When I attended Social Fresh in February, one statistic stood out to me — and frankly, I didn’t believe it.
The news feed is the #1 most visible real estate on Facebook. It is customized to each user based on their network and their patterns of activity, like which of their friends they interact with the most. The news feed shows the top posts from a user’s network, filtering out more than 99% of content. (source: HubSpot)
I’m no genius, but if 99% of content is filtered out, that means only 1% gets through at any given time.
So I decided to put it to the test using my personal Facebook profile:
54 people “liked” the post, which seems pretty high. But I have 749 Facebook friends, so only about 7% of people saw the post. Even if you factor in that some people who saw it did not click like, it’s clear that status updates often get lost.
Plus, the more friends you have, the more crowded your news feed gets.
Twitter’s not much different — because it’s designed around real time updates, the 140-character posts disappear within a matter of seconds.
Take a look at what the Pew Research Center found in December:
Nearly a quarter (24%) check Twitter several times a day, while 21% say they never “check for material posted by others.” Twenty percent consult Twitter less than every few weeks. (source: Huffington Post)
After analyzing over 1.2 billion tweets, the Sysomos team found that only 29% of tweets actually produce a reaction – that is, a reply or a retweet. According to Sysomos, just 6% of all tweets are retweeted and these retweets have a very short lifespan. Virtually all retweets happen within the first hour after the original tweet.
If you are looking to get retweeted and nobody picks your tweet up within the first hour, chances are that nobody ever will. Only 1.63% of all retweets happen in the second hour and a minuscule 0.94% in the third hour. The same is true for @replies, too; 97% of all replies happen within the first hour.
Taking all of that into consideration — what are the best times to post on Facebook and Twitter, and how often should you be posting?
As I often do, I turned to HubSpot, the absolute masters of social media marketing, for some help — and a recent webinar fascinated me and answered some of the questions (embedded below)
A few takeaways? Let’s compare the two platforms.
- Post late in the day
- Post late in the week
- When in doubt, Tweet
- Post early- to mid-morning
- Post on weekends
- When in doubt, don’t post
Another fun tool: http://tweetwhen.com/, which tells you when you are most retweetable — and since RTs virtually guarantee that an exponentially larger (and more varied) number of people will see your update, they really are golden.
I know that’s a lot to digest, so I’ll leave it at that for now.
I’m curious — how many hours a day do you spend on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter? Do you do it for work, or just for personal connections?