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When’s the best time to post on LinkedIn? The results are in, and it’s 9 AM EST on Wednesdays. That’s according to data recently released from TrackMaven via eMarketer. They tracked over 17.5 million social posts from more than 17,000 brands during the first half of the year to pinpoint the most effective times to post on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Now that that’s settled, you’ve got roughly 24 hours to get your posts ready for LinkedIn tomorrow morning. Ready, set…

Wait, not so fast.

You should definitely keep this helpful benchmark data in mind, but there is SO much more involved in successfully sharing your content on LinkedIn (or any of the other platforms mentioned for that matter). What works for one brand, or even 17,000 brands in aggregate, may have nothing to do with what works for your brand and industry.

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The very first thing you should do is determine if social media is right for your organization, followed by identifying the social channel that will help you reach your customers. Just because all the cool kids are hanging out on Snapchat and Instagram doesn’t mean your brand should too if you’re targeting Baby Boomers or Gen Xers. You’ll likely find them sharing pictures of the kids and grandkids on Facebook.

The next thing you should do is isolate the variables around the content you’re sharing. Let’s assume you’re a B2B brand and you think LinkedIn is the right channel. Put it to the test:

  • Choose one piece of content to share.
  • Pick a time of day, and day of the week (sure, start with Wednesday at 9 AM).
  • Track and measure your results.
  • Pick another time on the same day of the week using the same piece of content (e.g., the following Wednesday at noon).
  • Track, measure and compare these results to the original post results.

This allows you to chip away methodically to see what works best for your brand. Maybe like the 17,000 other brands represented in the TrackMaven research, it WILL be Wednesday at 9 AM. Or maybe you’ll learn that for some reason everyone in your industry checks LinkedIn during lunchtime on Thursdays.

Getting to know your audience through this type of testing is the only true way to learn what works when sharing your content. Otherwise, you’re just taking a shot in the dark and hoping for the best. The results may be good, but you’ll never know if they could be better unless you’re methodical in your approach. Test, test, and test again. (Did I mention you should test?)

After you isolate the time and day of the week that works for your brand, you can start A/B testing other variables like the length of a post, the inclusion of one keyword vs. another, different calls to action, hashtags, etc. Once you know what works for each of the variables individually, start combining variables to see if they have a synergistic effect.

Then, start the process all over again on Twitter, Instagram, etc. to see how they compare to LinkedIn; this will help you understand which platform works best for you. Sound like a lot of work? It is, but it’s worth it. It’s the only way to be sure performance benchmarks like those from TrackMaven accurately represent what will work for the most important brand of all: YOURS.