"Social media scientist" Dan Zarrella knows a lot about social media marketing. Recently he created a 60 minute webinar, "The Science of Timing", that draws on his last couple of years of research to explain the best times to send emails, post on blogs, update your Facebook status and post new tweets on Twitter. For this post I'll focus on his tips for Twitter and Facebook and save the data on email and blog posts for a later encounter.
Dan's employers at HubSpot have provided The Science of Timing for free as they do with quite a bit of marketing information. Such materials helps market HubSpot's service and I really appreciate that approach because I love getting free research that is usable. The following insights are taken from the transcript. All times are EST for overall activity across time zones.
- Retweets are at their highest between 2 and 5 pm and late in the week.
- Clickthroughs are more even throughout the week with lots of weekend activity. Saturdays and Sundays are actually better than Mondays and Thursdays.
- Clickthroughs also occur more evenly throughout the day than retweets though there are spikes at around 11 am and 5 pm.
- People who tweet a lot, peaking at 22 tweets a day, have more followers. That includes tweeting the same message in different forms multiple times.
- People who tweet no more than once an hour get higher clickthroughs.
So time your tweets based on the response you want. If you want to be known as a source of information, tweet a lot. If you want to get people to check out your content, "let it breathe".
- Pages that post every other day have the most likes! Zarella feels that it's much easier to overdo it on Facebook than on Twitter.
- While more stories are published during the week, more are shared on weekends so weekend posts are best for encouraging sharing.
- Morning posts are shared more than afternoon posts with posts around 1 am to 3 am doing the best.
Overall, this means that one should develop somewhat different strategies for Twitter and Facebook rather than linking them up. I'll return to this topic when discussing blog posts since such information, if acted upon, makes things a lot more difficult for folks like me who sync all posting activity.
Zarella clarifies that the distinction between B2B and B2C activity is not as strong as one would expect for marketing purposes, though timing is much more of an issue with sales. However, he also points out that this is aggregated data and you should experiment while keeping an eye on your stats. At the end of the day, you might find that what works for you does not fit larger patterns.