Nothing beats hitting the Publish button on a great blog post you’ve worked hard on and then being able to bask like a cat on a sunny lawn as the retweets, follows, repins and likes start flowing.
The first step to getting people to share posts is to create great content – without that we’re sunk before we begin. But when is the best time to post, to lessen the chance of all that hard work disappearing into the void?
Below are the times when, statistically, your post is most likely to get shared on the major social networks. Importantly, this isn’t the same as the highest traffic times when very often – no matter how good your content is – your message will be lost in the deluge.
Most large web publishers follow a strict weekday only publishing schedule, including posting to their Facebook pages. So it’s a surprise to find out the best day to post on Facebook is actually Saturday.
That’s the day when 40% of the week’s Facebook shares happen. It’s especially surprising given Saturday is one of the worst days to get content shared on most other social networks.
The next best day for a Facebook share is Sunday, which accounts for just over 15% of weekly shares. Best time to update? Around 9am ET.
Because Pinterest is still fairly new, long term traffic patterns aren’t clear, but a good strategy for picking up maximum repins, likes and comments seems to be pinning in the hour or so before the big traffic periods. For Pinterest, these are in the morning between 5 and 7 am ET and in the evening between 5 and 7 pm ET. The site is also consistently busy though the day but has comparatively little traffic overnight.
Probably because it’s used more commonly as a business tool than Facebook or Pinterest, Twitter sees its highest traffic between 9-11 am ET and 1-3pm ET weekdays.
But not every day is as busy as others. Many Twitter users like to check tweets soon after arriving at work, at lunchtime and before leaving work. Given that, you’d expect Saturday and Sunday to be low traffic days. And they are. What’s surprising is that Twitter activity for many users on a Monday is as low-key as on Saturday.
Most active days for tweets are Tuesday, with Wednesday and Friday coming second.
So to when to tweet? The data shows that people are more likely to retweet from Tuesday onwards, with the peak on Friday. The Friday spike may well be caused in part by the #followfriday effect – when many users quickly retweet suggestions they like – but it’s clear that tweets on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday are likely to be the most productive.
There’s some discussion among You Tube power users about which day of the week is best to upload new videos but everyone agrees weekends are a bad idea.
Favorite days to upload are Wednesday or Thursday – the busiest traffic days on the site – with the best timeframe midday to 1pm ET.
The aim is to have your video processed and live by 2pm, the biggest hour for traffic on the site during the week. Because You Tube is less about sharing and more about ratings and the number of views, successful video content tends to receive a large number of views quickly, which is why You Tube is one social media site where concentrating your efforts around traffic peaks makes sense.
It’s definitely worth experimenting with posting content at off-peak times to catch users when they’re in a more receptive mood. Why not try posting a weekly update of your content to Facebook on a Saturday morning?
If it’s difficult for you to post during these recommended times, consider using a service like Hoot Suite which allows you to schedule tweets and Facebook updates in advance from multiple accounts.