Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
The Right Time May Be the Wrong Time to Publish Social Media Content
Posted on January 6th 2014
There are a huge number of articles about when to publish social media content to maximize impressions and engagement.
As the volume of content being created and published continues to explode, finding every opportunity to place your content in front of as large a proportion of your audience as possible is of utmost importance to maximize results.
You shouldn’t simply follow best practices.
Taking a moment to conduct a Google search for phrases to do with optimal publication times reveals nothing short of a gaggle of opinions on the subject. However, few take into account considerations that managers of individual social media communities should weigh into their decision-making of when to publish their content.
Most ‘best practices’ pertaining to optimal publication times are derived from studies of huge volumes of published content, and what times of publication yield the highest number of impressions or interactions. What these studies do not do, is consider your target audience’s social media habits, the volume of content being published by others during key times, or other contextual relevance that may be important for your business’ content to yield optimal results.
What you should do in lieu of following best practices.
To determine when the best times are to publish content for your targeted audience, begin by making some hypotheses about when you think your audience will be on a given social media platform, and when they will be inclined to engage with that content. For instance, if you are targeting a professional audience, publishing content during regular business hours is probably ill advised as these people are probably preoccupied with their workday, and may be less inclined to spend time with your business’ content.
Test to determine what works best for your audience.
After you’ve made some hypotheses about when might be the best times to publish content, you’ll want to test those thoughts by publishing content during different times of day and tracking what yields the best results.
Commit yourself to testing different times of day, and different days of the week, and even times that contradict your initial hypotheses (these are just a starting point after all). In order to identify trends and determine the best times and days to publish, track impressions and interactions with your content noting when it was published. In order to make this even more effective, try comparing the publication of similar types of content at different times, and use trends observed for that content type as your gauge.
Create your own data set, and observe trends.
Over time, you will have created a nice little data set for yourself and will easily be able to plot days of week, times of day, interactions, and impressions to get to the bottom of when the optimal time is to publish content for your targeted audience.
If this practice yields inconclusive results, identify the low-performing times of day for content publication, eliminate them from further consideration, and focus future efforts on the higher-performing times of day. Then, continue testing using these times, plot results, and determine what the best-of-the-best times are.
And there you have it. By spending a bit of time to hypothesize, test and optimize, you’ll effectively be creating your own publication best practices for your business.
If you have any interest to read more about social media best practices, and more specifically why you should defy them, please check out my recent article Rethinking the Value of Social Media Best Practices.
How have you determined the best time of day for your business to publish content on social media?
What are some other ways that you maximize impressions and interactions on your content?
As always, it would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial