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When Is The Best Time For Social Media Content?

Typically, you’d want to look at best practices, checking out the current surveys and studies when determining any sound business decision, but there is a break-down of using this approach when it comes to Social Media.  What I’ve discovered is that a variety of creditable sources offer conflicting advice.  Where one source says that weekends offer no benefit, another equally qualified source suggests that weekends are an underutilized opportunity.

Your Small Business is Likely NOT Average!

There are numerous factors that determine the best timing for an individual business account, so much so that any general/averaged result based on surveys and studies is probably useless.  What is your time zone and that of your customers (are you a local, national, or international company) as well as your target market (B2B or B2C) and what is your specific product/service/industry?  Does your business experience surges in demand on certain days or seasonally?  All these questions can point towards different ‘best’ times.


Social Media Timing

Results are Limited on a Brand New Account

The problem is further compounded by the fact that, until you build a large enough following for your small business account, it will be extremely difficult to see any engagement trends.  Where, normally, experimenting and refining, based upon results, would be a go-to strategy, if it’s a brand new account, you won’t be seeing retweets, favorites, likes or comments on a scale large enough to judge results for at least six to twelve months (while you’re growing your followers/fans).

Overall, articles and infographics that claim to provide the best times for Social Media outreach are being disingenuous, as only someone brand new to Social Media actually worries about timing.  The seasoned pros are making use of scheduling platforms such as HootSuite (what I personally use), Buffer, SocialOomph, SproutSocial, TweetDeck, among many others, which allow them to post Social Media content at any hour of the day.

And, the Best Time is—All-the-Time!

Ideally, you’ll want to make use of the real-time marketing aspect of Social Media and schedule content throughout the entire day and evening, since people are participating in Social Media at all hours.  Do not cluster your posts all at once (as people will unfollow any account bombarding them with an endless stream of content over a short period of time—that’s called spam).

The rule of thumb on Twitter seems to be on the hour and the half hour, but to avoid the crowds by posting five minutes before or after.  For other Social Media, aim for content once a day.  For a small business, there should also be live interaction, at least once a day, in the form of retweets, likes, shares and comments on other people’s Social Media.  Scheduling should augment your Social Media efforts, reaching out when it is not possible to have someone there live (after business hours or weekends, for example).

Most of these dashboards also offer the option to schedule your Social Media posts at what they have determined to be an optimal time (they select it).  In HootSuite, it’s called AutoSchedule.  Use this option, daily, for a week and you’ll soon learn when their algorithms have determined to be the best time for your Social Media to be sent.  Note that for your Facebook business/brand page that you can determine the best day/time to post via the ‘See Insights’ section by clicking on the ‘Posts’ tab–a graph which shows when your fans are online.

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A Powerful HootSuite Dashboard Short-Cut

If you wish to discover the highest times of engagement for your specific niche market of sales leads and prospects (which is not yet following you, since your account is new), you can employ a HootSuite dashboard short-cut that I’ve discovered.

First, set up a list on Twitter of your top competitors and the leading industry publications that your consumers/decision-makers are most likely to follow, then set it up as a stream on your HootSuite dashboard.  You’ll want to create this list, anyway, to discover complimentary blogs and news stories to retweet/share with your followers (in addition to your own content).

Second, now scroll through the stream of the previous day’s worth of the list’s tweets and observe when the greatest number of retweets happened on the accounts that are on your list (as well as check out what kind of content is drawing this type of response) according to the HootSuite dashboard.

You can do this for every day of the week to determine when your target audience is engaging.  Once you have this information, schedule your very best content (or Social Media ads, the other reason that you’ll want to determine the ‘best’ timing) during these peak engagement times!