What is the best time of day to post content or questions on LinkedIn?

I’ve seen lots of information about the fact that most people access LinkedIn during working hours, while the majority access Facebook during the evenings and weekends. However, I wanted to test this.

About six weeks ago I posted an offer of a ‘free guide to getting the right client feedback in your firm’ on three LinkedIn groups. Over 200 people have requested a copy to-date so I’ve had a look at when their requests came in to see what (if any) patterns emerge.

The vast majority of people (72%) asked for a copy of our guide before 2pm weekdays, and 58% before midday (in their local timezone).

Most people responded on either a Monday or a Thursday (20.7% and 23.2% respectively), followed by a Wednesday (17.2%), a Friday (15.3%) and a Tuesday (12.3%).

While I did receive requests at the weekends: 6.4% on Saturday and 4.9% on Sunday, these were overwhelmingly from those who are self-employed. While it’s rough logic, this seems to suggest that self-employed people use the weekends to catch up on what’s been happening in the groups they belong to.

What does this mean? 

Not a lot in itself. But it does start to give a feel for when the best times to post content are. If you want to increase your chances of your content being found, and people engaging with you, I recommend posting content on a Monday or Thursday before 8.30am. Unless of course, you are targeting self-employed people when you may want to wait until Friday night/Saturday morning to post.

If you’re targeting those in the same timezone then it’s easy. But if you want to engage with those in other countries you will need to think about when they will be online (for example, if you’re in New Zealand and want to engage with those in the USA there is little point posting content or questions on a Monday as they will not have begun their week). Luckily you can use tools, such as Hootsuite, to pre-schedule your posts.

The other thing to remember is that the majority of LinkedIn users don’t access their accounts every day. Questions you ask, comments you post and content you share will only be found by a large number of people if others respond. If a discussion stays towards the top of a group for an extended period of time, more people will join in. There is no silver bullet but you can listen to your target audience and engage with them on topics that matter to them.

What times of the day/week have you found work best to post content? Does this differ geographically? 

What other tips would you give to professionals to maximise their chances of engaging with their target audience(s)? 

Specialising in professional services and law firm marketing. I help firms to retain and grow existing clients and attract more of their ideal clients. My core services include social media for lead generation, voice of the client programmes and tender strategy and development. Outside of work I love to run. I’m a bit like Forest Gump in that I’m not that quick but can keep going for ages. I also enjoy coming up with new inventions. Unfortunately, most of them have already been invented! | * Professional services marketing consultant | * Legal marketing consultant | * Law firm marketing consultant
  • http://www.johngraymarketing.com.au John Gray

    Thanks Kirsten, very valuable information.

    • http://kscopemarketing.wordpress.com Kirsten Hodgson

      Glad you found it useful John

  • http://www.onlinemarketingblog.com.au Vahe

    Kirsten, great info! Keep up the good work :)

    • http://kscopemarketing.wordpress.com Kirsten Hodgson

      Thanks Vahe – I’d welcome any other ideas for future posts.

  • http://marketingactuary.com Promod Sharma | @mActuary

    This is interesting Kirsten. Since there isn’t a way to pre-schedule what’s released when, I tend to post as time allows. That’s most likely in the late afternoon or after work when I’m catching up on my reading.

    • http://kscopemarketing.wordpress.com Kirsten Hodgson

      Hi Promod, you’re right – if a group administrator moderates content before allowing it to be posted then you have no control. It’s a case of knowing which of your groups don’t do this and trying to time posts into them. Having said that, if content is good and valuable it will hopefully be found and you have to do what works for you – plus posting late afternoon/evening usually means your content is near the top of the group discussions for the next day (unless it’s a v. active group or one that gets a lot of spam). LI do seem to be making it more difficult for people to find new content now that they’ve removed the ‘see all new discussions’ button. While you can still get to the list of new discussions either by clicking through the revolving spotlight or by clicking the search button in the discussions toolbar it’s not as intuitive.

  • http://learnit2earnitwithlynn.com Lynn Brown

    Scheduling your posts has always been a huge benefit for my blogging success. Also I am now using BufferApp and MarketMeSuite to schedule tweets.

    Thank you for sharing your findings on the testing you did. Interesting about the self-employed on weekends.

    • http://kscopemarketing.wordpress.com Kirsten Hodgson

      Hi Lynn, thanks for sharing details of those two apps – I haven’t come across them so will definitely take a look (it’s great to hear about other things that people recommend). I found the self-employed thing interesting although I have to admit I do tend to catch up at weekends.

  • http://www.growyourfirm.com.au Dan Toombs

    Thanks Kirsten
    It’s such a potent tool. The “sleeping giant” according to Social Media Strategist Mark Parker who is on a forthcoming podcast with me. But you know, just when you think you’ve nailed the trend, there’s a variance that comes from nowhere. Email analytics still surprise me with respect to both open rates and times of opening. There’s a lot of variables! For a client recently, we both segmented the list, watched open rates and times fanatically, and tailor marketed campaigns to suit the individual trend and it was hit and miss.

    • http://kscopemarketing.wordpress.com Kirsten Hodgson

      Very true Dan. It really is a question of trying things and learning from others – what works in one group doesn’t necessarily work in another. Look forward to hearing your forthcoming podcast.