When should I post on Facebook and Twitter?
That’s how many search results pop up when I ask Google, “What’s the best time to post on Facebook?”
Many of those results give me ostensibly great tips. For instance, many bloggers give instructions similar to the following ones: “Don’t post from 5pm to 7pm. People are commuting, so they won’t be able to read articles when they are in their cars.”
At first, the suggestion makes sense. I don’t want to post content while my audience is in the car. But wait! Is that 5pm to 7pm Eastern or Pacific? If I have an audience on both coasts, what do I do? Isn’t someone always commuting?
Le sigh. So, how do you figure things out? Is there a way to take some of the guesswork out of curating articles on social media?
There is. In this blog post, I’ll show a more scientific way of figuring out when to curate content on Facebook and Twitter. Let’s get started, shall we?
Believe it or not, Facebook makes timing posts a cinch. All the information you need is in Facebook’s analytics tools. There, you can find information about the days and times that your audience tends to be online.
Here’s how to harness the power of Facebook’s analytics.
Step 1: Click on the “Insights” tab at the top of your Facebook page.
Step 2: Next click on the “Posts” tab.
Step 3: Look to see which days are popular with your audience members
In this sample chart, you can see that the page’s followers are consistently online throughout the week. So any day of the week, I would have a fairly good opportunity of engaging my fans. But if I were the manager of this sample Facebook page, I’d make sure that I were posting Wednesday through Saturday.
Step 4: Check to see what time of day your audience members typically are online
If I really want to reach my audience, I would post mostly between 10am and 2pm PT. Note: The times are listed in the time zone of your local computer.
Step 5: To drill down even further, click on a specific day of the week and look at when your users are online on that specific day.
As you can see in this example graph, traffic spikes a little later on Thursdays. Unlike the composite graph (see step 4), which peaks at 2pm PT, Facebook traffic spikes around 3pm PT.
Step 6: Put all the info together and schedule posts accordingly.
For the example above, I would post Wednesday through Saturday twice a day – once around 10am and once around 2pm.
Note: These graphs are based on data from one week, so the Facebook insights are not the end-all-be-all solution to timing your posts. But they are a good starting place, and if you use the tool correctly, you’ll no longer post at 12am when very few of your followers are online.
The folks at Moz are all kinds of genius. They built this site called “Follower Wonk,” which enables you to analyze the behavior of your Twitter following. As part of this freemium service, the tool tells you when your followers are active online.
Here’s how to get that data.
Step 1: Go to Followerwonk.com and click on the “Analyze Followers” tab at the top of the page.
Step 2: Type in the Twitter handle you want to analyze
Step 3: Select “Analyze their followers” from the drop-down menu and hit “Do it.”
Step 4: Locate the chart titled “Most active hours of your followers.”
Step 5: Analyze the chart.
As you can see, Trapit’s followers are really active from 7am to 11am PT. So, if I were scheduling Trapit’s tweets, I would make sure that we were curating at those times with the hope that the audience would see, retweet, favorite, and/or click on a link.
Again, this is not the end-all-be-all solution, but it is a good starting point. Best of luck with your curation efforts!
P.S. Want more tips like these? Subscribe to the Trapit blog by clicking the button below.
Image credit: La persistencia de la memoria, Salvador Dalí, MOMA in New York City