Creating amazing content is, of course, the bread and butter of any great modern marketing plan. But is it enough to only create great content?
The short answer is no because it doesn't mean anything unless your target audience engages with your amazing content.
Getting your content seen by your audience involves posting on your designated marketing channels at the right times.
Let's start by discussing social timing and how time of day can make a difference for when you post blogs and other content.
What Is Social Timing?
Social timing refers to the times you choose to post content on social media and other platforms, such as a blog. The timing that has an effect on your posts includes the time of day, the day of the week, and the time zone your audience lives in.
Social timing matters for engagement, shares, comments, and likes. Creating the perfect post sometimes isn't good enough. You have to pay attention to when people are the most likely to see and engage with your content.
The Best Time to Post on Social Media
Every social network has its own social timing that you can use to your advantage by posting at the right times to maximize your clicks, shares, and likes. We won't go through every social media platform out there, but here are some tips on when to post for the most commonly used social media sites.
The Best Time to Post on Twitter
There is no specific time you should post on Twitter. This is probably not the answer you were expecting, and that's ok because there is a best practice regarding posting on Twitter that you should follow.
The key with Twitter is to tweet consistently throughout the entire day. Posting every hour or at least every other hour is a good way to engage your followers from around the world.
We know you can't be up 24 hours a day to post on Twitter so we recommend using a social media scheduling and posting tool. This way, you can post even when you're sleeping.
The Best Time to Post on Instagram
Instagram posts have a longer "life expectancy" than Twitter and Facebook. This means that you can receive engagement on your Instagram posts hours or even days after you post your content.
Instagram posting times are a bit tricky due to your audience's time zones. Using social media analytics tools is the easiest and fastest way to see where your followers are located.
When you figure out that information, it is best to post in the morning in their time zone since most people start scrolling on Instagram when they wake up.
Remember to adjust these practices based on your specific audience. If your audience wakes up late, post later.
The Best Time to Post on Facebook
There are always new updates about when to post on Facebook, which makes creating a schedule tricky. However, the Facebook analytics tool is a goo to use to figure out when to post according to your audience's schedule.
To check your analytics on Facebook, log into yourFacebook account and go to Page Insights. There you will find information about when your users are the most active, along with other key insights and data.
Try posting at different times on the weekend than on the weekdays. This will help you measure weekend engagement differently than weekday engagement.
Simply put, most of the advice given for each social media posting time depends on your audience. Keep in the know on your current engagement trends so you can optimize your social media marketing efforts and deliver content at the exact time your target audience needs it.
When Do Most People Read Blogs?
Most people tend to read blogs in the morning. A social scientist named Dan Zarrella conducted a study to see when people engaged with or read blogs. He found that 70 percent of participants read blogs in the morning hours.
According to marketing guru Neil Patel, to gain the most traffic, you should publish posts on Mondays in the late morning hours. He states that people are looking for something interesting to keep their attention after the weekend is over when they are back to work.
However, your audience may not be like everyone else. They may have their own unique habits surrounding their blog reading schedule.
Get to know your target audience by paying close attention to their habits. You should always make your decisions based off of what your audience prefers. If you don't know what they prefer, you can find out by conducting a few tests.
For instance, you can post a blog at the same time in the morning for a month and check your analytics to see how many people engaged with the posts. Then, you can post a different blog in the afternoon or evening to see what your audience engagement was.
No matter what, the time of day you post will have a significant effect on your blog.
How Time of Day Affects Your Blog
People are habitual creatures. They tend to do certain things at the same time every day according to their schedule.
This means that they will likely check your blog postings at a certain time each day as well. It’s important to learn what time of day your users are generally accessing your site to find out when your traffic is the highest.
Websites based in the United States often get the majority of their traffic from either the east coast or the west coast, so figuring out where your traffic is located is a good start.
According to "The Science of Social Timing" by SEO data analytics firm Kissmetrics, nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population is found in the Eastern time zone, while 80 percent of the total population is distributed across Eastern and Central time zones.
Odds are good that these demographic trends affect your blog, too. You can get a sense of your traffic patterns throughout the day by checking out hour and day of the Week Reports on Google Analytics.
Not only can you find out your peak times in terms of raw traffic, you can cross-reference conversions to identify best performance hours.
Paying attention to that data is a good start, and posting to take advantage of these high-traffic times boosts effectiveness even if you leave it at that. But, the latest research data points the way to even better results, so why not go a step further?
