Facebook marketing. Can I time it right, keep it tight and win?

I used to get up early morning every day and tweet/facebook post. Early morning for me is usually around 4am, when in my part of the world, where most of my followers and friends are, it's ghost town in social media. The same tweet a few hours later or on a weekend would get a lot of re-tweets and likes. I was mistiming my shot.

Day part planning for digital media has been a grey area for a while, but now, that consumers are quickly adopting media absorbtion patterns that are geared to their day cycles, adapting to the new consumption habits through the day is becoming crucial. No more 4am tweets for me. I'm going prime time.

Sure facebook (unlike traditional tv/radio) can be engaged in anytime, anyplace. But around the world, marketers are discovering patterns of on-facebook engagement. A fascinating study from Buddy Media finds that Facebook has three clear peaks – and interestingly enough, these peaks are outside normal 'workday' hours. While it's difficult to directly translate findings in the US markets to learnings for our Middle East social media scenarios, I'm guessing it's possible to draw some parallels. Facebook in the US peaks at 7am (first thing in the morning checking of posts, updates etc), after work at around 5pm (they work 9-5, yes), and one final late night burst at 11pm. Translated to our region, we could say, that's more or less the same, except the 5pm would be around 6pm-630pm.

So, here's the first catch. This means that for those of us who offer professional social media services to brands in our region, having a team that helps with facebook updates during the workday is more or less being a bit of a waste. Or at least somewhat missing the top marks. It's not that the posts don't stay, it's just that they disappear amongst the so many others competing for attention. And, when our target audience is either trawling through the facebook posts and tweets, some posts done during the day are lost in clutter.

Another interstinug aspect of the BuddyMedia study shows Thursdays and Fridays have a lot more engagement in the US. Does that translate to Wednesdays and Thursdays here in our region where we have an Islamic calendar weekend of Fridays and Saturdays? In geographies where Fridays are a holiday, mornings are usually very lazy. Most malls are still empty until past the afternoon prayers. I'm guessing Friday mornings would be a good time – a prime time on Facebook/twitter. And Thursday evenings when the facebook/twitter set are trawling the web to see what's hot, what's not, and who's going where, with whom.

The study also reveals that the length of the post on facebook (twitter is already short at 140 characters) makes a difference in engagement and impact. Posts with less than 80 characters had more impact! My new mantra then for facebook? Keep it short and sweet. Make like a tweet.

My thought for the day on social media engagement on facebook (and twitter): Time it. Keep it tight. Ask for the like. You'll see the light.

Oh, and if you like this, use either google's new +1 button to tell the world, or Like it!


Facebook can be a great resource for generating brand awareness. Facebook is becoming popular amongst various age demographics and can be a create interception point for building your relationship with you consumers and prospects.


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