the population is located on the East Coast.
If you want to dramatically increase your page views, you need to also focus on your post frequency. However, if you can’t keep up with one, two, or three posts a day, post timing will become far more important. In addition, entrepreneur and blogger Tim Ferris suggests that a lousy blog post can be far more harmful to your influence than no blog post.
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger wrote back in 2008 that his weekend posts are typically lost in the shuffle compared to weekday posts. When he hosted Daniel Zarella to share his findings about blog viewing trends, his findings continued to hold true. Weekday mornings EST are when blogs have the most readers.
This means that marketers can still reach a lot of readers on social networks on the weekends and in the afternoons. However, when it comes to attracting links and more blog readers, the majority of readers are looking for content on week day mornings. Though the audience on weekends may be smaller for a blog post, social media tools and a lack of competition and a companion e-mail campaign may make weekends a highly effective time to find readers and customers.