Social MediaTiming: When Should I Post or Tweet?

Timing of Marketing

Timing of Marketing

The answer to this critical marketing question is not whenever you have the time.  The timing of posts, tweets and status updates is often ignored by many small business owners and it shouldn’t be.  It is understandable that many  are just pleased they had the time to squeeze in a blog or a tweet. But by ignoring when the best viewership will occur means some of these efforts go unnoticed and are wasted.

The good news is there is a way to optimize the viewing of your social media efforts.  First you need a timing strategy and then you need to use the tools available to implement that timing strategy so your marketing can deliver.

Social Media Timing Strategy

One way to determine the best time to blog or tweet is to think of it as you would if you were buying a television spot.  For instance, television advertising around the Super Bowl has been sold out for months and at a record breaking $3.5 million per 30 second commercial.  The reason Super Bowl ads command millions is because it is guaranteed there will be gazillions of eyeballs glued to the TV during the game.

Here is where a timing strategy comes in.  There are three social media timing strategies to consider.

  1. Peak Times – This is when most people are actively engaged online and with social media.  There is a lot of noise, but there is also a lot of opportunity to grab eyeballs.
  2. Fringe Times- These are the time slots leading up to or just after peak engagement.  These time slots represent a big audience, just not as big as Peak.
  3. Off-Peak Times – Think of the off-peak audience as late night TV viewers.  There aren’t a lot of them, but they are or could be engaged.

One person who has compiled various research to determine the peak times of TwitterFacebook and blogging is Dan Zarrella.  Dan also discusses a Contra-competitive timing, which is another way of referring to off-peak times.  I haven’t come across anyone who discusses Fringe Times.  One still has an audience, but the noise level hasn’t reached a high pitch.  An hour or two hours on the front and on backside of Peak Times could be an ideal window.

You also need to consider the demographics of your audience. Each audience segment will interact online when it is convenient for them to do so and with a varying level of frequency.  Is your audience business people in corporate environments, sales people or road warriors, are they under or over 35 years of age, male, female? Knowing your audience is critical to all marketing, including social media marketing.

Initially, track viewership back to your site.  This will be most helpful approach in pinpointing when viewership of your audience is at its peak and when they are most likely to engage with you and your company.  Once you know the peak, you can start experimenting with time frames when you capture the most viewers and the most comments.

Social Media Marketing Tools

Clicky Stats – To track hourly viewership for one’s blog/site, I would recommend Clicky Stats.  It provides hour by hour tracking of viewers to a site as well as a daily total.  Track the results daily for a couple of weeks so you’ll have some reliable data and know than viewership patterns may change over time.  This tool will also help you determine which social media tool is generating the traffic.  Unfortunately, these social media data are not reported hourly.  But you can experiment with your links and see which tools are delivering. post scheduler – Some of you may not realize this, but if your blog is in WordPress, you can schedule your blog post to appear whenever you want.  Just go under Publish and click the “edit” under “Publish Immediately” and you can specify the time and the hour the post appears. If you have your blog hooked up to auto post to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, then you can track which is delivering results back to your blog through Clicky.  If not, Bufferapp and allow one to schedule one’s tweets by the hour and there’s always Hootsuite for Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin posts.

Remember, your marketing goal should be to engage your audiences through social media.  To do that well, one has to know the best time to reach them.  Otherwise, you’re sending your marketing messages into the wind.

Let me know in the comments section if you are aware of other tracking techniques or tools that may help to identify the ideal time for social media engagement.


Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - LinkedIn - Google Plus

Then join thousands of other Marketing Action Takers!

Receive Free weekly updates, tips and techniques to grow your business.  Fill in the information below and look for Marketing Action in your inbox.

Posted in Social Media Marketing and tagged , , , .


  1. I would like to devleop this end of the business as opposed to the walk in business in my retail location. Is price always the best factor or is delivery and customer service just as important?

    • Sonia:

      No, price isn’t the “best factor”. In fact, retailers who are able to deliver stellar customer service and reliable delivery can often charge more for their products than retailers who don’t provide excellent service. The trick is that your customer service really has to shine and these days that shouldn’t be that difficult as so few retailers appreciate the role of customer service. It’s not just about asking “may I help you”. It’s about getting customers engaged in conversations…letting them know what’s new, what’s hot, what’s not. One can easily amplify their efforts through email marketing as well as through blogging. You want to build a loyal following of people who will buy your products no matter what. Leave the discount hunters to your competition.

      Price discounting has become painfully pedestrian. Everyone does it and one can’t win through discounting. Discounts eats into the retailer profits; they train customers to wait for the next big sale; and it diminishes the brand. Take a look at what JC Penny’s is doing. They’re trying to shift their audience up to younger demographic and they’re doing it through their advertising. They also have promised to give “fair” prices and to forgo all of the coupon clipping and constant barrage of sales. I think they’re tapping into customers who know what they want and are willing to pay a ‘fair’ price for it.

      This doesn’t mean you can never have a ‘sale’…but make it one that benefits you. Don’t rely on sales. Rely on stellar customer service that turns visitors into raving fans and you’ll have a great retail operation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *