Limited Time Only: Why Optimal Timing for Social Media Marketing Doesn't Really Exist

Posted by Elliot Chan

Your brand, your content, and your opinions are important—so make sure they don’t get lost in the sands of “social media” time.

Since the birth of Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, content creators have been trying find the optimal time to post their works and share others. The Internet is full of analytics and infographics displaying the best time to post content. So why do we need another piece?

Because fresh content is constantly bumping down older news and the timeframe before materials go stale is shorter than ever. Although there is a general sense of when users are logged on and when users are asleep, the science of time is still a bit tricky for strategists and analysts who are just starting to embrace the new tools to help reach the largest possible audience. Plain and simple, their optimal time might not be your optimal time—so research and experiments with different analytics is essential to find your audience’s habits.

Simple stats collected through different analytics show that the best time to Tweet and post on Facebook is between 1pm to 4pm on weekdays. But that is too general and inconsistent for most businesses—after all, if everybody post during those short few hours, the audience will of course be overwhelmed by the sudden surge of content.

Regardless of what the Internet says, businesses should customize their content marketing strategy according to their audience. Trial and error and experimenting cannot and should not be avoided: utilize the research available and apply it to your own organization. Start with the basics and slowly modify your strategy. A good source to start with is this study done by Fannit.

Facebook Insight, the new algorithm measuring online activity on fan pages, is making a world of difference for marketers reaching out to the Facebook audience. No two brands are alike and even though the Internet is always open, fan page managers should take fluctuating traffic and time zones into consideration. If you want to reach an audience on the east coast at 8am you’ll neglect the sleepy crowd in the west. However, Facebook Insight supplies graphs for managers to properly analyze and locate the perfect peak hour for posting.

There are plenty of analytic software online for measuring Twitter activity and interaction. Most are now able to give stunning graphs and statistics, but unlike Facebook, Twitter users tend to access their account through their mobile devices. Tweets are more fleeting and often require the generosity of a retweet to get noticed, so Twitter managers should be aware of the different results they get from different software. While some research shows that Twitter is most effective during the weekend, other studies suggest the few hours of commute during the weekdays.

There are generalities when it comes to measuring the best time for posting social media, but if you want effective marketing you’ll need to consistently analyze your company's optimal time for sharing and posting content. For example, what might be best in July might not be best in October—what might be noticed in the east coast might be lost in the west.

These are all things to take into consideration when presenting content to those loyal followers and fans.  

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Elliot Chan

Elliot Chan

Elliot is an editorial intern at Techvibes. After graduating from the Art Institute of Vancouver in 2008, Elliot worked in various areas of media and theatre production including acting, writing, directing, post-production and even stand-up comedy. Now he is a staff writer for New Westminster publication The Other Press and a content writer for Asian art and culture magazine Ricepaper... more



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