Driving engagement and other key metrics through organic social media is often an important component of a marketing campaign that targets business executives as its target audience. It complements any paid social or media, helps build awareness, and motivates target audiences to click through to a website or other campaign assets.
The question is, how do you determine the best timing in order to get the best results? This is especially tricky, given the short shelf-life of a Tweet, a Facebook post, or a LinkedIn feed. There are many myths regarding when to post organic social to drive the best results for a marketing campaign. Most of them are based on old, out-of-date assumptions, or gut instinct. Bluetext decided to test these to get hard data behind our campaigns.
The Old Common Wisdom on Social
There are some older pieces of conventional wisdom that have become ingrained in practitioners and that date back a dozen or so years to when social media campaigns were relatively new. Here are a couple that seem to make sense, but that we thought might be outdated given today’s “always-on” business culture:
- Don’t post on Mondays or Fridays. On Mondays, people are busy getting ready for the week and are likely to miss the posts. On Fridays, people are leaving early or checking out for the weekend. And never expect them to engage over their busy weekends.
- Avoid first thing in the morning and late in the day. It’s better to try other times when your target market isn’t so busy or trying to clear out of the office to get home.
Why We Wanted to Test Those Assumptions
Ultimately, we weren’t convinced that the older conventional wisdom was still valid. People work more flexible hours now than previously and are on-line and multi-tasking on a regular basis. Here at Bluetext, we wanted to get real data for ourselves so we could make the best recommendations for our clients.
How We Designed the Test
Working with a large client whose target audiences include business executives in the retail space, Bluetext designed a test that would send out social posts across three platforms where the client has a significant presence and following:
We did this over a four-week period, sending out those posts at a different time of day each week. For Facebook and LinkedIn, we also send out posts on different days of the week to see if and how that might make a difference. We looked at re-posts, replies, likes and link clicks.
Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the best results for the test’s Tweets were for those posted at 9:00 am and pm weekdays, outperforming those sent at 8:00 am, noon, or mid-afternoon.
The best results for LinkedIn were for those posted at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays but other positive results for 9:00 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
For Facebook, the best results came at noon on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays.
How to Leverage This New Data
Focus social posts around those best times and dates for each platform, but don’t ignore the other times or days of the week. Although posting content during “off-hours” might not deliver as much engagement, they will help to build awareness.