Firstly, determining the best time to reach your audience depends largely on how you are reaching them. Sending out an identical message on different platforms such as social media, SMS and email will not be beneficial if you do it all at the same time.
Why? Well, people use all of these mediums in very different ways and therefore each platform has its own optimal time for posting. If you want to make the most of your posts then you will need to send them out at optimum times. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee success, but this customer insight does give you a much better chance of getting it right.
It is also important to remember that, despite the fact you are effectively sending out the same message, you need to write each one separately for the individual platform. Twitter and Instagram require hashtags to reach a wider audience, whilst these would look out of place if you included them on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Also, don’t just post each message once; you can take advantage of every time slot by just slightly tweaking the message or sending it from a different angle. This works well, as followers don’t feel like you are spamming them.
Before you send out another marketing message at the wrong time, here is a guide that will help you choose the right time, every time.
Facebook - Studies have found that engagement rate is 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays and engagement is 32% on weekends. Therefore, you might be better off posting towards the end of the week. People tend to check their Facebook on the way to work, during lunch or after work, so the best times to post are between 7.30am and 8.30am, 12pm and 2pm and 4.30pm and 6.30pm.
Twitter – Studies have found that engagement for brands is 17% higher on weekends and click-through rates are highest on weekends and midweek on Wednesdays. Users tend to be accessing Twitter during their commutes – retweets are highest at 5pm and the best times to tweet include 8am – 9.30am, 12pm – 2pm and 4.20pm and 5.30pm.
LinkedIn – On this platform you should consider posting at the start or the end of the working day. However, as this site is more business focused than any of the others, it is more likely to also be visited throughout the day.
Instagram – When it comes to this picture sharing site, the most popular time to post is in the evening – more than 35% of photos are posted after 6pm. The most popular hour to post is actually from midnight, with 6.17% of posts appearing in this time.
SMS is one of the most immediate channels available, with a read rate of 97% within 15 minutes of delivery. However, you do not want to bombard the user with messages on this personal platform. When it comes to sending text messages less is more – with success coming from just 4-6 SMS messages a month.
Studies have shown that mobile phones are used most between noon and 6pm – the best time to send a marketing campaign is mid-late afternoon.
Unfortunately, only 20% of emails actually get clicked on. Therefore, when it comes to email marketing, the more messages the better. Research shows that this type of marketing receives better response when sending out up to 30 campaigns a month.
Studies have shown that Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to send out e-mails and that 2pm is the optimal time.
However, (as with all forms of contact) you’ll need to do some research, try out different times and find out what works best for your individual brand and message – then stick to it.