Apples and Oranges

Infographic on social media posting 'dead zones' showing the worst times to post on each social platform

When you work in an emerging industry such as social media, it can be hard to keep up with industry standard knowledge and accepted practice.

Not just because its practitioners in the main are young, inquisitive and exactly the sort of people who will be challenging the status quo but also because it is so new itself. In PR, you can argue about certain tactics but general strategy is more or less fixed because everybody understands what billboards, newspapers and news bulletins are and what they do. In Social Media, you could be forgiven for thinking that it’s the equivalent of a newspaper deciding to print a copy one week then transforming itself into a radio station the following week – the very conventions and rules that the various platforms are built on are changing regularly and practitioners have to be more agile than most to adapt to the constantly shifting sands.

Whether its Facebook changing its algorithm to drastically reduce the number of people who will see a business’ posts unless they pay to have them seen; or Google+ taking posts on a topic and showing them to other users in their search results, or Twitter offering businesses the chance to have their own hashtag featured in the previously sacrosanct trending topics list – Social Media is nothing but fluid.

Which brings us to the point of this post – this infographic from Sumall – highlighting the worst times to post on Social Media. It’s a nice twist on the usual best times to post and I’m sure it’s backed up by various analytics and stats to prove that engagement is lower at those times. That’s not what my gut is telling me though.

Speaking as an individual Twitter user for a second, most of my tweeting and more importantly, checking my lists and tweets is done after 8pm, once the bum is parked on the couch and the kids are firmly secured in their holding cells.  LinkedIn is said to be least busy during the working day, which given the nature of the platform being the most professionally and work focused seems out of place. Tumblr users must party hard because none of them surface before lunchtime and there’s a black window on Pinterest users schedule between 5pm and 7pm.  Is this while the users are off preparing those delicious meals they’ve been pinning and repinning all morning?

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing so while you should use data, big or little, to inform and guide your decisions, the final choice should always be yours.  In fact you could make the counter-argument that if these really are the least busy times for posting then maybe that’s a great opportunity for brands and businesses to get their content out when there’s less noise?