Digital Marketing

Social Media Posts: When Is The Right Time?

Colleen Thornton

As Shopify experts, we’ve learned several SEO hacks over the years. And as things, namely algorithms, keep changing, those hacks have to evolve along with them. That’s why any blog, article, social media post, or other digital avenue for information sharing that speaks specifically to SEO must be continually updated. It’s in much the same way you have to keep updating your product page, reviews, and homepage copy to stay relevant and attract buyers. You have to keep changing your marketing tactics all the time.

According to one source, Google changes its search algorithm 500-600 times a year. But today, we want to look at social media marketing. According to Neil Patel, there are at least 2.3 billion social media users, and 91% of retail brands use more than one social media platform to interact with potential customers. 

The Algorithms

The Facebook algorithm determines the post content that shows up in your personal feed and in what order. There’s no single algorithm in Facebook but rather several layers all constructed around what users find most meaningful long term. Each post is evaluated, scored, and arranged according to interest, every single time a user refreshes their newsfeed

Considering there are 2.7 billion Facebook users, that’s a serious level of nonstop intelligent computing with a goal to keep people scrolling, much the same way a slot machine is designed to keep hopeful people pulling on its arm, with the underlying goal of getting the user to see more ads. Yank––ding, ding, ding! Scroll––reward––more, more, more!

That’s about all we know about what Facebook chooses to make appear or not appear on each individual feed. We do know that Facebook seems to reward brands that post highly-engaging content as measured by the number of likes.

Instagram is similar to Facebook. It changes frequently, prioritising more relevant posts and awarding them greater visibility and pushing other less relevant content down. How your posts appear in a user’s newsfeed is based primarily on three features: relationship with the user, user interest in your content, and the relevancy of your post, based on a relevancy score. 

So, one way to engage a lot of people is to post useful, relevant, interesting, click-baity content that engages readers to like, comment, or click on an included link. Easy, right? Well, not so much. Competition is fierce. Just think of how much information you’re inundated with on a daily basis. What makes you stop, even for a second, to read a post? A smashing headline, for one. High-quality images are essential too. 

But there’s more to it than just what you post. When you post is becoming more and more critical as these social media systems become more intelligent and users’ time to devote to it, less.

When To Post Content On LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

There are many studies that have investigated this very question, and the answer is that there isn’t a straightforward one. It’s dependent on several factors, two of the most important ones being the platform you’re using and user demographics. For example, LinkedIn, used mainly for B2B interactions, reports that weekdays during business hours is the best window in which to post content, which is unsurprising.

Twitter is slightly different, and given the quick-hit micro content nature of the platform, it’s no surprise either that weekdays in the early afternoon are high engagement times (as reported by Hubspot). That’s because many people have limited time during their lunch breaks, and Twitter offers short, easily-digestible quips of info. However, that may depend on the nature of your business. If you’re B2B, weekday tweets are best, but B2C posts will receive more engagement on the weekend. 

Now we arrive at Facebook. The demographics here are slightly more general, making it difficult to narrow down. Check out the following infographic from Sprout Social:

Neil Patel reports that 1 pm sees more shares, but 3 pm sees a higher number of clicks. Keep in mind we’re dealing with multiple time zones, both in Europe and North America. Tracking your Facebook insight metrics closely is the most useful way to determine the optimal time to publish your social media posts. 

You should also consider what the goal of each post is. To inform? To have readers share? To maximise the number of likes? Or to click through to a website or landing page?

An infographic from Jenn’s Trends in Social Media Management reports that more than half of Instagram users access their feed daily, and most of them are under the age of 30. Many are mobile users too, which means they access the site multiple times of day, throughout the day. 

That means the time boundaries are less significant than other platforms, but off-work hours are best. Some experts report that Fortune 500 companies make an overwhelming number of Instagram posts during regular business hours, peaking between 3-4 pm EST.

The COVID-19 Impact on Social Media

As you’re probably aware from your own personal experience, COVID-19 has put more people online than ever before. More people are working from home, and many more of us are reaching out in ways we didn’t in the past, just to maintain a sense of connection. Social media has not been left out. According to Sprout Social, the following times are the best windows for making your social media posts:

Facebook: Moved from Wednesday as a peak day, to Monday-Wednesday-Friday as peak days, between 10 and 11 am. 

Instagram: Monday, Tuesday, and Friday at 11 am, and Tuesday at 2 pm.

Twitter: No great change has been detected. The best time to post is Friday between 7 and 9 am.

LinkedIn: Moved from Wednesday between 8 and 10 am, and noon, Thursday at 9 am and between 1 and 2 pm, and Friday at 9 am to current best times now Wednesday at 3 pm, Thursday between 9 and 10 am, and Friday between 11 am and noon.

Getting a handle on social media marketing isn’t easy, and as Shopify marketing experts, we’re here to help with all your ecommerce needs, including how to optimise your social media presence. Contact us today for a free strategy session.

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