Toolkit

The Golden Hour: The Best and Worst Times of Day to Engage in Social Media

By on Tuesday, September 18, 2012

During what time of day are people more likely to read your pithy comment and interact with your nonprofit organization on social media sites?

An infographic from AllTwitter on Mediabistro distills the best advice on when to post to Facebook, Twitter. LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ for the maximum impact looking at when traffic for these social media sites peak and wane.

The Golden Hour = 2pm-3pm. If you are a hard-working nonprofit PR pro who can only spend 30-60 minutes a day on social media – when can you post on social media sites to get the maximum result? Looking at all of the suggested “best” times on the infographic – 2pm-3pm – is when you can get the “best” interaction on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (and it’s not the worst time for the others). If you really want to maximize efficiency, that golden hour might be your best opportunity. Conveniently, if you are on Eastern time in the United States, it’s also when you can catch both east and west coast workers in their offices if they work traditional 9pm-5am shifts. It makes sense that traffic on social media sites swells during these overlap times. If your organization works in multiple time zones or in another country, look for similar overlaps that you can take advantage of.
Here are the recommendations:

Facebook – BEST (1pm-4pm)  WORST (8pm-8am)
Twitter – BEST (1pm-3pm) WORST (8pm-9am)
LinkedIn – BEST (7am-9am, 5pm-6pm) WORST (10pm-6am)
Pinterest – BEST (2pm-4pm, 8pm-1am) WORST (5pm-7pm)
Google+ – BEST (9am-11am) WORST (6pm-8am)
Days of the week matter too. They also make recommendations on which days of the week tend to be better than others. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday seem to be better for Twitter and LinkedIn. For Facebook, you want to avoid posting on the weekend and for Twitter – you want to avoid after 3pm on Friday. But Pinterest sees some of its highest traffic on Saturday morning.
Remember – your own metrics are the best indicators you have. If people are responding to your Pinterest pins at 2am or your Facebook posts at 10am get better traction than at any other times you’ve tried – then those might be better times for your organization to be engaging in social media. Experiment with different times of day to see if the “golden hour” really works for your audience, or if another time is better.
Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, a virtual and independent public relations practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media advice, writing services, and creative design work for publications and websites (portfolio). Ami blogs frequently about media relations, social media, public relations and other issues. She also reviews books on her blog about public relations, nonprofit life, work-family balance and social media practice. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.

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