The best times to engage on social media

Everyone says you are supposed to be ON social media, but that doesn’t really answer the important questions. With 24 hours in a day, when will you get the most response from your new content? We pulled the best research together from multiple different studies to deliver a quick look at the best “whens” to engage on the three top social sites.

The best days to post are Thursday and Friday. Why? Because more than 8 out of 10 posts are published during the workweek. Engagement spikes Thursday and Friday. Posts pubbed on Monday through Wednesday drop nearly 4 percent below average.
Something else to consider: the Facebook “happiness index” is highest on Friday, well above the rest of the week. People are in a great mood. Take advantage of it.

But what about the time of day? Early afternoon is primetime for social posting on Facebook. Data shoes right after lunch – around 1 p.m. (in your time zone) will deliver the most shares. If you want more clicks, wait until 3 p.m. The reason? More people are glancing at 1, but they are actually clicking through around 3. Again, time zone is a critical consideration. You want to post based on the time zone your audience is in, not necessarily yours.

The “best days” designation for Twitter is split based on your audience. Business to business posts should be made on Monday through Friday when people are more focused on work-related content. However, for Business to Consumer content, try Wednesday or the weekend, when folks are more focused on doing what they want to do.

There is some latitude here. While B2B engagement is higher during the week, it’s only by 14 percent, so not that wide of a margin. For B2C tweets, brands get a 17 percent bump on the weekend.

As with Facebook, afternoon is the better time to unleash your tweets. Right after lunch gets you the most engagement, while more retweets are likely around 5 or 6 p.m. Why? Because people are more interested in the engagement and interaction that comes with retweeting. Understanding what your audience is thinking and why they’re engaged in social media at that particular time is imperative for optimal results.

When it comes to focused results, LinkedIn gets the prize. Tuesday through Thursday is your best bet. The best of the best? Opinions are split on this, but all agree that Tuesday right before lunch, as well as before and after the typical workday (7 a.m. and 6 p.m.) are optimal options.

Earlier in the article, we talked about the importance of time zones. If you are going after an audience across the entire country, focus on the Eastern time zone. Half the country lives in the Eastern Time Zone, and, when you add Central Time, you are accounting for 80 percent of all US residents.

If you are trying to connect outside the US, make sure to do your research first. Tendencies do not transfer culture-to-culture. What works in one country may be counterproductive even in another country in the same hemisphere. As with all marketing applications, understanding your audience is absolutely key to successful communication.

Do the important analytical work first if you want to achieve optimal responses and engagement. And remember, knowing “when” won’t help you if your content is unworthy. Knowing “when” is key, but knowing “what” is vital.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO and founder of New York based Public Relations firm 5WPR.

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