Find the Best Moment to Publish on Social Networks

Published in Online Marketing.

Translated by Núria Adell.

A few weeks ago, we looked for the best moment to publish on our blog. I showed the analysis we followed in this blog to know to what extent the time of publication is important. And we reached the conclusion that, in terms of the impact, the hour and day of publication of our posts are quite irrelevant.

This is because our readers don’t necessarily read our posts in the moment of publication, since our audience is geolocated in different time zones (United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia). Thus, in which one should we focus? When is the best moment to publish on our social networks? A lot of questions to answer…

But watch out, as I mentioned in the other article, what’s most important to you is not the conclusions that we reach on our blog, but the analysis we carry out. If you do the same study (which I really recommend), you will probably get to very different conclusions than ours.

In any case, it was left pending to analyze whether the moment of promotion of the posts on social networks is relevant or not. In other words, does the moment in which we publish the tweets and messages on the different social networks have an impact in our potential clients? And if we find out that it does, can we improve our strategy?

So, in case the title didn’t make it clear, now you know what you’re going to find on this post 😉.

According to the experts

You can find several articles talking about when it’s the best moment to publish on social networks. Here are some of them:

  1. What are the Best Time to Post on Social Media by Neil Patel
  2. The Best Times to Post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Other Social Media Sites by Lindsay Kolowich
  3. For Brands And PR: When Is the Best Time to Post on Social Media? by Cheryl Conner
  4. The Best Times to Post on Social Media by Catriona Pollard
  5. Best Times to Post on Social Media [+75 Industry Breakdowns] by Rebecca Lee White
  6. What 16 Studies Say About The Best Times to Post On Social Media by Nathan Ellering

Should I give you a quick summary? I’m sure you won’t say no to that 😉.

So there seems to be some differences amongst social networks. Let’s see…

Facebook

The behaviour of a user on Facebook is very linked to his or her general habits and leisure time. 

Facebook is very linked to moments of leisure.
Facebook is very linked to moments of leisure.

We find that the majority of the articles claim that the highest percentages of participation on Facebook are registered on the weekends (a 32% higher than during working days) and on Thursdays and Fridays (18% higher than on other days).

In terms of the time, they recommend to publish especially on Saturday and Sunday between 12-1 p.m. Or, alternatively, at 9 a.m. or 3 p.m.

But it’s interesting how, for instance, according to Fast Company, the peak time to share on Facebook is Wednesdays at 3 p.m., while according to Kissmetrics, the best time is noon. In any case, it’s clear there are certain coincidences🤔.

Twitter

Regarding Twitter, there’s less consensus on the times of publication. Some studies conclude that a lot of people use Twitter when they’re using public transport or during breaks at work, given its ease of use from the phone.

Twitter gif
It’s incredible how Twitter has becoming something essential nowadays

We also have to take into account that it’s a network in which it’s estimated that each tweet has a life span of less than 20 minutes. Therefore, there’s a great diversity in the criteria of what should be the frequency of the published tweets. This goes from a minimum of 5 per day to 50 (personally, I find the latter insane). Of course, we recommend Nelio Content to automate the publication of messages to be truly productive. I’ve earned a little bit of spam, haven’t I? 😇

Finally, another aspect to consider is the type of business you have. If it’s a B2B, so if you sell to other companies, it’s better to publish on working days. And in this case some experts recommend to publish between 6.00 a.m. and 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. And they insist it’s probably not a very good idea to publish during the weekends. Additionally, it seems that Wednesday is the day with the most impact.

However, if you have a B2C business, in other words if you sell products to the final consumers, many recommend that it’s much better to publish on the weekend. You will have to study your case and see in which business category you fall ☺.

Lastly, regarding the publishing hours, it seems that everything is less clear than in the case of Facebook. Some say it’s better to publish tweets between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. … There are as many opinions as hours in one day 🕗😝.

