It’s no secret that social media algorithms are constantly changing, often derailing the strategic social calendars of public relations campaigns. Earlier this year, the Bradford Group blog discussed Facebook’s newly focused commitment to revising its algorithm in detail, but it’s not just the oft-changing algorithms that can affect public relations strategies.
The timing of your post can be just as critical as the type of content you curate because – just like content algorithms – the time of day an audience chooses to engage is ever-changing. Additionally, research shows that peak engagement hours vary across each of the “big four” social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter).
Following are a few tips on timing to maximize your social media engagement for the latter half of 2019. Nearly 80 percent of the country’s population lives in either the Central or Eastern time zone, therefore all times noted are listed as Eastern Standard Time.
The timing of your post can be just as critical as the type of content you curate.
Facebook remains the No. 1 social network with over 2.23 billion active log-ins each month. However, your post may fall upon blind eyes if you don’t take advantage of the platform’s newly researched peak engagement times.
Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. has become the best time to achieve optimum engagement for Facebook posts, according to Sprout Social. Research also shows that Facebook use spikes by 10 percent each Friday, while the worst day of the week to get your post noticed is Sunday. Additionally posts on any given day before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m. will typically receive low engagement.
Facebook-owned Instagram is perhaps the most complicated of all the platforms. Top Instagram marketing site Later recently analyzed 12 million posts, posted in multiple time zones around the world by accounts ranging from 100 to one million+ followers. Later’s findings revealed that, on average, the best time to post for optimum engagement is weekdays between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. There are several nuances which led to determining this average. Ultimately, Later advises experimenting with post times to determine when your target audience has peak engagement – specifically testing the below suggestions:
- Monday: 6 a.m., 10 a.m., and 10 p.m.
- Tuesday: 2 a.m., 4 a.m., and 9 a.m.
- Wednesday: 7 a.m., 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Thursday: 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 7 p.m.
- Friday: 5 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
- Saturday: 11 a.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m.
- Sunday: 7 a.m., 8 a.m., and 4 p.m.
Hypebot advises that the prime engagement time for Twitter posts is now 9 a.m. on both Wednesday and Friday. Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 8. a.m. – 4 p.m. are the most lucrative times to get your post seen, although engagement is fairly solid any day of the work week between those hours. Saturday tweets receive the least overall engagement, as do tweets made between 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. on any given day.
As a social platform used mainly by professionals, LinkedIn’s heaviest engagement traffic is mostly during traditional work hours, as well as right before the workday starts and right after it ends. The absolutely best time to post on the platform is Wednesday from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. and then again at Noon. Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 pm. have also proven to be strong engagement windows. Sundays are a bust for LinkedIn posts as are the overnight hours from approximately 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. (Source: SproutSocial)
The research outlined above should be used as a guideline as you work to cultivate and maximize your clients’ target audience(s) across platforms. In the meantime, keep checking the Bradford Group blog for the latest innovations in social media including our recent blog detailing Tips for Successful LinkedIn Advertising!