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Posting Times On Social Media?

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012

I’ve always been someone who has given a lot of thought into when I should have my posts show up on Twitter and on other social media platforms. I really didn’t have anything to go on so I used my own judgment.

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For the last 2 years I’ve had the posts on my blog go live between 9 and 10AM Eastern Standard time. In my way of thinking, it would be the time that most people on the East Coast, where I live, would be alert, probably already at work or have started their working day and have some energy.

Then, later in the evening or early morning, I find myself reposting my links to Twitter, often between midnight and 1AM, trying to reach a second audience that I figure is either on the West Coast or in other countries that might just be coming alert or waking up.

Anyway, these were my preconceived notions. I never had any data. Now I do, as this post on Kissmetrics titled An In-Depth Look at the Science of Twitter Timing was kind of illuminating. In essence, the person who wrote the article found some statistics that pretty much blew my mind.

The article is mainly about Twitter but in my mind if it works on Twitter it probably works on other sites as well. The main thing it stated is that 80% of the American audience on Twitter is in Eastern and Central time zones; that’s just wild! It also stated that based on user patterns, the majority of people who are apt to read and retweet posts do it between noon and 6PM, but that 5PM is the best time of all.

Talk about something that freaked my mind out. I’ve never thought about posting in the afternoon as a strategy. My mind said that’s when people were looking to go home from work and thus would be otherwise engaged. But numbers don’t lie, do they?

What to do, what to do… Well, that’s the blessing of having multiple blogs, isn’t it? Since I have 4 blogs that are the most regular, I’m going to split the times up better so I can do my own testing. I’m not sure as I write this, which is about 2 weeks in advance, of which blogs will post when. I do know that this particular blog’s feed goes out around 7PM every time I write a post, so I’ll have to take that into consideration.

What do you think of some of these stats? And if you’re in other parts of the world, do you think they’ll hold true for you as well?

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I don’t give much thought to it. I am a member of Triberr, so the tweets to my post go out at various time intervals. Otherwise I ain’t too worried about when… as long as I keep working on it… ! 🙂
Hajra recently posted…I Scratch Your Blog… You Scratch MineMy Profile

August 29th, 2012 | 4:30 PM

I know there was a discussion about Triberr on the FB group. Nope, not my style. lol

August 29th, 2012 | 9:20 PM

Well, I hadn’t seen that article (Will check it out later), but I do use BufferApp, and it analyzes your specific followers on Twitter and Facebook to see when they are most online and gives you the top times throughout the day to post.

I’ve found it works much better than when I was just posting whenever I felt like it. I see some traffic coming in, and even get a few responses, go figure.

It’s funny, because it kind of brought my Facebook page back to life. I don’t worry about the one-off stuff that I post whenever, because I know I have some good stuff in the buffer that will post at optimum times.

Have you ever tried Buffer?
John Garrett recently posted…Do you control your site’s mobile experience?My Profile

August 29th, 2012 | 4:32 PM

John, that’s a new one on me, but I’ll definitely research it. What I’ve been doing is staggering post times over the past couple of weeks, and if we trust Google Analytics traffic has improved a bit. But I can’t say that it’s because of altering times or if it’s because I had a few posts that became very popular and thus has driven traffic up some. But those popular posts were launched at my traditional times, which would then negate the time theory some.

August 29th, 2012 | 9:24 PM

Wow! That sounds really interesting, I haven’t thought that timing played such an important role in the social media game…thanks for sharing the useful information!
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August 29th, 2012 | 6:01 PM

No problem Vivi. If you decide to experiment, I hope you write about your results.

August 29th, 2012 | 9:28 PM
Michael Belk @workplace issues:

Mitch I have considered the best times for blog posting and commenting.

I found that for the most part people in America shut down after around 10:00pm on my blog, but I am always pleasantly surprised when I wake up to comments.

I am a night owl so I figure others must be too. I have had not much luck trying to cater to a particular country.

It is a good thing to do your best to concentrate on other time zones but it is a lot of work if you try to do it right.

Good ideas.

August 29th, 2012 | 6:35 PM

Michael, I’ve been doing it for a couple of weeks here and there, and frankly I have to admit that it’s messing with my mindset. I always knew when to check Twitter to see if my posts had gone live but now that I’m moving things around, not only am I not sure when something gets posted but not even sure if, since I’m trying not to have all my blogs have a post show up on the same day all the time. I figure that’s what experiments are for. You’re right though, a lot of the East Coast shuts down by at least 11PM, and I find that when I’m reposting late at night that it’s people in other places that are seeing them. But that works as well.

August 29th, 2012 | 9:30 PM

Hi Mitch 🙂

I haven’t ever paid attention to stats. I usually blog in the mornings and then check it as the day goes along for any responses. Another woman I know who has a very busy blog posts all the time at 8:00 p.m., which is a pretty good time because it’s after dinner and when people could be most likely to be relaxing in front of their computer after their day.

Some things, I believe my blog has a time and date feature, I would have to check, to send out a blog post on it’s own. Which would be great because I have ideas all the time and if I don’t write about them, sometimes they slip through my fingers.