Pinterest

In this social network, there seems to be more uniformity in the ideal times of publication. The majority of articles will tell you that on Pinterest you should publish on Friday afternoon or Saturday. Regarding the most appropriate time on Saturday, some people say it’s better in the morning, while others claim that afternoons reach the most impact.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network orientated to professional relationships, although lately it’s starting to resemble Facebook a little bit.

It seems that here there is also consensus on the fact that the publications with the most impact on LinkedIn are those on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They also say on Monday morning people are too busy to spend time on LinkedIn; same with Fridays, when people want to leave early to enjoy the weekend.

Furthermore, in terms of the hours, some people say any time between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. is good, but others are more specific with periods from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., at 12 a.m. and between 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Our analysis

Ideally, you should know the habits of your potential clients and what times they interact the most on the different social networks. Make sure you publish your social messages on those times to get more audience. It makes sense, right?

I don’t really know to what extent you have the capacity to create a detailed survey on your potential clients’ habits on social networks, but in our case, it’s a bit complicated. What’s the alternative? Well, analyzing, for each network, what’s creating the most impact.

Let’s look at how we’ve done the analysis in detail…

When we talk about metrics to evaluate the impact on social networks, each network at least gives you the statistics on the number of new followers and the total, as well as the information on the interactions on that social network (how many mentions, comments, retweets, favorites, etc.)

All this information is important, but what interests us the most is how to increase the traffic to our website. And in particular, how to increase the traffic that comes from social networks. Since we spend time promoting our content there, at least let’s make sure it’s worth it, don’t you think?

Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides plenty of information on the traffic that comes from social networks.

Before carrying on, be aware that the interaction of the users with the social networks is highly related to their work and leisure habits. Thus, let me remind you that currently, in our English version of the blog, the traffic we get by countries is very diverse:

Traffic to English Nelio Software websites by countries
Traffic to English Nelio Software websites by countries

Almost 27% comes from the United States and then Europe follows, India, Australia…

Having seen this, let’s carry on with our analysis.

Days of the week

Firstly, I want to know what days of the week receive the most visits on our blog (the English version) coming from social networks.

Using the personalized report of the weekdays in which your users visit your site the most, we can add a second dimension in Google Analytics with the social network. Filtrating for each of them, we obtain the traffic we get each weekday from each of these social networks.

Añade Red social como segunda dimensión al informe de los días de la semana y selecciona la red sobre la que quieres ver la información.
Add Social Network as the second dimension to the report of the days of the week and select the network on which you want to see the information.

After doing the reports filtered by the social networks Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, the resulting graph is the following:

Daily traffic from social networks
Daily traffic from social networks

Very well, now we have to interpret the results the graph shows us… 🙃

On Twitter, we usually publish a similar number of daily tweets. We can see that the day in which we receive the most visits via Twitter is Wednesday, followed by Tuesday. In any case, it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of difference in terms of the visits compared to the other days. You can see that in our case we follow the pattern of those who claimed Wednesdays were the days with the most impact.

Let’s move on to LinkedIn. In this social network we only publish a couple of messages per week, which coincide with the publication of posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Maybe Tuesdays are the days in which we get the most traffic from LinkedIn, but there isn’t a big difference amongst the days.

On Facebook, we publish messages as in LinkedIn (Tuesdays and Thursdays), but the results have been very different. As you can see on the graph, Tuesdays have had a much bigger impact than the rest of weekdays.

Does this make sense? Trying to find out what happens on Tuesdays, we realized that one particular post, When WordPress’ Freedom Kills Your Business by David Aguilera, which was published on a Tuesday, created a great discussion on Facebook, generating a much greater traffic on that one day than the rest of the days of the month added up.

As you can see, it’s important that, before reaching conclusions on the impact we get from social networks, we analyze in detail all the information.

Finally, we want to highlight that right now Pinterest is not providing us with much traffic, which makes quite a lot of sense, given the type of enterprise we are and what we work on ☺.

Hours of the day

Just as with the days of the week, we’ve analyzed in Google Analytics what hours we get the most traffic from social networks. To do so, as with the previous report, we added the dimension of social networks to the report of the hours in which our users visit our site the most.

And the result is the following:

Hourly acquisition traffic from social networks
Hourly acquisition traffic from social networks

We can see that on Twitter, the time in which we publish the most tweets (usually in the afternoon-evening in the Central Time zone) is not precisely when we get the most visits.

In the case of Facebook though, the times with the most impact have been between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. At first, the timing of 8 a.m. U.S. time doesn’t seem to make much sense, taking into account they’re working hours. Knowing a bit about the habits in the country, it doesn’t really seem a usual time for people to be looking at Facebook 😂.

And on LinkedIn we see that there’s less traffic between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. and that the times with the most traffic are similar to those of Twitter.

Does all of this make sense?

Keep in mind that we assumed that the data is in the U.S. Central Time zone. However, what traffic from social networks actually comes from the American time zone?

World Time Zone Map
World Time Zone Map. Source.

If it’s not half at least, could this break our whole analysis? Or would it explain why certain important hours regarding the traffic in our website are unpredictable for the United States? Let’s see… 😮

On the report of Acquisition»Total Traffic»Channels of Google Analytics, we add a second dimension with the Country for each social network and we obtain the following results:

Sessions from social media by country
Sessions from social media by country

In the case of Facebook, the traffic from America corresponds to 45% of the total and the European one is 48%. Taking into account that almost half of the traffic is European (9 a.m. – 10 a.m. in the US Central Time corresponds to 4 p.m. – 5p.m. in Paris), it makes much more sense that indeed during those hours Facebook brings traffic to our website.

In the case of Twitter, almost 70% belongs to Europe and for LinkedIn the number of visits from Europe even exceeds this number. Now the times with the most impact (between 9 a.m. and 12 a.m. in the US Central Time correspond to 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. in Paris) which is more logical.

Regarding Pinterest, as I previously mentioned, for now the numbers are not relevant, given the negligible traffic it brings to our website.

As you can see, you have to be careful when doing the analysis, otherwise the data could lead you to the wrong conclusions. You will not only have to take into account the time and day, but also look at the main countries to understand the different time zones. Luckily, we realized that. You should do the same 😉.

Conclusions

After giving it some thought, our first impression is that, contrary to what we saw on the impact that the moment of publication has on the traffic of a post on the website, in this case, the time and day of publication of the content in social networks is correlated to the traffic that comes from these networks. Therefore, it’s important to take it into account in our marketing strategy.

Still, our audience is very diverse in terms of the time zones and thus, so is in its habits. But following our analysis, the ideas we have developed to widen our reach are the following:

  • Facebook: we should be more active on this social network and increase the number of publications. Following the recommendations of experts, we should not only publish when there is a new post, but do it up to twice a day. In terms of the time, we should try different alternatives until we’re clear on what hours are the most attractive.
  • Twitter: here we have to continue with the daily regularity of publication, and maybe even increase the number of tweets that are published during the hours that reach the most audience.
  • LinkedIn: in this case, we found it coherent to publish only on the days of publication of a post on the blog. However, we should test whether the traffic increases if we publish it at a later time in the day, instead of the morning in the United States.
  • Pinterest: since we’re a B2B enterprise, we have this network a bit forgotten, but should we publish at a greater frequency? Here, we’re still unclear. For now, we’ll keep doing the same thing until we have a clearer idea of how to proceed.

As you have seen, there are many articles with recommendations on what’s the best time to publish on social networks. In this one we have also added our recommendation: analyze your case in detail, use your common sense, and keep trying different alternatives to achieve your objectives. Don’t always trust what others tell you. Test it!

And of course, use Nelio Content to program all your messages on social networks if you don’t want to die in the attempt of being active in all social networks 😊. You’ll save a lot of time!

Featured Image by Crew

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2 thoughts on “Find the Best Moment to Publish on Social Networks

  1. Please help me

    Sir after reading all about your nelio widget. I had installed it in my website.

    But I can’t see auto post on social media from Nelio as Buffer usually does.

    Please look into this matter.

    I am using your Widget so that my scheduled post get automatically published on social media.

    Please let me know

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