May 10, 2012; Source: Los Angeles Times

Timing is an essential aspect of social media strategizing today, and the betaworks company Bitly has released some noteworthy metrics on social media timing. The Bitly study compares Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr postings based on the time of day (presented in EST below). The data collected suggests what may be the optimal times to post on these three top social networking sites in terms of maximizing click-throughs and also points to times when each social network has the highest overall activity. The results may surprise you:

  • Twitter: Similar to Facebook, tweeting between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday will give your tweets the highest chance of click-through. Twitter activity is at its highest from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Bitly’s data also suggests that even though posting on Twitter during optimum times does help raise clicks, your strategy should also examine the amount of people paying attention against the number of posts competing for that attention.
  • Facebook: The optimal time to post on Facebook in order to receive the highest average click-through rate, according to Bitly, is between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday—with the peak time being Wednesday at 3 p.m.
  • Tumblr: Tumblr has a significantly different pattern of traffic when compared to Twitter and Facebook. Waiting until after 4 p.m. to post is suggested, and posting after 7 p.m. should “receive more clicks over 24 hours than content posted mid-day during the week,” according to Bitly’s report. And unlike other social networks, Friday evening is one of the peak times to post on Tumblr for click-throughs.

Submitting your content at just the right time to reach the widest audience could give your organization the upper hand in creating viral content. These statistics should help nonprofits actively using any of these social media outlets (which you should indeed be doing!) decide on when and where their posts will be most effective. –Aine Creedon