Social Media Timing Factors to Consider

One of the great things about using social media for marketing is that we have complete control over the message, including when it is sent. TV and radio advertising allows you to buy air time during a specific program, but it rarely allows you to determine the very minute when your ad will go live. It’s also much more expensive to purchase airtime during high volume periods, such as during TV prime time or radio morning drive hours.

The cost of using social media (mostly man hours) doesn’t change depending on the time of use. As they say, timing is everything, and social media puts all of the power into the hands of the marketers. It’s important to use this power to our advantage and use social media strategically. It makes much more sense to send a tweet when we know that a large majority of our target audience will be signing in to Twitter shortly, than it does to send it whenever we feel like it.

The first thing to consider when sending a social media message is the usage behavior of your target audience. When are they most likely to be online and signed in to their social media accounts? If you target an office job working 9-5er it’s likely that they check their accounts while on their lunch break. Are you targeting a city crowd that uses public transportation and browses on their smart phone during the commute? Then, it might make sense to send a message at 5:30pm. While posting after 10pm might not make sense for this target audience, it might be an ideal time if you are targeting college students or people that work nights.

The seasonality of your product or service should also play a role in when you send social media messages. A patio furniture distributor should ramp up their campaign during late winter/early spring and a snow blower distributor should increase their messaging in the fall. It’s all about sending the messages to your target audience when they are likely to be receptive to them. A tweet about a snow blower in the middle of a heat wave in July probably won’t get much attention.

It’s also important to consider the location of your target audience if you cater to a national or global audience. While you might be tweeting to U.S. East-coasters on their lunch break, you are tweeting to the people across the country in the morning and the people across the world while they are fast asleep. It’s important to keep this in mind and vary your timing accordingly.

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