The nice folks at American Express sent me an article about when the best times are to tweet and post on Facebook, times when you can get the maximum exposure. These emerging social media are examples of new platforms that some marketers are frothing over to use their advertising dollars on, I assume to help grow their businesses.
Any guesses?? Early morning? Late at night? For the record, beyond the YPTalk.com website, I use both Twitter and Facebook to share business information with the greater industry, but have always been a bit doubtful that these platforms could ever really attract and retain customers anywhere near as well as Yellow Pages.
The source of this analysis was Bit.ly, the URL shortening service which recently analyzed retweets and clickthroughs that tweets get when they’re posted at certain times of the week and times of day. Bit.ly also analyzed Facebook links.
And the results were….
Time to Tweet:
For Twitter, peak traffic time for Twitter in general is around the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST window, Monday through Thursday. As an marketer, your best chance at getting the most clickthroughs is 1 to 3 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday. Posting after 8 p.m. should be avoided and Bit.ly even noted in a blog post: “….Specifically, don’t bother posting after 3 p.m. on a Friday, since as far as being a gateway to drive traffic to your content, it appears that Twitter doesn’t work on weekends.” Wow. That doesn’t sound like a very effective advertising platform.
More depressing news is that the half-life of a link on Twitter is something like 2.8 hours.
Getting More Likes:
For Facebook, traffic starts to pick up about 9 a.m., but Bit.ly suggests waiting to post until 11 a.m. Facebook traffic begins to fade after 4 p.m. The absolute highest number of clickthroughs comes at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, with links posted from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. picking up the highest average clickthroughs. Links posted after 8 p.m. and before 8 a.m. perform terribly. As with Twitter, weekends are less than ideal. But if you miss Wednesday at 3 p.m. there is always next week.
The Bit.ly analysis conflicts a little with a study from last month by Buddy Media, showing that Thursday and Friday were better for engagement on Facebook. One possible reason for the difference was methodology as Buddy analyzed 200 clients’ Facebook posts over a two-week period, in addition to the comments and Likes spurred by those posts, whereas Bit.ly focused just on the sharing of links.
As a disclaimer of sorts, Bit.ly adds that it is important to keep in mind that these times are meant only as “a guide”, and may not apply to breaking news. In addition, the ideal post times may vary by a particular business, customer, or type of content.
So let’s take this theme a little further. When is the best time for someone to use a print, online, or mobile Yellow Pages? Answer: 24/7/365. Results are not limited to 1 to 4 pm EDT on alternate Thursdays.
So why should a savvy SMB advertise in the Yellow Pages? Answer: to be available to those buying customers 24/7/365. Three examples of why that’s important:
- Do you know when a strong wind is going to blow down your fence (as mine just did several weeks ago)?
- Can you predict when the garage door opener is going to jam and not work (as in the door will not open so I can’t get the car out of the garage) like it did on a recent holiday for me?
- Why is it that the dog always seems to get sick and need professional veterinarian care on a Saturday evening?
I’m sure you can think of dozens of other similar life events that occur when you least expect them, or even those purchases you know you need to make for something you are not an expert in. Where would you turn? Facebook?
It may not be very sexy, but the Yellow Pages work, every day, weekend, holiday, at any time the need arises for a local product or service.