How often should you post to your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or your email newsletter?
The definitive answer?
It depends on so many different variables, and everyone’s got such vastly different opinions on the subject, there is no one real answer.
The Target Changes
First of all, the target changes constantly. Let’s say the prevailing opinion is that new posts — blog, Twitter, Facebook, email newsletter, and so on — should go up on Monday morning at 8 a.m.
Which means your readers are being bombarded at 8 a.m., so they ignore everything that comes in around that time.
The people who study these things notice that 8 a.m. open rates and click-through rates drop dramatically. They find the new prime open rate is Thursdays at 3:30 p.m.
So they release a special report that gets shared around the industry saying the new ideal time is now Thursdays at 3:30 p.m, which means everyone starts posting their stuff at that new time.
Pretty soon, people get tired of all the posts coming in on Thursday afternoons, so they begin to ignore them, and the process starts all over again.
The best option is to pick whatever time fits with your schedule and post at that time. Keep an eye on the “prevailing wisdom,” if only to make sure your scheduled posts don’t fall within that range.
There are some other factors to consider when finding your best post time. You need to know a few details before you just start posting willy-nilly.
- Your productivity: This is the first item to figure out. How often can you reasonably post high quality content? If you’re busy, and this is at the bottom of your list, you’re going to struggle. But if you make it your top priority, you’re going to get much better results. If necessary, schedule a block of time to get your posts written.
- Your purpose: Don’t create content just for SEO purposes. Google is on to that trick, and that bad content that results will hurt you more than help you.
- Your audience: While you want to avoid the “best time syndrome,” there are some worst times: like 2:00 a.m. on a Friday night, or 6:00 am on Sunday mornings. Find out when your customers are most and least likely to be on social media, and post accordingly.
- The need for speed: Is this breaking news, or just really cool? Do your readers need to know this immediately, or would a few days’ delay be acceptable? If you have a great topic, take a few days to develop it and make it sing. But if it’s breaking news, and you can do a little newsjacking, try it. You can always go back and add more later.
- The size of your organization: Do you call all the shots when it comes to editorial decision making, or do you need approvals and checks by another department? Do you have other contributors also adding content? Figure out how to work around those schedules so you can still post timely content.
- Guest authors: Get some guest authors and contributors and hold their content in reserve. This way, if you run dry, you have something to publish in its place. This lets you keep to your schedule, and even reach your guests’ networks as well
Each of these factors vary from person to person. Some people have a lot of time to create content, others don’t. Some can make all their own approvals, others can’t. Some have a slew of guest authors, some are doing this solo.
All of these items affect when you can, should, and need to post your updates. It’s why there’s really no “best” time or number to posting. Ultimately, you need to do what’s best for you and ignore the prevailing wisdom of the experts.