October 12th, 2016
Did you know that when you post on Twitter, your tweet receives 50% of its total engagement within the first 16 minutes? On Facebook, a typical post reaches the halfway mark in under an hour. When it comes to social media, timing is everything.
But, what about blog posts? Unlike social media sites, where users are flooded with new updates by the minute, blogs are hosted and updated by you. There aren’t any other brands competing for visibility on your blog — your latest post will stay at the top until you post again.
With complete control over the “feed” of your company’s blog, this raises an important question for many businesses: is there a best time to post on your blog?
Before you can determine the best time to publish your blog post, you first need to understand your goals. What is the driving force behind your latest blog post? Are you hoping to drive traffic to your website, and possibly reach a certain number of pageviews? Are you more concerned with inspiring comments and high reader engagement? Or, perhaps your main goal is to achieve social shares, and potentially even go viral?
Blogs drive more audience interaction at certain times and days of the week, and those ideal times change depending on the type of interaction you desire from your readers.
A study conducted by Dan Zarrella, HubSpot, Kissmetrics, and Search Engine Land revealed the following insights:
Picture your readers, sitting at the office Monday morning, scrolling through all the new posts on blogs they follow, as they prepare for the week ahead. This proves to be a great time of day to increase traffic to your site, as people get themselves “caught up” at the start of the week. Due to the high volume of new content (and the nature of busy Monday mornings), readers are less likely to stop and take the time to comment on one post. Saturdays, on the other hand, are part of the weekend. Readers browsing articles in bed, or on the couch, on a Saturday morning are more likely to take the time to comment on posts they find interesting or provoking. The weekend is the place to be if you want to engage with your audience, and encourage them to engage with you.
Finding the correct time to publish the blog post itself isn’t all — you also need to share your new post across your social media platforms, to drive visibility and exposure. Every social platform sees heavier traffic at different times, so research the various platforms your business uses to determine the best times to share your blog content.
According to CoSchedule’s collection of data, Facebook posts do best on Thursdays and Fridays between 1 and 4 PM, while Tweets do best in on weekdays between 12 and 3 PM and at 5 PM. In some cases, you may want to reach out to your audience right when they wake up. A study found that 90% of people aged 18-30 checked their email and social media accounts first thing in the morning.
So, is there really a best time to post on your blog? Yes, there is. The challenge is finding your best time to post.
Every company has a unique audience, so it’s important to research when your audience is most active and on which sites. Social media usage varies with demographics like age, location, interests, and gender. Assess your target market’s behavior on social media sites, to ensure you’re promoting your content in the right places at the right times.
Plan the timing of your blog post and your media updates strategically, so the two support each other in driving towards your goals. You might choose to publish your latest blog post on Monday morning, and send a related tweet in the evening when your audience is most likely to see it.
At Main Path Marketing, we always track the performance of our blog posts, and related social media updates, and adjust our posting schedule as we go. Data from studies and surveys can help you to experiment with posting times, but ultimately your audience will dictate the most successful time to post. Your audience’s digital habits may change over time, especially as social media trends change and new ways of engaging with content appear. Periodically test different times, outside of your usual posting hours, to see if they garner interesting results and insights. Use data and analytics to let your audience show you when they want to see, share, and engage with content most.
Author Bio: Seth Patel is a Marketing Executive at Main Path with more than 10 years of digital marketing experience. He’s worked with everything from SMBs to Fortune 500 companies in industries ranging from retail to hospitality to e-commerce and even a Presidential campaign. When he’s not breaking down data sets, you can find him at one of San Diego’s famous local craft breweries or hiking one of the many scenic trails of Southern California.
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