You’ve probably heard it all before;
Post in the morning when people are just waking up and checking their social media.
Post during the lunch hours when those at work are on a break.
Check out your audience’s behavior online and post when they’re most active.
Timing is everything!
There are endless amounts of articles and research out there telling you when the best time to post on social media is to get the most bang for your buck. We’ve even covered the topic before! However, with ever-changing algorithms, the endless amounts of scrolling users are willing to do, and the ease of accessibility to social media throughout the day thanks to technology, it poses the question: does timing really matter?
Many times articles dictating when to post fail to consider networks, goals, and industry-specific needs. They also don’t take into consideration the algorithm specific platforms implement to populate user Newsfeeds – particularly with Facebook. So when is timing important, and when is it more of an educated guess?
Facebook introduced an update to its EdgeRank algorithm that relies more on individual user’s affinities and less on the timing of content published. This means that as a marketer, your posts are more likely to be seen by those who have interacted with your brand on a consistent basis rather than by those who are online at the perfect moment. Someone may see your post from 3 days ago in their feed this morning if they’ve recently shown interest in your brand.
When it comes down to timing on Facebook, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Best practice will vary based on individual marketer’s specific goals. For off-site traffic and actions like purchases or downloads – posting in the evening on off-work hours will result in more conversions. Engagement driven content will see higher success based on research of your audience’s online activity. Just like with most campaigns, it is best to consider your ultimate goals before putting a strategy in place.
Twitter breaks away from the Facebook mold by presenting content and tweets in a chronological order on a fast-paced newsfeed. Depending on each user’s follower feed, things can be shuffled along at a steady and speedy rate, and things can get missed easily. Does this mean that timing is important when it comes to posting tweets? Sort of. However, it’s more advantageous to have a higher volume of tweets in the feed than it is to have the perfect timing. Since a vast majority of Twitter users have access to the platform via mobile devices, use of it throughout the day is more likely which means timing can be arbitrary.
The real wrench thrown in the timing plan here is the latest Twitter update that included “While You Were Away” tweets. Now you can see tweets you may have missed out on since your last visit at the top of your feed. Similar to Facebook’s algorithm, this certainly effects the timing strategy and makes it a bit less relevant.
LinkedIn is a different beast in the social media world because it’s a supplement to work life, rather than a purely “social” network. Therefore weekday/weekend traffic looks drastically different compared to other social platforms. In this case, timing is a lot more relevant. Posting just before and just after work hours yields prime results as traffic is highest during these times.
In a recent update, Instagram announced that they are planning to test an algorithm change that allows users to personalize their feeds. In the past, users could scroll through their Instagram feed and see posts in chronological order. Now, they are proposing to post the photos and video that they think the user will prefer to see at the top of the feed despite the time of the post. Instagram will base their algorithm on your history of interaction with your friends and people that you follow. Since the change is still being tested, it will be interesting to see how this may impact brands decision to do sponsored posts, ads or just simply share an update. Stay tuned here for more information as we further investigate the change and how it may impact your brand.
While choosing the right time for your post may still hold importance, the real value is the timing of your posting. Use social media and posts as a way to interact, engage, and respond to your client’s needs rather than worrying about shoving information in front of them.