Time is fleeting (courtesy Stephan Geyer on Flickr CC)

Time is fleeting (courtesy Stephan Geyer on Flickr CC)

(Part of my “Better Online Content” series of posts: quick tips on creating more effective content that takes advantage of the social web’s unique publishing environment.)

There are a lot of blog posts and articles telling people about the “best” times to post content on social networks for maximum response, shares, click-throughs, or whatever it is that you are measuring to decide that your social communications are successful.

What I do not see nearly often enough is this caveat – a lot of the suggested posting times are in U.S. Eastern Standard/Daylight Time.

There are 3 problems with this:

1.  The big blue twirling planet that we’re all riding on, barreling through space, does not run on a single time zone on the U.S. eastern coast. Dare I say that many U.S. people tend to forget this, especially if they don’t travel east or west to other continents very much.

2.  The internet …. where you are trying to connect with your perfect visitor or hotel guest …. does not run on a single time zone on the U.S. eastern coast.

3.  The viewing and sharing habits of YOUR followers on Facebook, Twitter, etc. are different from those of other brands’ followers, as are the times that they are most active online.

For example, check your own Facebook Page Insights data to see what sort of posts your followers respond to the most (Overview – Engagement) and when they are online (look under Posts – When Your Fans Are Online.) That data should be the primary driver for how you craft content for Facebook – not everyone’s updates have to include a photo to do well, by the way – and when you post it.

For Twitter, you can run your profile through a tool like Followerwonk to see when your followers are active, although there’s something to be said for not shouting when it’s already noisy.

Note: all this applies to most “best times to send email” advice, too, unless your email list subscribers all reside in one place.

What are some of the best times that you’ve found to be on social media for your brand? Did your own follower/subscriber data surprise you? Let us know down in the comments.

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