The Best Times To Post To Social Media: Introducing the Burrito Principle

As the end of the year draws near and nonprofits large and small start thinking about strategies to break through the clutter and raise big bucks, I wanted to share a simple yet important tip with you YNPNers for ensuring your message is heard.  

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(image by Mark Smiciklas, Intersection Consulting)

Beth KanterJohn Haydon, and many other top social media professionals have written about the best times of day to post your messages on the world’s largest social networks.  Often these tips contradict one another, so as we gear up for the biggest fundraising time of the year, I decided to combine some data with the personal experience gained producing the Nonprofit Boot Camp and Social Media for Nonprofits conferences (next up, SF on 10/10-11) and a bit of common sense… introducing The Burrito Principle.

The basic idea is that you want to reach people on Facebook and Twitter during their down time, when they’re most likely to log in.  Note this is different than email, where the guiding principle is not to be unread message number 42 of 63 when someone gets back to work and clears out their inbox (hence, send your email blasts at 11am or 3pm Tues/Weds/Thurs).  

With social media, on the other hand, your Facebook posts and tweets should be timed to catch people when they have time on their hands:

  • 8:30am— when they’re on their way into work
  • 12:30pm— when they’re checking their iPhone while eating a burrito
  • 5:30pm— on the bus ride home
  • 10pm— after the kids go to sleep, which in general is the single best time to post during the week  

The data says that weekdays all perform about the same, but Wednesdays are actually the worst, while weekends provide the best reach, so plan your posts accordingly.  Of course, your mileage may vary depending on whether your audience is professionals vs. youth, and be sure to use tools like RowFeeder’s free reports to figure out what time zone your audience is in.

I hope this small tip helps you reel in the big bucks as 12/31 roles around, and if you’re interested in learning more about our efforts producing the nation’s only conference series devoted to social media for social good, check out www.SM4NP.org or better yet, join us in San Francisco on October 10-11, and use the discount code “YNPN” to save $25.


About the Guest Blogger:

Darian Rodriguez Heyman co-founded Social Media for Nonprofits, which educates social sector leaders on how to advance fundraising, marketing, advocacy, and recruitment efforts online. Previously, he served as Executive Director of Craigslist Foundation and he is also the author of the best-selling book, Nonprofit Management 101 and a frequent keynote speaker at nonprofit gatherings around the world.

 

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commented 2014-03-10 15:43:46 -0700 · Flag
Interesting Info about the difference between posting to facebook
and doing email blasts.
commented 2013-09-26 08:01:13 -0700 · Flag
I’ve read some contradictory info as well (i.e. http://blog.bitly.com/post/22663850994/time-is-on-your-side). It seems like the debate is between whether one should target “down time” or “procrastination time.” Could you talk a little more about how you combined data and personal experience to figure this out?