Take flight, social butterflies! This is the when and where of expert updating

social media updatingThe wonderful world of social media is pretty much the digital version of real life, and for some of us that means posting something, somewhere at all hours of the day. In order to keep up with all the status updates, links, snapshots, and tweets, you need to maximize your time, and share efficiently – sending thoughts out into the ether won’t do anyone any good.

Here’s a quick and easy how-to for you to follow so you can ensure all your posts on various social media sites get to the right people in a timely manner.

Know your topic and audience

I know you have a lot of important thoughts in your head just waiting to be unleashed, but here’s a dose of reality: Not everyone will care about whatever it is that you have to say. However, each and every one of your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social sites will have a specific set of interests – if your post touches at least one of those interests, then it’s definitely worth posting.

After knowing what it is you’re sharing, the next step would be to figure out who would be interested in it and what they do on a regular basis. Are your close friends all stay-at-home moms or freelancers who would have a lot of online time on their hands, or are they Average Joes and Janes who maintain 9-to-5 jobs in an office environment? Anticipating the type of activities your contacts engage everyday in will enable you to properly time your posts to reach the most number of people who will give a damn about your latest vacation or that thought-provoking article you just read. Otherwise, your update will get overlooked and sadly exist quietly without a Like or RT to its name.

Know your network and time your posts accordingly

This is the most important step – the only step that matters, even. Knowing your audience is one thing, knowing the social network you intend to share to is quite another. Every person has a favorite site to go to for their dose of information overload, just like every social network has its own culture and user behavior. You need to study your friends list on every social site you have an account on and observe how your News Feed behaves on each one. Who posts most often on what site, and at what time of the day? What time zone do they follow?

This step actually goes hand in hand with the previous one – aside from knowing where your friends are when they use Facebook, you also need to take note of your most social media-active friends so you can take advantage of their heightened online presence. It’s a good practice to tag people on posts you think will either appreciate it more than most (and comment on it) or find it interesting enough to pass it on to their other friends. Once they comment or re-post your update, there’s a higher chance that your post will get more social media airtime.

Knowing where and what isn’t enough, you need to consider timing as well. According to various sources on the Internet, here are the best and worst times to post on the following popular social networks (all based on EST):

  • Facebook – Traffic on the god of all social networks is almost always atrociously high, but it’s most out of control between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The best time to post that photo or link on Facebook would be between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., especially on Wednesdays at 3 p.m., when most people are perusing their feeds on their breaks. Don’t bother posting between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. – people will either be busy spending time with their families, engaging in offline activities, or sleeping. Posting on weekends is also generally discouraged because most people actually prefer to live life off the computer outside of work.
  • Twitter – Those who enjoy reading updates limited to 140 characters tend to do so from Monday to Thursday, after 11 a.m. The best time to post that Twitpic or RT is between 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., while the worst is from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m.. Traffic on the micro-blogging site starts to dwindle after 3 p.m., especially on a Friday, so try to get your tweet in before then.
  • LinkedIn – Linkedin is a social site mostly dominated by professionals with regular jobs, so of course it makes sense that traffic on this site is usually heavy before and after business hours, when users are not busy with their responsibilities – try to share posts between 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.. Anything you share between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on a Monday or Friday will probably go under the radar.
  • Pinterest – This particular social network has a timing pattern that’s different from others – traffic tends to build up by 12 noon. It’s advisable to pin posts on Pinterest any time between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekdays, but if you want to reach the most users, Saturday morning is your best bet, as it is the site’s peak time. Traffic dies down after 5 p.m., so try not to hold off on your pins till late afternoon.
  • Tumblr – Compared to Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr is a whole different creature when it comes to social media activity – you should consider posting on the site after 4.pm. If you really want to get the most attention, make sure you post after 7 p.m., when Tumblrers are most active. And unlike most sites that discourage posting on weekends, the best time to post on Tumblr is actually on a Friday night. Those kids and their crazy late night, weekend-Tumblring.
  • Google+ – Yes, contrary to popular belief, Google+ has enough traffic to have its own “peak time” for posts, which is after 9 a.m. Unlike LinkedIn, the best time to post on Google+ is during work hours, specifically 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Traffic peters out after 5 p.m., so don’t bother posting in the evenings.

Get extra serious

If you are in a profession where social media presence matters a whole lot, then you might want to consider using social media tools that will give you better insight on how your audience behaves. This is also particularly useful for social sites that have don’t necessarily have a best time to post since it’s determined on a user-to-user basis, like Instagram.

To track how many times your links are clicked, you can opt to use link shorteners like Bitly or Ow.ly. This will enable you to find out which social network you have the most reach in.

If you want to maximize your social media accounts, there are special sites that offer a variety of services. SocialBro has a “best time to tweet” daily report that analyzes your Twitter followers’ timelines and lets you know the exact right moment you can reach the maximum number of people that will provide you with retweets and replies. Timing+ does the same for people who prefer using Google+. As for Instagram, Statigram will provide you a rolling month analysis of your account, analyze your usage, and show you a graph that will help you optimize your account.

statigram

If you want a one-stop shop to monitor your influence on all your social media activity, you can sign up for a Klout account.

klout
News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
DT Daily

Capsure CEO Jeanne Lewis talks about preserving the world’s memories

We were joined by Jeanne Lewis, the CEO and co-founder of Capsure, a new photosharing app, on this episode of DT Daily to discuss how technology can help us capture important moments.
Social Media

Twitter tests home screen button that offers more control of your timeline

Twitter recently relaunched its reverse-chronological timeline, but accessing it means diving into settings. Now the company is testing a button on the main screen that lets you switch between the two different styles of timeline.
Social Media

Snapchat’s PR firm is suing an influencer for failing to influence

Snapchat's PR firm is suing a social media influencer for his alleged failure to promote Spectacles on Instagram. Actor Luka Sabbat was paid $45,000 upfront, but the suit claims he fell well short of the terms of the deal.
Mobile

WhatsApp finally gives in to the lure of cash-generating ads

WhatsApp's co-founders always said their messaging app would never show ads, but once the pair quit the company, it seemed inevitable that its owner, Facebook, would find a way to incorporate them.
Computing

Urban legends for the digital age: The best scary stories from the internet

In need of some simple scares this Halloween? We've combed the internet for the best creepypastas, urban legends, and scary stories. From found footage YouTube videos to a deceptively scary wiki, these stories are sure to spook.
Mobile

Shazam hooks up with Instagram Stories for another way to share songs

The latest update for Apple-owned Shazam lets iPhone users share music tracks to Instagram Stories in a few quick taps. To enable the feature, just make sure you have the latest version of Shazam loaded on your handset.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.
Computing

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."