One of the most common questions we’re asked by our clients is “when is the best time to post on social networks?” Our answer is equally common: when your audience is around. After all, the worst time to be posting is when no one is paying attention. To get a better general sense of when to do this, you’ll want to combine two data sources – when your audience is online and active on Twitter (which can be obtained from a variety of services like SocialBro, FollowerWonk, Crowdbooster, etc.) and when they are active on Facebook, which you obtain from the new Facebook insights.
You’ll want to take the graphs from each of the services and do a simple overlay of them. Here’s what my personal graph looks like, with the bars representing Twitter and the area graph representing Facebook:
Notice that activity levels in the evening and overnight are virtually even – my audience on Facebook and my audience on Twitter behave nearly identically. Now look at during the peak times of the day, from about 10 AM Eastern Time to 5 PM Eastern Time. My Twitter audience is much more active during those time periods than my Facebook audience. If I wanted to schedule my social postings for maximum impact, I should schedule in those periods where overall audience activity is highest.
Please, please take careful note that this is unique to my audience, the audience of Christopher S. Penn. This audience study doesn’t apply to SHIFT Communications (I used my personal data to avoid giving away any competitive advantage). This audience study doesn’t apply to your business. Most of all, in no way am I implying that the best time overall for anyone to post is between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM Eastern. This is a sample size of 1 audience only. Do this for yourself, do the work for your audience. Find out when THEY are most active and schedule appropriately during those days and times.
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