Are your customers giving you the time of day?
In today’s world of real-time streams and channel choices it’s often confusing as to when the optimal time is to post your social media marketing. Is Twitter better at night? Is Facebook better later in the week? What about blogs and email? What times have been proven by research and technology as the best to hit that send button?
To shed a little light I’ve gathered some charts on each medium from a variety of smart folks.
This study by Sign-up.to of when 200 million emails in the UK were opened suggests that it’s good to get in the inbox early as open rates peak at 11 a.m.
There’s lots of different views on the best day to send email in the world of email marketing but this chart suggests suggest mid-week. Of course, only your own experimentation will tell you for sure, but email behaviour seems driven by a workday attitude.
Like eMail, blogs seem to follow an early morning pattern according to Dan Zarrella’s survey of 1,400 blog readers. For many, blogs have become today’s version of the early morning paper.
Zarrella’s work also shows a tendency toward morning when it comes to Facebook sharing.
It’s a trend supported by a separate report by Vitrue on this chart showing effectiveness of Facebook posts in the morning vs. afternoon.
It’s pretty safe to say we consider Facebook as more social and less work-oriented than email or blogs – an observation supported by the second spike in the evening on the Zarrella chart – so perhaps the morning skew is influenced by stay-at-home Moms who spend 95% more time on Facebook than they do on Twitter and the 28% of 18-34 year olds who check Facebook before they get out of bed!
In regards to time of week, the research differs but both skew towards the end of week when we lighten up and are ready to socialize more.
Zarrella’s study looked at sharing overall while the Vitrue report looked at the effectiveness of posts by businesses which may explain the respective views on Saturday.
The tendency of activity of the more social media to occur at the end of the week continues as evidenced of this Zarrella study of random tweets vs. retweets.
And retweeting is more likely to occur later in the day as well; perhaps after people have looked after their emails and are more attitudinally open to sharing.
Mobile straddles both work and social as this study by Zokem Mobile Insights shows the bulk of uses of the more business-oriented functions such as SMS/eMail and voice occur during work hours while the night time is the right time for the more marketing-friendly channels of apps and web browsing.
The evidence gathered here shows how people look at each channel differently and suggests that you stand a lot better chance of getting your social media marketing message to ignite when you get the timing right.
Hope this helps the cause.nternet marketing consultant based in Toronto passionate about getting brands tuned up for the online age and, on one distant beautiful day, conquering the half pipe. He is the founder of BrandMechanics.ca and a regular contributor to Search Engine People’s blog.
Addendum: Hubspot just posted a chart via MailChimp that provides email click-throughs by day. Interesting in that it has the exact opposite curve than the open rate version included above with the weekend showing higher rates than the weekend. Here’s a link: http://bit.ly/euOi3t
Addendum 2: As I mention in this post using these as a guideline and doing your own experimenting is key. To that point, here’s a great post from AWeber that gives examples of timing from 6 different marketers. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/go0L8c
Addendum 3: Return Path just published a study which sheds some light on MailChimps rise of the weekend for email open rates. Their study shows that mobile-viewed email is rising fast and is more likely to be read on the weekend.
Bob Nunn is an award winning internet marketing consultant based in Toronto passionate about building brands by tuning-up their online marketing. Does your internet marketing need a tune-up? Contact us to learn how our 11-point diagnostic can create a roadmap to get your brand performing online.