When Should You Be Posting On Social Networks?

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May 11, 2012

So when are the best times to post content to social networks (especially content you want clicked on)? It seems like a big question that should have a fairly straightforward answer.

Maybe you’ve done the click tracking on your own. You’ve found the sweet spot for when you post that gets the maximum level of engagement and impressions. But many people haven’t (or they have the data but have a hard time analyzing it and understanding it over the aggregate).

Well link sharing service bitly has some answers over a fairly huge data set that they recently shared.

The afternoon is the right time

Average Clicks Per Link On Twitter. Darker blue = more clicks. Monday is day 0 and all times are in EST (image source: bitly)

Bitly had a great blog post this week that showed some of the best times to post on social networks. For both Twitter and Facebook, afternoon EST is the best time to post. Over the aggregate of all bitly links, pushing your posts to after Noon to 1pm EST will generally result in the best number of clicks. Logically, that seems to make sense. Almost all of the timezones in the US are up at that point and then traffic slowly tails off after 5pm EST until 8-10pm EST.

Average Clicks Per Link On Facebook. Darker blue = more clicks. Monday is day 0 and all times are in EST (image source: bitly)

Facebook is slightly different with the stronger times times perhaps being pushed back a little further in the afternoon. You’ll notice that most of the click activity tends to take place in a much smaller and less uniform manner than the clicks on Twitter. And maybe more surprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be as strong of a night crowd on Facebook. In fact, it pretty much drops off completely after 8pm EST.

The post also covered Tumblr and you can check that information out there. I’d be curious to see if LinkedIn followed the same model as Twitter or Facebook

A couple of thoughts about both charts

One of the more interesting things is the fact that so many people are using social media during the work day (and by this measure, interacting with that content by clicking on links). The fact that there is generally less traffic on Fridays than the rest of the weekdays and that traffic just flat out dies on the weekends is indicative of how embedded it is in to many people’s work day.

Does jobs related content get consumed the same way as general content? Not necessarily. In fact, I’m guessing at least a portion of it is getting pushed to the fringes. But certainly a lot of people are viewing this content on work machines and others, those with perhaps more restrictive social media policies, are looking at that content via their mobile devices during the day.

Those who advocate making their content mobile capable and having a way for more passive candidates to interact with your talent acquisition team are probably nodding along with me on this one. While a lot of the hardcore employment activity is still pushed into the margins of the workday or into the evening and weekends (things like actively searching for and applying for jobs), the times when people are engaging with content via social networks is during the prime of the workday.

The lesson here is not only knowing about when you should be posting but also what sort of content is going to be appealing to those who are probably viewing it from work or on a mobile device.

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