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When Are the Best Times of Day to Reach Your Customers on Social Media and Email?

My Uncle Tim was smart enough to get a free ride at M.I.T. and was successful enough to retire early. While he’s definitely book smart, his street smarts are debatable. One winter during elementary school, Uncle Tim dragged an enormous Douglass Fir home and proudly recounted his shrewd negotiations for buying the cheap tree. The problem? It was December 27 and buying a Christmas tree after the holidays is silly (to put it mildly).

Best Times to Reach Your Customers?
Do you chase opportunities that are long gone like Uncle Tim, or are you reaching out at the right time? In today’s rapid-fire digital age, there’s lots of debate about the best times to reach your target audiences – and how this can vary significantly by digital channel. Here’s some of the most compelling data that I’ve found:

• Blog:  Timing is all over the map and depends on who you are trying to reach (B2B vs. B2C). KISSmetrics and others have treasure troves of data to analyze (link)
• Facebook:  Mondays between 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET according to bitly (link)
• Twitter:   2:00-5:00 p.m. is the best window to get retweeted says HubSpot (link)
• Email (B2B):  Tuesdays between 8:00 a.m.-noon, based on a report from Pardot that MarketingProfs published (link)

Alternatives to Following the Herd
On the face of it, a lot of these recommendations seem pretty straightforward. But you can also miss some fantastic opportunities if you spend most of your efforts trying to reach your core audiences during these peak times. Successful search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns, for example, look beyond the most popular keywords to include a wider net of terms to reach people who are searching for alternate, less popular terms. The same goes with timing your social and email campaigns.

Like rush hour traffic, social media channels also become highly congested during peak times, and this increased competition could cause your content to be overshadowed.

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So think beyond benchmark best practices and better understand when your key targets are the most responsive. Tools from Sprout Social and others can help you analyze your social media activity to better identify when your audiences are typically the most engaged. Flexibility and experimentation regarding the timing of your content are keys to improving digital engagement and outmaneuvering your competitors.

Who knows, maybe you’ll score the equivalent of selling a Christmas tree after the holidays. After all, timing is everything.

(Feature image courtesy of Africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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