"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: to tweet," writes Shea Bennett at Adweek.
Coming up with little tweaks that improve the reach of you social media messages has become an obsession for social media marketers. How many posts on Facebook per day is optimal? What time should they go out? Should we post as much content on the weekends as during the week?
SumAll did a study to see when the best (and worst) times to post are on each of several social media networks. Then they created two fun infographics to use as shorthand while you are posting. One shows you when to post. The other shows you how to avoid social media dead zones. "Having the right content is great, but knowing the time of day when people are most receptive to posts is invaluable for companies that need to run efficient campaigns," writes Dane Atkinson of SumAll.
SumAll.com analyzed large amounts of customer data to determine the best times to send out posts to various platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and Google. "The 'best time' metric was calculated for each social media platform by measuring the responses on hundreds of millions of different posts, representing companies in various industry verticals," writes Atkinson. "The measured 'responses' were likes, comments, reposts and other similar activities that represent a specific action taken by the recipient."
Twitter: "People have a chance to share their own thoughts or retweet in the afternoon," writes Atkinson. At night, the news cycle slows down in general, and people are asleep.
Facebook: "The work day is slowing down and people have more time to do a Facebook check in the afternoon," writes Atkinson. I would guess that most people are sleeping before 8 am.
Tumblr: "Reading micro-blogs on Tumblr takes more time and thought than other platforms, so non-work hours are often ideal," writes Atkinson. Maybe mornings are slow because people are more focused on work.
Pinterest: "Weekends are best, as the craft and collection emphasis of Pinterest lends itself to weekend projects," writes Atkinson. You'll also notice that Pinterest picks up right when kids go to sleep.
"A common trend with the optimal times is you want to catch people during their downtime," writes Atkinson. "You might need to get them early in the morning during their commute or 'settling in' time at work, during lunch or in the evenings."
If you are just starting out, use the times in these infographics as a good rule of thumb. But you should always think about your audience. If you are trying to reach college students, the 9 to 5 workday and it's attendant rhythms don't apply. Same with many demographics of seniors or stay-at-home parents.
"As usual, your mileage may vary," writes Bennett. "In my experience there's no one-size-fits-all approach to social media, and that includes when and when not to post. So, my suggestion is that you try posting outside of these [dead] zones and if that works for you, then great. If not, experiment, experiment, experiment."