I guess, since people from all over the world read my blog and they get there at a time that works for them, I don’t worry about when it goes out. They will show up and comment when they show up. 🙂
MysteryCoach * Sue recently posted…~ How Do They Make You Feel? Negative People ~My Profile

August 29th, 2012 | 7:29 PM

Sue, you’re on a WordPress blog so you do have that as an option. When you’re ready to write a post, look to the top right and you’ll see something that says “published now”, but the “now” can be altered to change the date you want something to post. That’s how I do it, since I also always seem to have something to say.

August 29th, 2012 | 9:31 PM

I have a lot to say too. Sometimes four or five blogs per day so it would be nice if I was ahead of things and they came out every day. Especially on the days I may have other things I need to do. Then I could have content all the time and not worry about putting something up. 🙂
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August 30th, 2012 | 11:36 AM

Well Mitch, I’ve seen lots of stats – and some of them pinpoint it down to times and even the best days!! and it seems different social media sites are not always equal (Mys did a great post on this) – but, I generally just go with the flow – we have such a worldwide audience that I’m sure there’s always someone awake!!
When it comes to email marketing to ones list, a regular time can be popular for some marketers – but, again, I have variation depending on my activities and inspiration – although these can be scheduled in advance.
I think the Twitter stats should be studied if this platform is a serious form of marketing for anyone – it’s not at the moment for me, but good to know the info is out there:)
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August 29th, 2012 | 7:29 PM

Jacs, right now it’s an experiment I’m trying, but knowing my habits I’m sure that as some point I’ll go back to some regular times for my own peace of mind. That is, unless traffic suddenly explodes and I have to exclaim “It’s True!” lol

August 29th, 2012 | 9:33 PM

How interesting that 80 percent of the American Audience is on Twitter! But, I do imagine the posts between noon and six would be best.
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August 29th, 2012 | 8:58 PM

That’s not quite the quote Robert. It’s that 80% of the Twitter audience lives on the East Coast and in the Central Time Zone. That makes sense as most of the states on the western half of the country are way more land than population centers, California notwithstanding, while out this way we’re piled on top of each other.

August 29th, 2012 | 9:34 PM

Wow, that’s wild! I’d never have thought that 5:00 PM would be a Twitter hotspot. I’ll be watching as you post your results. Thanks for researching this.
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August 29th, 2012 | 9:29 PM

Allan, I’m kind of with you. If it had said 6 or 7 I might have gone with it but 5 is when we assume most people are just leaving for work on the East Coast and just thinking about leaving work in the Central zone. But it’s hard to argue with the stats I guess.

August 29th, 2012 | 9:36 PM

The majority of my readers are from the USA and I have most of my posts scheduled for about 9am GMT (or currently BST – British Summer Time) which is all wrong for most countries! However, when I want a post to grab people, I change its time to betwee 2am – 3am here so that it will get folks as they are getting home from work or are relaxing after a meal depending on which part of the ‘States they’re in.

Or I just let it go live before I go to bed, lol! (I’m getting there later and later, one of these days I’m gonna meet myself getting up!)
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August 29th, 2012 | 10:22 PM

Welcome back Val; I assume your blogging hiatus is over? I’m trying to get my mind into it, but if you’re posting at 9AM isn’t that 4AM here on the East Coast, or EST? You’re making sure it’s in people’s feed when they awaken then. Interesting; and if you do meet up with yourself, share your cookies. 🙂

August 29th, 2012 | 11:32 PM

It was only a short blog break, I have to take them from time to time as I’ve got some sort of weird illness that overcomes me on a cyclical basis and if I don’t get offline at those times I get more ill.

Apropos 9am being 4am on EST, yeah – that’s why it’s all wrong! But yeah, my intention was to catch people when they wake as I notice that there are two peak periods, one is before people go to work, the other is when they get home (or for some, after their evening meal).

I’ll share my cookies with myself for sure, lol! 😉
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August 30th, 2012 | 7:57 AM

Val, you’re not a werewolf, are you? Maybe that werewolf of London we’ve all been hearing about? 🙂

That’s interesting timing on your part, as people would wake up to your post sitting in their feeds. Actually, as I test this, part of my skepticism is up because I’m wondering if people are more active for those posters that are posting lots of stuff during those time periods and not just one thing.

August 30th, 2012 | 11:24 PM

Timing is critical from posting the article to syndicating to social media or sending newsletter. I constantly trying to amend this strategy, for sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Linked as well as few smaller niche related social bookmarking websites. Posting can make a major difference.
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August 29th, 2012 | 10:58 PM

Carl, I have different times for the feed to go out to those that have readers, like myself, and I stagger that between the blogs so that no one gets all of them at the same time. It’s something interesting to experiment with, that’s for sure.

August 29th, 2012 | 11:33 PM

As you manage several blogs, I think you should try to syndicate new posts on Facebook open groups. Probably the best way to reach targeted readers and not putting so many links on the personal page. Again timing there is also critical.

August 30th, 2012 | 11:15 PM

Carl, I don’t like the idea of putting all my blog posts on Facebook because, well, I’m not sure every post is for everybody. I kind of like picking and choosing which of my posts go there; yeah, I know, I’m goofy that way.

