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Learn the science of when to post on Facebook and Twitter

Matt Kapko | Sept. 19, 2014
Social media is as much an art form as it is an ongoing science experiment. Delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time is a key determining factor in the success of virtually every update, tweet or post.

"There aren't a whole lot of shortcuts here, but with the right data, we can at least gain a head start on the prediction process. Saying beyond a shadow of a doubt that X is the best number of times to post to Twitter and Y is the best number to post to Facebook would be misleading," Buffer's Kevan Lee writes in the social media frequency guide. "There is well-researched data, for sure. But consider it as a jumping off point for customizing your own optimal schedule."

Content is Even More Important Than Timing

Adobe's latest social intelligence report, which looks at fluctuations in social media engagements on a quarterly basis, is also a good resource for scheduling brand activity and understanding where engagement is rising.

Comments and shares are driving a larger portion of overall social engagement for brands on Facebook. While likes are still the most popular form of engagement, they continue to decline on the whole. Comments and shares are up in their stead. Comments share of post engagement on Facebook is up 16 percent year-over-year and 40 percent from the previous quarter, Adobe found.

Adobe's research also indicates that the type of posts that brands share with their followers on Facebook is probably even more important to achieve meaningful engagement than the time or frequency in which those posts are distributed.

Posts with images still provide the highest engagement rates overall, but they're also on the decline. Text-based posts are seeing engagement rates of less than 1 percent while posts with links and video continue to gain interest among Facebook's users. Video post engagement is up 25 percent year-over-year and 58 percent from the previous quarter while posts with links are up 77 percent year-over-year and 167 percent from the previous quarter.

It's Friday and You've Got Something to Do

Social media marketing becomes more of a science when scheduling comes into play. Video plays on Facebook, for example, occur most frequently on Fridays with nearly one-quarter of all brand post video plays occurring as the traditional work week comes to a close, according to Adobe.

Facebook users are also commenting, sharing and liking brand posts the most on Fridays. For brands, Fridays generate 17 percent of all comments, 16 percent of likes and 16 percent of shares. Adobe suggests that weekends are still the best time for brands to get engagement from consumers, although Sundays are the least likely day for brands to receive a comment on a post.

While there is plenty of debate around the best time of day and week to post on Facebook and Twitter, there are some general guidelines that most marketers follow.


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