Question: would you publish a blog at midnight? Most bloggers would say no and that would be right--unless your target audience happens to be insomniacs or bored college kids. The “when” you post is just as important as “what” you post if you want your content to be viewed.
There are two sides to timing your posts. Adding content during peak traffic hours means more potential viewers and more engagement. On the flip side, your content could be one of hundreds of competing posts and becomes lost in the white noise. Low-traffic hours offer more prominence and easier front-page promotion, but are low-traffic for a reason.
Luckily, we’re here to provide you insight into the best times for sharing your high-quality content. Note: all the times cited are Eastern Time zone.
Want your blog to receive maximum exposure? According to data from KISSmetrics, blogs are most often read in the morning hours with traffic peaking around 11 am, but the majority of users read blogs throughout the day. Men are more likely to read blogs in the evening and nighttime hours. Blogs tend to receive the most traffic on Mondays, but the most comments are made on Saturdays. Social shares of blogs are highest on Thursdays, if that’s your content marketing goal. To improve your chances of unique views, post more than once per day.
Is social sharing one of your content marketing goals? A TrackMaven study found the most social engagement and shares occurs during non-popular hours. Publish posts on weekend days for more social shares, or weekdays between 9pm-midnight EST. However, Shareaholic’s data contradicts TrackMaven, showing social shares are highest on Thursdays and between 9-10am EST. When getting more specific to the network, things change.
Buffer Social took a dive into optimal posting time on on Facebook and found engagement rates rose on Thursdays and Fridays, with 18% below average engagement on Saturday. HubSpot’s data both agrees and disagrees. While their study identified Thursday and Friday afternoon among the best times to post on Facebook, they also earmarked Saturday and Sundays around noon and Wednesdays from 3-4pm. Early afternoon seems to be the best time to receive shares or clicks on Facebook.
BufferSocial’s data showed Twitter engagement spiked on the weekends and dropped off during the week, with Mondays experiencing the lowest click-through rate, but a study by Argyle Social contradicted their findings, reporting 14% more engagement on weekdays than weekends. Their data identified 5pm as the highest for retweets. HubSpot claims weekdays from 12-3pm and Wednesdays from 5-6pm as the best times to post on Twitter.
Various studies report the same data when it comes to LinkedIn traffic and click-through rates. Think about the average workday schedule when posting to LinkedIn. That means weekdays, morning, lunch break, and the end of the day, with Tuesday-Thursday reporting the most traffic. There’s also a bump on Tuesdays from 10-11am, according to HubSpot. Meeting boredom perhaps?
Pinterest’s heavily female audience tends to be most active in the evenings every day of the week. Interestingly, 2-4am are peak time to Pin. Early Saturday mornings also see a spike in activity.
What’s Your Best Time to Post?
Of course all of this data can vary based on your content and your target audience. Create a personalized study of your data using all metrics available to find the days and times people respond best to your content. The best time to post will always be when the people you want to reach are active on the social network.