Timing matters. Especially when it comes to social media marketing. Hit the mark at the right moment, and you could tap into your audiences in their comfort zones. But you don’t have to be born lucky to stumble into good social media fortune. Like everything, knowing when to Tweet, when to update your Facebook status, and when to send a promotional email comes down to practical science.

Time Decay and Facebook

Time decay sounds pretty complicated, but it’s an easy enough concept to get your head around. This refers to the length of time your Facebook post will attract the highest number of views before getting buried underneath a slew of other more recent activity. When you put up a Facebook post, you can leave it at the top of your business page all day long – but just because you keep it there doesn’t mean that it hasn’t “aged.” Facebook’s news feed algorithm, EdgeRank, determines how long your update will appear in a follower’s newsfeed. But the recent algorithmic addition, called Story Bumping, makes it possible for your Facebook updates to stay on top longer, depending on how relevant it is to your individual followers. Still, picking the right day to update your status is critical. In an article at Mashable, it was reported that the engagement rate is better on Thursdays and Fridays – 18 percent better, in fact.

Everybody’s Tweeting for the Weekend

Twitter is an entirely different animal than Facebook. You probably already know that. In fact, it’s a rare occurrence that you find an individual who Facebooks as often as they Tweet, and vice versa. They are effective social media channels that attract different types of readers. For this reason, the advice you’d get with Facebook won’t necessarily work for your Tweeting efforts. According to experts, the weekend is the best time to Tweet to achieve maximum engagement. Brands that Tweet on weekends generally see an additional 17 percent engagement rate. This could have a lot to do with the fact that only 19 percent of all brands Tweet on weekends, essentially leaving the field wide open for you to communicate with existing and prospective customers. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work weekends to see your social media efforts pay off. By equipping yourself with a mobile device capable of accessing the internet from wherever you are, you could easily boost your Twitter visibility from the comfort of your friend’s living room couch on a lazy Sunday watching the game.

Email Marketing: Anytime But the Weekend

According to research, all signs point to “any day of the week” over weekends as the optimal time to send email marketing messages to your customers. Why? Because of the simple fact that the majority of people in today’s workforce read their email at work. Since a large percentage of the American workforce still works Monday through Friday with weekends saved to pursue their passions (or second jobs), this effectively means you should leave weekend email messages off your list of to-do’s. Sending email messages on Sunday nights is also not a good idea, as come Monday morning that message could find itself buried underneath a pile of lately-arrived messages. The best day during the week to send your marketing email? Thursday.

Needless to say, it’s best to use the above listed information as a guide. Bear in mind that this doesn’t get you off the hook for performing your very own extensive research. If, for example, through tracking your own rates of engagement you discover that your specific target audience reads their emails more often than not on Sunday at midnight, then by all means make the necessary changes. Social media and email marketing timing isn’t an exact science, and what works for one business may not work for another. Always keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground for the best results.

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