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When to Post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr for Maximum Effect [Study]

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The best time to post content with a link on Twitter is 1 to 3 p.m. EST Monday to Thursday. Over on Facebook, between 1 and 4 p.m. mid-week is the sweet spot, while Tumblr users are more likely to click after 4 p.m. and especially on Fridays. How can these networks be so different?

URL shortening service Bitly has released a series of graphs demonstrating the optimal time and day to post on each of these three social networks.

“By understanding the simple characteristics of each social network, you can publish your content at exactly the right time for it to reach the maximum number of people,” Bitly advises in their blog post announcing the data.

Friday a Dead Zone on Facebook & Twitter, Optimal for Tumblr

twitter-avg-clicks-bitly

Posting a link to Twitter after 3 p.m. on a Friday is pretty much pointless, based on their cumulative data on the number of clicks on bitly links from each social network. Over on Facebook, traffic peaks mid-week, with Friday and weekend posts apt to receive far less attention. Posts between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. any day of the week are fighting an uphill battle for clicks.

On Tumblr though, Friday is a great time to post, says Bitly. Here, they actually recommend waiting until after 4 p.m. to post.

The traffic peak on Tumblr occurs between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, with Sunday just slightly behind. In fact, posts made after 7 p.m. receive more clicks over 24 hours, on average, than links posted during the week, mid-day. This runs counter to what you see on Facebook and Twitter, thanks to the culture and behavior patterns of each network, they said.

Early Afternoon a Great Posting Time on Twitter & Facebook

facebook-avg-clicks-bitly

Early afternoon from Monday to Thursday are optimal times to post links to Twitter, specifically between 1 and 3 p.m., says Bitly. The peak traffic time runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but posting later in this window increases the likelihood of content going viral.

On Facebook, links posted between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. get the most clicks, with the absolute peak being Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Bitly’s latest look into time and day posting trends expands upon their September research into the half-life of links posted through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. In that study, they found that their links have, on average, a 3 hour half-life (the point at which the link has received half of all clicks it will ever receive). See the original post on the half-life of links for specifics on links from each network.

Bitly on understanding their charts: “Day of the week, starting with Monday, is on the Y axis, and hour of the day, starting with midnight, along the X axis. For the first plot in each section, the darker the blue block, the more traffic on average links posted during that hour received in the following 24 hour period of time. White blocks show when links got less traffic.”


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