Finding the Best Time and Day to Post a Blog
Luckily, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to blog posting times.
Kissmetrics has already done a lot of promising work in this area that anyone can adapt to their own blog. Using results from their own rich pool of clients, they determined blog timing best practices that will take a lot of mystery out of the subject.
Peak Blog Publishing Times
What Are the Best Days of the Week to Post a Blog?
According to Kissmetrics, the average blog post receives the most traffic on a Monday. You'll also see a spike in traffic on Fridays, but be wary of the weekend.
Most of your readers will be busy on Saturday and Sunday, so expect a lag in reading activity.
What Is the Best Time of Day to Post a Blog?
Research shows the average blog gets the most traffic around 11 a.m. – a figure that might seem confusing at first.
It makes a lot more sense if you consider that attention to work tends to taper off as lunchtime approaches. Plus, B2B decision makers can be viewing your blog for work.
In general, though, these patterns emerge:
- Morning: The hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. tend to be high-traffic before work.
- Lunch: 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. sees another brief spike as people take a quick break.
- After Work: Traffic spikes again between 4 p.m. and 6. p.m. before tapering off.
Peak Blog Commenting Times
What Day Does a Blog Post Get the Most Comments?
Blogs are most likely to get comments on Saturday, when people have plenty of time to think about what they want to say, write it, and respond to any comments that follow.
Many people hold their weekly blog reading for a lazy Saturday morning.
What Time Does a Blog Post Get the Most Comments?
Comments start rolling in early in the morning on Saturday – think 9 a.m. local time.
How Does Optimal Social Media Time Differ from Optimal Blog Posting Time?
Social media gives you a tremendous way to amplify your brand voice no matter what time or day a specific post went up.
However, social surfing patterns are noticeably different than blog consumption patterns, so you should take that into account.
Early evening, around 5 p.m., stands out as the best time for social media posts. A frequency of one to four posts is the best to get noticed in the crowd.
Noon is also a good time to schedule tweets. Midweek and weekend updates will get your social content the most traction.
Pros and Cons of Posting at Peak Hours
Everyone is on the hunt for that sweet spot when it comes to generating the most traffic to your website or blog. And for good reason!
A blog is one of your greatest tools to convert visitors into leads and get a conversation going. If you're looking to try and make the most of those peak hours, then you should be aware of the pros and cons.
If you publish your blog when everyone is at their most ready to consume content, then there really isn't any reason why you shouldn't see a spike in views and engagement unless your content strategy just isn't up to par.
Watching your traffic increase after posting during a window when most of your audience is online is a natural sequence of events. This is probably the greatest advantage to posting during peak hours, as greater traffic means greater opportunity to generate new leads.
Peak times are kind of like rush hour traffic on your way home from work. Everyone is leaving at the same time trying to get home. All of your competition will likely be posting during peak times as well.
If you plan on publishing during peak hours, then keep in mind that you'll be battling for your audience's attention.
Not a Perfect Science
The data above consists of averages and a lot of testing, but that still doesn't make it 100 percent accurate.
You should always perform your own testing as your strategies, buyers, and market are going to be unique to your business. You may have to tinker with the timing a bit, but it's worth the investigation.
Stay Consistent In Your Social Timing
As valuable as it can be to get your timing right on the first try, it’s not everything.
Questions about timing are important, but they also have a tendency to buy in to one of the most counterproductive assumptions about content marketing: That your posts absolutely have to be well-received by everyone as soon as they go up.
The truth is, your following is always growing and changing. There will likely be new and existing users who haven’t been exposed to your best work yet.
With social media, especially Twitter, you have the opportunity to re-share your greatest hits.
The takeaway is that consistency is more important than timing. Share and develop content at the same time on a consistent basis. This is what causes more of your viewership to actively seek you out between peak times, helping you capture a truly dedicated following.
If you aren’t getting the punch you want from your blog, consider instituting a content calendar that can keep production on track.
Posting one to two blogs a week makes it much easier to be found – and the more you can post, the greater the compound effect on your traffic.
Every blog post you make not only serves you right away but gives you the chance to cultivate ongoing traffic from backlinks, comments, and shares. As your tower of content grows, blog posts about evergreen topics – how-to articles, for example – contribute a greater share of total traffic.
Timing is still something you should think about as you plan and execute your content strategy. After a few months (and especially after a few years!), it will become a much less critical factor.
The sooner you dive into a branded and focused content plan aligned with inbound marketing, the sooner that day will arrive... and the more powerful all your content will become as a result.