ENOUGH! There Is NO Single Best Time For Social Media!


ENOUGH! There Is NO Single Best Time For Social Media!

Why is it that so many awesome things are endangered or facing extinction – the black rhino, the Iberian lynx, the Tasmanian devil, numerous native tree and plant species – but we’re flipping bombarded with craptastic social media marketing advice?

I’ve had it. Enough already! To quote Popeye …

That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more.

What’s got me on this tear?

The publish and promotion of social media articles and infographics “sharing” the best time to post for maximum reach, reaction, engagement and more.

There are SOOOOOO many reasons these articles and infographics grind my gears, but I don’t really have the time to write a novel and don’t think you’re game to read tens of thousands of words on the subject. So, I’m sharing just a few!

Let’s Talk About Time Zones!

So, let’s think about this. Let’s say we’re told that 9:23 AM is the BEST time to post to Twitter (I’m just making this up, of course).

But is the 9:23 AM Eastern? Central? Mountain? Pacific? And that’s only spanning the time zones that cover the continental United States. What about daylight-saving time?

You get my drift, right. I’ve never seen an article or infographic detail the differences in “best time” social media sharing based on audiences that span multiple time zones. Most people running a digital business find themselves with a following that spans countries, if not the globe.

9:23 AM for me, in my EST space, is 6:23 AM for my family and friends in California (PST). While many of them are early risers like me, there’s no guarantee that they’re sitting ready and waiting to see what I’ve posted as the sun rises on their day.

Wow, That’s A Wide Window …

The most recent “best time” share, the one that prompted this article, shared lots of best time information for the big social media platforms. It detailed the “best” times to post to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linkedin and even Google+.

Then, and this is what I found ludicrous and laughable, the author turned his back on those “best” times and touted a smart posting window that stretched from 9 AM to 7 PM. What?

[clickToTweet tweet=”The ‘best time’ to post to #socialmedia channels spans ten hours? #captainobvious” quote=”The ‘best time’ to post to social media channels spans ten hours? Well thanks for the info, Captain Obvious.” theme=”style3″]

A ten hour window is pretty wide. You wouldn’t accept that from a service provider. Imagine if you were getting cable TV installed and you were told the installer would arrive between 9 AM and 7 PM. No bueno.

It’s not one bit different when you’re lead to believe you’re going to get the golden goose and finally know the absolute bestest single time to post a scintillating social share for your audience. Even less bueno!

Let’s Look At Lifespan!

The lifespan of a single social media post depends on so many factors. The platform. The size of your audience. The speed and breadth of that audience’s feeds. The time of day your audience is active. The popularity of any hashtags used. The addition of a visual prompt. The value or vibe of the post itself.

The lifespan of a tweet is different than the lifespan of a photo shared to Instagram. The likelihood of you seeing a specific Facebook post is different than the likelihood of you seeing a specific Google+ or Linkedin post.

And, digging a little deeper, you can’t easily compare the lifespan of one tweet, post or share with another. Did they have the same hashtag? A photo? Was it a conversation starter like a question or a link out to your content?

The Scariest, But Most Honest Answer To Social Media Timing Questions …

It Depends!

That response might sound wishy-washy and passive aggressive in other applications, but when it comes to the “best” time to post social media shares in order to “best” impact reach and engagement, it is the BEST answer.

Because the best time for my audience might not be the best time for your audience. Even within my own circle of influence, the best time for my audience in June might be vastly different from the best time in January.

It’s all about putting in the time and effort to craft the kinds of social media shares and posts that suit the needs of those you’re trying to reach. Then you gotta monitor your most important metrics to see what works and what doesn’t. And you’ve gotta do that over and over and over again.

Social media marketing isn’t a set it and forget it kind of endeavor. The practice, the strategies, the tactics evolve over time. As do the “best” times to reach your audience.

I can get on board with a one-size-fits-all scarf. It make sense. But there’s nothing sensible about a one-size (or time) fits-all solution for social media marketing.

6 replies
  1. Mike Sansone
    Mike Sansone says:

    You bring the “Christine Lahti” out in me (think Pacino’s ‘…And Justice for All’) with a loud whistle and a holla!

    It Depends! On time zones, business types, intended audience, platform, call-to-action, weather (ok, maybe not the weather).

    Good stuff!!

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      And Mercury must also be in retrograde! Can’t forget that, right?

      So appreciate the sassy sense of humor and the Twitter love, Yoneco!

  2. Mariel Jolloso
    Mariel Jolloso says:

    You should create an infographic for this. That would be so funny! But you’re right, more people should realize that the best time to post in social media is… tada: “it depends.” 🙂

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      It would be fun to create, Mariel, but some might not get the joke!

      And I love TA DA moments almost as much as AHA moments. Thanks so much for chiming in.

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