All About Timing: When to Post on Social Media

Social media remains a vast but largely unexplained phenomena, despite academic courses and self-proclaimed “experts” who demand otherwise. Even those in the field are still trying to understand what qualities make up an engaging post. For example, why does a photo of a frowning cat drawn more likes and comments than a hard-hitting news story? Do photos and videos really get more organic reach than status updates? And the eternal question: Was that carefully-worded tweet even seen by followers? The answers to these questions have to do with complicated algorithms, linked content, and most importantly, timing.

In his recent post on LinkedIn, digital marketer Jason Barrett argues that analyzing the time stamp of social media posts is key to determining what will reach the eyes of audiences. He advises to stage a small experiment in which social media posts are recorded over the course of a week. Each type of engagement, like favorites, likes or comments, is assigned a numeric value to be added up at the end of the experiment.

To test his theory, I devised my own social media experiment this week to test the timing of my personal social media posts. Starting bright and early Monday morning, I have recorded each status, tweet and multimedia post. For every like on Facebook, I awarded one point, for every retweet five points, and so on. The results so far have been fascinating. Who knew so many people check Twitter before breakfast? Or troll Facebook during lunch? Okay, maybe I did know that from personal experience, but seeing the findings on paper makes me think twice about what I post and how effective it will be on social media channels.

The week isn’t over yet, and I am looking forward to the results of this armchair experiment. I will be sure to share them when the experiment is complete! In the meantime, tell me: When do you post on social media? Do you think the time of day has anything to do with engagement? Let me know in the comments below!

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