August 30th, 2012 | 11:28 PM

I’m not good about utilizing social media with my blogs, but I’m (due to ego) always mesmerized by statistics. I find that much of my traffic (I’m on the west coast) is really late in the evening. So I’ve always assumed that people settle down and read blogs after they have finished their day in the U.S. and that the international audience reads early a.m. Often my international comments come early in my morning, so I guess they are reading in the evening. Sigh. I’m not sure any of it makes sense.

August 30th, 2012 | 12:28 PM

I’m not sure how much of it makes sense either, but overall I’m happy that people are at least seeing my content. 🙂

August 30th, 2012 | 11:27 PM

Wow thanks i never thought about timing thanks for writing on this i will now take it seriously when using social networks thanks
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August 31st, 2012 | 3:40 AM
Jeevan Jacob John:

I am flexible when it comes to timing the tweets – there were times in which I have cared about it, and there are times in which I haven’t (right now, it is one among those times, because I am rescheduling everything and adjusting blogging because college reopened recently; I had planned everything out, but at the right time, my laptop – which is a pretty old one – failed on me – what can I say, technology “rocks”).

But, yes I do understand the importance of timing as that plays a role on how much exposure we get for more tweets (Which relates back to traffic generation).

August 31st, 2012 | 3:16 PM

Jeevan, I’d thought about it in the past, but not all that much until I read some of the statistics. As I said, we’ll see if the tests prove that it’s legit for me.

August 31st, 2012 | 10:04 PM

I find it quite difficult to manage my posting time in social media until I found BufferApp. It is a great tool to use. It will asses your followers and fans on Facebook and Twitter and records the time when most of them are available. I think it will work better for anyone.
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August 31st, 2012 | 6:34 PM

It just might Justin. So far I have no issues with how I do it.

August 31st, 2012 | 10:02 PM

Thank god we have Hootsuite 😀
Never really bothered to do a full-blown research like the one you showcased here. But, yeah! we did have few surprises. Afternoon times, hell yeah!! That’s when we got record number of RT’s.
Secondly, identifying our target timezone was a huge eye-opener. Our initial impression that we belonged mostly to US viewers has been shattered as we got more hits from Asians. So, we had to change our posting times accordingly
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September 2nd, 2012 | 10:45 PM

Good deal Jyothis. This isn’t something I can fully test because I just don’t have the time or the wherewithal to get it done. So it’s a very loose test I’m doing, and we’ll see where it takes me.

September 3rd, 2012 | 2:14 AM
Mys Palmer:

Hey Mitch! Yea I know right? The kissmetrics report really gives you the goods! Another report also adds that wed at 3 pm is the best time period to have shares on FB. IDK how true any of it is for the majority so testing is absolutely paramount. I’d love to know what your results were…Do a follow up post, Please!!!

September 3rd, 2012 | 12:46 PM

I’ll do what I can Mys; so far, it’s working for some & not for others, but that’s not definitive.

September 3rd, 2012 | 8:25 PM
Mitzie Hallisey:

Thank you for sharing this post. I never realised that the time you do everything played such a crucial role in getting more people to pay attention to statuses. I will now take this into consideration.

September 3rd, 2012 | 2:39 PM

It’s at least worth considering Mitzie, especially since there are some stats on the topic.

September 3rd, 2012 | 8:29 PM
George Park:

An interesting subject with various reports on what are the best times.

I sometimes wonder if the reports aren’t aimed more at the big brands, rather than the average user like us?

Will be interesting to hear your findings over time.
George Park recently posted…The Truth About Creating Wealth.My Profile

September 4th, 2012 | 10:08 AM

I’m with you on this one George. The amazing stat is the East Coast of the U.S. figure; who’d have thought unless one sat down to think?

September 4th, 2012 | 10:55 PM
firdosh joy:

Hello Mitch this is really a great article & it will surely help all the new bloggers like me. As we all know that social media are very helpful for all of us but we dont know how to use it wisely. But after reading this article somethingis very clear to me.Thanks Mitch for such a great article
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September 5th, 2012 | 3:26 PM

I think posting time on social media is related to where you are coming from and who you are targeting… However, I have an audience from all over the world and I do not pay too much attention to that, as when I post some of may audience can sleep that time, but others can still read it, and vice versa.
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September 14th, 2012 | 2:47 PM

Martin, I don’t pay tons of heed to posting times, but it’s hard to ignore the numbers, which is why it made some sense to at least write about it for consideration.

September 14th, 2012 | 11:06 PM

Paying too much attention to posting times can give a headache, it all depends who we target. However, with the worldwide attention there must be someone awake at the time of posting, so not to worry too much.
The best time for posting is around lunch time and on the weekend, when people have more time to read.
PS. Forgive me about one of my latest comment, I think I was completely wasted 🙂
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September 19th, 2012 | 8:33 AM

Martin, I’m staying out of the “toasted” part. lol As for the other, well, you can decide to totally discount posting times or you can look at statistics and see what they are and do some testing. You see the stats on this article; I didn’t make that stuff up. You go to where your traffic is I figure, although don’t overdo it.

September 19th, 2012 | 3:41 PM