I thought I’d share with you some of the information I’ve learned since altering my posting schedule, as well as what I’ve learned through using Twitter. It’s nothing particularly compelling, and I’d say most of it you already know it, but there may be people who could benefit, and if nothing else I thought it might make for a good discussion. I’d love to provide you with pie charts and throw around words like “statistics”, “data”, and “analysis”, because despite that fact I’m no good at mathematics I find such things immensely interesting, but none of my observations fit that sort of structure and my information is just written down on paper as bullet points.
My new posting schedule of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, has allowed me to really gauge the times when more people are about online. I suppose it goes without saying that posting as I did previously, every three days (which made for a strange two-week schedule I’m not proud of) didn’t allow me to discover anything, but as often happens to the self, I didn’t realise it would happen at the time.
So what has my posting schedule found? For the most part people are about a lot on Monday, less so on Wednesday, and not around much at all on Friday. This means that more people are around on Tuesday than they are Thursday. Of course this is not true of every week, and there have been occasions when I expect all of us have opened Twitter on a Monday to a silent reception, and on Friday to a mass of discussion. What is interesting, I think, if we consider the more-often case of Monday being the most busy day, is just that: why Monday? I find it interesting that it is this, the first day of the work week, that contains the discussion whilst Friday, the last day, is relatively quiet. I suppose I think that on Monday people will be feeling less motivated and also too busy to tweet, whereas on Friday they are looking forward to the weekend and feel emboldened by this fact to sneak online more than they would the rest of the week. Yet Monday rules. Does this mean that actually people need to psyche themselves into working by talking to others whilst on Friday they think “I might as well leave it until tomorrow, it’s the weekend then”? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this one because I find it fascinating. It’s also interesting that the Twitter accounts of publishers and editors – people who are being paid to be on Twitter – often follow this routine too, despite their approach being different and their work place actually advocating use of social media during work hours.
As a British blogger I’ve learned that scheduling my posts for the early morning is better than posting in the evening. By early morning I mean 1am. I chose this time originally to fit in with Australia – I wanted a time that fit my location so that the date my posts are assigned correlate to my calender, but wanted the post to go live at a time that fit internationally. 1am GMT/BST roughly fits in with Australian lunchtime, as well as late afternoon/early evening throughout America, the two regions at the extreme ends of the time zones. And it means that my posts are there ready for when Britons wake up for breakfast (more on that in a moment). Posting in the evening, British time, means that a lot of people will only see the post the next day, and in my experience you’re a lot less likely to read a post from yesterday when there are newer ones available. This is partly why I don’t post everyday, because I know how easy it is to just select the newest when there are a couple or more available. Whilst a lot of the content us book bloggers produce is “evergreen” and relevant for a very long time, as the basic audience of each other’s blogs we haven’t time to go through all of it.
In regards to the British breakfast, I’ve found that a great many people are online early in the morning, before work. This makes sense, but this time, around 7am, is good across the board. Yet once America is awake, unless you follow mostly Americans the overall usage of Twitter dies down, sometimes until the next day. Indeed it seems the best time to be on Twitter is 3am British time – afternoon in Australia, evening in America. We’re not best placed for interaction with the majority of our fellow English-as-first-language speakers. I find that peak time is from about 2am-12pm British time, which is a bit of a disadvantage during the work week when you don’t want to stay up too late.
So there you have it, not particularly new information with not particularly interesting analysis (I had to sneak one of those words in somewhere). If you’d like to know how I’ve applied it to my blogging, here it is: post what I consider the best of the posts I’ve lined up for the week on Monday, and then second best and third accordingly. But don’t not let people know about Friday’s post because you may find that particular Friday to be a buzz. And considering it’s the weekend next, people may also read it then. Though don’t rely on weekends because people like to relax.
What have you learned about social media usage and posting from your experience as a blogger?
October 29, 2012, 2:49 am
This is interesting. My posting has slowed wayyy down in the past couple of months, but my stats have actually gone up. We had actually discussed this at Book Blogger Uncon this summer, that posting every day isn’t all that beneficial.
But any time I actually do post my Fridays at Home post, it typically gets a lot of attention. I NEVER post on Saturdays, but I did yesterday and got a lot of hits as well. But I think that’s because it was part of a feature that I linked up to.
I know that, personally, Mondays are always rough, so I have to easy myself in, as you mention.
October 29, 2012, 3:05 am
Really interesting observations!
