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It’s All About Timing – When to Tweet, Post and Send Email

April 5, 2011

Dan Zarrella is a social media guru who gets tens of thousands of registered attendees to his free HubSpot webinars.

Let’s get down to the goodies. In a recent session entitled “The Science of Timing!” Dan Zarrella presented on “how to time” for three online categories: social (Twitter and Facebook), email and blogging. He shared the results of his two years worth of research on when the best time is to create, share and send content for each. Here are the key take-ways from the session:

General

  • Dan uses contra-competitive timing, i.e. posting or sharing content when there aren’t many others doing the same. In essence, using contra-competitive timing is equivalent to speaking in a room full of only a few people versus speaking in the same room that’s packed with lots of other people all speaking at the same time. With this strategy, Dan argues it’s easier to get heard. It’s also the foundation for most of his study’s findings.
  • Weekends appear to be the hidden gem in terms of reaching out to your audience. Dan points out that that due to contra-competitive timing, more people are more willing to absorb your content and take action, be it via sharing on Facebook or forwarding on to their network.
  • All of the study’s findings are meant to be experimented with. As can be expected, exceptions to the findings will apply.
  • Check out the nifty new site TweetWhen.com to find your most retweetable days and times.

Twitter

  • Retweets Come Late – The most retweets come late in the day and week. Specifically around 4 or 5 PM (all times are in EST)
  • Weekends Rule for Click-Through-Rates (CTR) – Weekends garner some of the highest CLR of the week. Time of day isn’t so important.
  • Tweet More – People that tweet around 20 times a day seem to have the most followers. Don’t be afraid to tweet too often.
  • Don’t Crowd Your Content – Plan on spacing out tweets related to your own content. However, if your goal is to become the next master curator of content, feel free to tweet external content as much as you like.

Facebook

  • Weekends and Mornings Best for Facebook Sharing – Saturday and Sunday are the best days for sharing. Around 11 AM is the best time.

Email

  • Most Action Happens Early in the Morning – Readers are opening / reading their emails most in the early morning hours. So send email early!
  • Experiment Emailing on Weekends – The most abuse reports, bounces, opens and clicks all happen on the weekends. Although abuse reports and bounces may seem like a reason NOT to send on the weekends, Dan argues that it’s because readers are more engaged with their mail during Saturday and Sunday. His tip? Send quality mail!
  • Email More – The frequency of emails sent per month does not have dramatically negative effects on unsubscribe rates. Surprising, as this point definitely seems be against popular belief.
  • Newest Subscribers Are Your Best – Although your most recent subscribers are also your most likely to unsubscribe (they’re still feeling out your content), they’re also most likely to click your links. Thus, they are the audience that you want to wow with your best emails and nurture as leads (if you plan on selling them something).

Blogs

  • Early in the Day and Week are Best for Blogs – Most blogs are read during the morning (though there isn’t a big variance between other times of day) and on Monday. Most views happen around 10 AM.
  • Blog on the Weekends for Comments – If you’re looking for engagement for your blog, weekends are the best time to post. There are significant increases in comment rates on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Blog Early Monday and Thursday for Links – Dan argues that this is the case due to the linking habits of the Linkerati, a SEOMoz term that describes the online folks that have the power to elevate your blog’s SEO via their links.
  • Blog More – Linkbacks and traffic both have a positive correlation with number of posts per day.

That’s about it. What do you think? Does Dan’s findings match up with what you practice or think? Let us know!

For the more specific times and info, check out the session’s SlideShare presentation below.