One of Pete Seeger’s most recognizable songs reminds us that there is a proper time for everything.
He put it this way:
To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn) There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn) And a time to every purpose, under Heaven
You probably know the rest or, at the very least, can hum along to it.
Why bring this up?
Because it holds true for social media, too. The internet is, obviously, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year—no matter how badly hackers in North Korea or elsewhere would like to shut it down. It can be an intimidating thought when you try to plan your own social media calendar. On the Internet, time is infinite and you and your message is not.
A recent study conducted by LinkedIn suggested the best times to post on all the major social media platforms in order to reach the largest audience. That will most likely change depending on your business and the type of audience you’re trying to reach, but here are the basics:
Facebook: 12-5 p.m. Many people at least scroll through their news feed at lunch and toward the end of the day, when work is winding down. We also suggest something in the middle of the evening, too, after supper is cleaned up and before most web surfers disengage for the evening.
Google+: 9-11 a.m.
Many people—if you can use that term with Google+, anyway—tend to visit this site early in the day. You might want to check with your own circles to see if that will work for you.
Instagram: 5-6 p.m.
Just after the typical work day is a busy time for this up-and-coming social media platform. The snapshots it provides set the tone for the rest of the evening and it doesn’t take much time to read through posts.
Pinterest: 8-11 p.m.
Pinterest is gaining traction in the business world, too, so it may seem ironic that the best time to post items to it is during the weekends, at night. The craft, collection and recipe focus of Pinterest lends itself to weekend posts and, because it is popular with women, Saturday mornings are also effective times.
Twitter: 1-3 p.m.
Twitter is a bit of a special case. Because the news feed moves so quickly, it’s difficult to determine if there is an actual best time of the day to post things there. Typically, the early afternoon tweets gain the most attention in click-throughs, retweets and favorites. That’s generally because people spend more time sharing their thoughts in the afternoon.
Tumblr: 7-10 p.m. Tumblr is a micro-blog site and it generally requires more time to go through than the others. If you have an account, wait until nighttime to post to it. People generally have more time then and your content will get more attention. One caveat: if you link your tumblr account to your twitter account, asking questions on one and answering them on the other, you can post repetitively throughout the day. Q and A’s are generally well received at all times of day and, if your audience is intrigued by the question but doesn’t have time to visit tumblr for the answer, they can always favorite the tweet and come back to it later.
More than 80 percent of small businesses is on social media and of those, nearly 95 percent use it for marketing purposes.That means that even if you don’t, chances are that competitors will. Being there is only part of the effort, though. You also need to know when to post and what type of content will get the most engagement.
If these suggested times don’t work for you, try some experimenting to see when your audience is most likely to get your content and engage with you. Let us know in the comments!