Social media is 24/7. Someone is always tweeting, posting on Facebook, or uploading a new picture to instagram. However, for social media managers and businesses alike, this can be quite of a challenge. We obviously can't be online all day, even for those of us who are social media managers or strategist. But how do you know when to best reach your audience? There are a couple different ways to determine when your audience is online:
Good Ol'Trial and Error
By tweeting or posting using a link shortener, such as ow.ly or bit.ly, enables you to track how many times someone clicks on a link you shared. You would also want to keep records of when you shared a message and on what network to determine how many interactions each message received. This will allow you to determine not only the best times to post but also where your most engaged audience is located. While this is a straight forward method, there has to be an easier way, right?
Social Media Tools
There are many great social media monitoring and reporting tools out there, but one of my favorite is SocialBro. SocialBro is one of my favorite tools because it provides daily reports on the best time to tweet. These reports show the days and times when the greatest percentage of our twitter community is online (not just your followers). Another tool you can use is Hootsuite's AutoScheduling functionality which schedules your messages at the best times to reach your audience.
For posting on Google+, Timing+ is a very valuable tool. Timing + analyzes your historical post data to determine what time of day has the most potential for your posts to have the greatest impact. There are so many great tools out there it would be hard to name them all. If you have a favorite tool please leave a comment below, I would love to hear about it!
Learning from the Research of Others
The best times to post on social media is definitely a hot topic and has resulted in a lot of fantastic research. Luckily, the infographic below examines some of that research and breaks down the best and worst times to post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. To maximize your reach, it recommends that you focuse on posting during the following times:
- Facebook - between 10 am and 4pm Monday thru Thursday.
- Twitter - between 1pm and 3pm Monday thru Thursday.
- LinkedIn - focus on posting before and after business hours, 7 am to 9 am and 5pm to 6pm Tuesday thru Thursday.
- Google+ - 9am to 11am on workdays.
- Pinterest - This is the one social network you should focus on posting during weekday evenings and on the weekends. specifically 2pm to 4pm and 8pm to 1am on weekdays. The best time to pin items on Pinterest is on Saturday morning.
While this infographic will give you a great base to build from, it is definitely not the answer for every business. When determining when to post on social media make sure to consider your customers, your product or service, and the types of messages you are posting. For example, the ideal time for a local bakery to post on Facebook is most likely very different than that of a national brand. In addition, if the majority of your customers live on the east coast and your company is based on west coast, you will want to post on LinkedIn before and after their workday, not yours.