All content posted online have their expiry dates. Your fans are more likely to be interested in a piece of news posted 5 minutes compared to another posted 22 hours ago. When you post actually makes a difference. A study on Twitter reveals that users are more likely to be on Twitter when they are commuting.
Therefore, choose your timing wisely and unleash the full outreach potential of your message.
Understanding The Social Network “Cultures”
Each social networks has its own “culture”, when most users are logged into the network. You have to pay attention to how users interact in the social network and post when they are most active.
Relating to How Users Behave
Knowing the cultures of these social networks alone is not sufficient, you should also consider the different user behavior for different platforms. Desktops and computers has the highest clickbacks at 4am and highest share counts at 9pm while tablets and mobile has highest clickbacks at 9pm.
You can imagine a typical online consumer will be reading news and articles near the start and the end of work at his desktop; after work, replying Whatsapps, checking Snapchats and surfing the Internet for the latest buzz.
Across the borders, different customs and cultures could shape when one interacts with the social network. For example, a person residing in the States typically checks his Facebook after dinner at 9pm; while another staying in India would be most active during his lunch time at 12pm. Working policies and cultures can affect the way people of different places interact with social networks.
Your Experiment, Your Call
Most of the activity data collected have been self-conflicting and these observations are merely the aggregate results of the trend observed. You should be looking at your own data to ultimately determine the best timing to publish your articles. Below are three approaches suggested by Bufferapp.
1. The Data-Driven Approach
The method is more of trial-and-error to find out the time that has the highest activities for the messages you share. The message tweeted or shared is usually an attention-grabber with a shortened link using bit.ly or ow.ly.
One important thing to take note is that you do not wish to come across to be sharing the exact message multiple times, try different lines to introduce the articles.
a. Pick 4 Different Time-slots for Sharing
You can do as many sets as you want, and the timings are arbitrary.
b. Schedule Sharing with Social Media Management Tools
To avoid having to keep logging into the social media to share the similar items, you might wish to use a social media management tool, in this context – Buffer.
c. Examine the Data Collected
If you have made used of url shorteners in step 1, they will be able to show you the statistics for the number of clicks. Compare across the four different timings in terms of the number of likes, shares, comments and impressions. Decide on the metric which is the best for you.
d. Keep Testing
Keep repeating step 1 to step 3 for different timings, different days and even weekends too. WIth this you will then be able to arrive at a conclusion on which is the best timing for your social media sharing.
e. Refine your approach
Once you have received enough data, keep refining the experiment to keep the optimal time relevant. When you find there are new and better timings, re-schedule the timeframes you use. Repeat on a regular basis, especially when you have new content or more followers.
2. Tools-based Approach
If you find the first method too troublesome, maybe you can consider using the tools readily found on the Internet. Tweriod is one of them, you can conduct analysis on your Tweets and those of your followers to see when you should Tweet more often.
Besides Tweroid, there is Followerwonk too. Followerwonk provides various statistics for Twitter, one of them being finding out the activity level of your followers on Twitter! You could then share when your followers are most active.
An example of the results shown, the followers are usually active at midnight.
For Facebook pages, you could make use of the Facebook Insights. It provides Facebook page owners and Facebook platform developers with metrics around their content by understanding and analyzing trends within user growth, user demographics, consumption of content and creation of content.
Major blogging sites provide their in-house statistics too, one of them is the WordPress plugin. It is free to use for all WordPress bloggers and automatically conclude which is the top-performing posts. Similarly, you can determine the optimal publishing time based on the time-series graph provided.
Even if you are a webmaster who diligently host your own domain and web pages, fret not, there is always the Google Analytics which provides free analysis for major components of your website. You just have to embed the tracker onto the source code. And you can measure various elements such as the number of visits by countries, bounce rate (how many people come to read one blog post (page) and then leave), visits from mobile and even what browsers are they using. They too would provide a time-series graph which will be helpful in determining the right timing to share your content.
3. Learning From the Pros
When all else fails, you could always learn from the marketing gurus and/or competitors who are rocking the social media. Keep a close eye on what, when and how they share their posts. Most of the time, you could figure out a pattern these people have in timing their content. Mimic their moves and see if it works for you too. Guy Kawaksaki is a great example here, as he has some controversial Tweeting habits, but they are certainly working out for him, judging by his massive following. In particular, Guy is known for posting the same content multiple times, and one reason he advocates doing this is to reach your followers in different time zones. He’s found that this increases the traffic to his content, particularly when Tweeting the same link several times: “The reason for repeated tweets is to maximize traffic and therefore advertising sales. I’ve found that each tweet gets approximately the same amount of clickthroughs. Why get 600 page views when you can get 2,400?” So posting your content in eight-hour intervals like Guy does might be an experiment you can try on your own Twitter account. Of course, you have to take note of the make-up of the followers of people you look up to. The followers of people you look up to might be completely different to yours, making this approach less than helpful. But if you discover there is an overlap in followers, you can try copying their approach to see if it works for you.
To effectively unleash the potential of your social media sharing and increase the number of clicks and shares, adjusting the time you share is one thing you should do. Different social networks have their own active periods and the activity levels also change base on the platforms and geographical locations. You should attempt to figure the best time to share on social networks through the data-driven approach, the tools-driven approach or learning from the pros.
What are the other tips that can be used to increase the number of click and shares? Tell us about it in the comments!