I’ve played around with my posting schedule, also, but can’t seem to find a pattern, though I do try to post at 3 or 4 in the morning my time so that my posts go out to my British readers roughly during lunchtime.
October 29, 2012, 9:12 am
“Yet Monday rules. Does this mean that actually people need to psyche themselves into working by talking to others whilst on Friday they think “I might as well leave it until tomorrow, it’s the weekend then”?”
I’ve noticed the same trend over the years, and yes, this is my guess. I guess people need something to get them through the work day on Monday, whereas on Friday they’re committed to getting the day over with. It would be interesting to see how this overlaps with productivity studies.
October 29, 2012, 10:38 am
This makes interesting reading!
I have Twitter on all day (as I don’t work) and I can’t say I’ve noticed a pattern – I know it’s quieter at some times than others, but haven’t made notes of it.
I do know that on my blog, the busiest day is Monday. I always think that’s because of the Monday meme that I do, and that many other people take part in, but maybe not (just that)? Tuesday and Wednesday are usually a little less busy, but Thursdays and Fridays a lot less. Saturday similar to Friday, and Sundays busier again. It’s fun to check!
October 29, 2012, 1:54 pm
I’ve never been on twitter after 11pm GMT, but I’m not surprised to learn that the busiest time is whilst I’m fast asleep. I’ve found the busiest times on twitter to be about 11am GMT (when those in the US first wake up?) and around 5pm GMT (US lunch time?)
I haven’t noticed much difference for my blog. Posting time seems to have little impact on visits/comments. People seem to come whenever they have the free time.
October 30, 2012, 12:21 pm
I haven’t noticed that pattern on Twitter but have for my blog. I do links on Fridays because people aren’t into discussing much as they get ready for the weekend. I think Mondays are days that people procrastinate at work and blog reading fits the bill.
October 30, 2012, 3:05 pm
Jenn: I’ve found that since I started blogging more regularly, and spent more time interacting with everyone, my stats remain constant for a time even if I haven’t posted for a few days. It’s the difference between just posting and staying to yourself and being part of the community, as well as the more you write the more likely people will come to your site through search results. Posting every day does clog up the reader, I know that if I’ve missed a day of reading blogs and find two posts in one feed, I’m likely to just pick one so that I can spread my time equally.
Themed posts and series are good because you build up a story of sorts – that and your Fridays at Home posts are just interesting :) I’m surprised by your Saturday stats, as that always seems the quietest day with Sunday being better for The Sunday Salon.
Anbolyn: I think the “results” are definitely subjective, and that there will be different statistics for every blogger because a lot of it will depend on our readers – and I’d say especially those readers who aren’t bloggers, people who don’t share the same sort of schedule. Your posting time is good, I get your posts just as I’ve finished reading the morning ones so it’s nice to have them spaced out.
Ana: That’s a good point, Friday trying to get things done. It would be interesting to see the overlap – I suppose blogging-wise you’d (the general “you”) be more likely to write on Monday, than Friday, if we consider the getting-into-work factor, but then Friday evening is free of work worries for most people, with it being Saturday.
Judith: What you’ve said is interesting – with Twitter on all day you haven’t noticed a difference. It’s interesting because my notes come from my not being online all day – online quite a bit, but not all the time, and thus perhaps my statistics aren’t quite correct? Then again we all follow different people and different numbers so it’s quite likely those you follow are balanced, location-wise, than those I follow. Memes would definitely make a difference, though your thoughts otherwise align with mine which suggests that actually, numbers or not, Monday is the perfect day to host a meme if you’re looking for visitors.
Jackie: Yes, 11am is often very busy, as is 5pm. I’d say your blog’s age and your reputation help in that, the fact you were blogging a lot before Twitter took off, etc.
Chris: Personally I love your Friday links, and would agree that it’s a good idea from my own feelings that it’s a nice post to read at the end of the week.
October 30, 2012, 7:41 pm
Interesting! I am off Mondays and work Saturdays, so I’m a little off-kilter, but I have noticed book bloggers are very active on Twitter on Mondays, but then, that’s usually the day I’m on the most, too, so I may just notice the activity then and not on other days. I have never come even close to blogging every day, but have to say that I’ve emailed subscribed to several blogs recently and it’s definitely hard to keep up with daily emails about new posts!
October 30, 2012, 10:32 pm
More and more over the year I’ve found I’d really just rather post when moved/inspired, rather than try to maintain a schedule. It all depends what one’s motivation is, I suppose, but letting go a bit of the need for vs. writing something that is personally meaningful (even if only to me) is where I’m happier recently.