In this new series of articles, our experts at Cyabra will present marketing misconceptions regarding social media management, and show you how to improve your brand’s presence on social media, gain more followers, expand your community, and run more effective campaigns.
In the year 2022, 4.7 billion people, or 59% of the world’s population, regularly use social media. The average daily time we spend on social media is 2 hours and 29 minutes.
The days when a successful social media profile was a nice added bonus are long gone. Major brands are well aware that if they’re not maintaining a social media profile, they’re missing out on a huge chunk of their audience. A successful social media presence is required to be creative, entertaining, active, responsive, cross-platform, and the list goes on.
However, it is in this very field of creativity, innovation and originality, where some of the most old-fashioned, out-of-date misconceptions are still treated as ground rules.
Your Audience v. General Population
The accepted thinking is that the most popular times for brands to post on social media are mornings on weekdays, specifically Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Most brands follow those guidelines almost religiously. On first look, it makes perfect sense – if most people are on social media at 9 AM, every brand should undoubtedly be posting at those times.
But while research is correct about the time of day when most people are checking or posting on their social media accounts, the idea that those are the times in which each and every brand can find their potential audience, with no regard to the persona and characteristic of the brand, is actually a common misconception. To put it simply, posting on the same times as everybody else is a certain way to be drowned in the commotion.
Three Brands, Three Different Timezones
Most brands are indeed not optimizing their posts for maximum exposure, and instead relying on the industry’s standards. Cyabra analyzed three major brands: Heineken, Lego and Google, and found when and where their audience was hanging and scrolling. And spoiler, in case you haven’t guessed yet: none of the statistically “perfect” posting times are present in this analysis.
In Heineken’s case, Cyabra found that profiles interacting with the popular beer label were most active on Wednesdays, from 1 PM to 9 PM, and on Thursdays, from 1 PM to 2 AM. Those hours are not considered particularly popular by any social media statistics, but they’re definitely the best hours for Heineken to engage with their audience. The most popular platforms with Heineken’s followers were Twitter and Facebook, and on Facebook, some of the activity was actually on Mondays and Fridays, days that are generally considered the worst for posting on social media!
Lego, another huge brand, was also discussed on social media distinctly during days when activity is typically low: Mondays from 9 AM to 10 AM on Twitter, Sundays night and Mondays on Facebook (1 AM to 10 AM).
Lastly, Cyabra analyzed the popularity of Google and Android’s “Get the Message” campaign. In this case, activity on Facebook was much more extensive, as the hashtag was mentioned almost every day and every hour. But the most mentions were sampled on Sunday night, which by industry standards is considered a day in which social networks are so empty that you can watch the tumbleweed roll. Obviously, that was not the case with this campaign. Most of the profiles on Facebook were active on Sunday from 5-11 PM and on Thursday from 8-9 PM.
Get to Know Your Audience
What conclusion can brands, PR agencies and companies draw from this analysis? First, that traditional marketing guides and tips mentioning “the best time for posting” are no longer relevant. There’s no one single rule that fits all cases. And second, that tracking, analyzing and getting to know your audience is the only way to make your brand’s social presence stand out and succeed. When you understand when and where they are, your campaigns will be much more effective.
So when are the best times for your brand to post on social media? Is it 5 PM? 10 AM? Is it on a weekday on Facebook? On a Sunday on TikTok? If you’re not sure, Cyabra can help you. Contact us to learn more.
* Note: All the periods of time mentioned above refer to standard UTC timezone.
This is the first article in the series of Marketing Misconceptions. More to come soon!