You weigh the effectiveness of a communication by the sort of response it generates. But the timing also makes a big difference. That is why it really matters when you post updates on Facebook and Twitter, and even when you send off emails to people. Ever heard the phrase, “You have caught me at the wrong time”? Or even, “Only if the timing was correct”. What does this mean? There is always the right time and the wrong time to do particular things.
Take for instance posting a Facebook update. There is no use of publishing updates if most of your followers and fans are not online at that time, or at least those followers and fans who might be interested in the stuff you are posting. The success of your Facebook updates is gauged by the number of people liking and sharing your posts. On Twitter, a particular update is successful if more and more people retweet it, or respond to it.
The problem with social networking websites is most of the timelines move very fast. Although Facebook uses its unique algorithm to highlight content that is not based on the timeline sequence, it can help you only up to a certain level. If you post an update, let us say, at 11 AM and most of your followers and fans are active around 4 PM, by the time they check their updates, they will lose your message unless Facebook decides to show it to them.
On Twitter it is even more difficult because unless your tweet is “promoted”, it appears in a chronological order – the newest updates appearing at the top. Here again, if your followers are not there actively interacting on Twitter, they are going to miss your update.
Finally the email: email communication is not as chaotic as it is the case on social networking websites, nonetheless, if you don’t send your email at the right time, your recipient may miss it or may not reply in the right manner. For instance, if you send an email at a time when it will be midnight for the recipient, there is a great chance that he or she will not check it unless it is morning, and by that time, many more emails or many more distractions may prevent him or her to look at it when needed attention. On the other hand, if you send an email precisely when the person is actively using his or her computer there is a greater chance of a positive feedback.
This Nextweb blog post throws some scientific light on how to find the best time to post on Twitter and Facebook and send your emails in order to elicit maximum response. The data represented in this blog post may be region specific, but it gives you a fair idea of how to use the time factor and how important it is.
According to the blog post, 86% of the posts are published between Monday and Friday, although the response is 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays (maybe because people are less interested in work and more interested in whiling away their time while they wait for the weekend). Even the engagement is 32% higher on weekends, understandably because then people are not busy as much as they are on weekdays.
Even the time of the day matters while posting on Facebook and Twitter. Interestingly, Facebook updates appearing around 1 PM get more shares compared to those posted around 3 PM that get more clicks.
Check out the original post linked above as it contains lots of visual information that is easier to understand.