Please, update strategically

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What were you doing yesterday?

Tweeting and updating your company’s or client’s Facebook page, I hope.

On Twitter and Facebook, Tuesday is the best day of the week for engagement, according to a new report from Yesmail. Unfortunately, the brands in the study most often tweeted and updated their Facebook pages on days when engagement among followers was at its lowest.

Are you making the same mistake?

Yesmail, a company that makes email-marketing software, tracked and analyzed the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and email campaigns of leading retail brands during the first quarter of this year. The brands studied include Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, H&M, J. Crew, and Ann Taylor. (You can download the study here.)

The study examined the campaigns—which is a generic term for tweets, Facebook updates, and YouTube videos—and compared the days and times when brands are most frequently using these platforms against engagement rates among consumers.

Engagement in this study refers to Facebook “likes” and comments, retweets on Twitter, and views, comments, and ratings (likes and dislikes) on YouTube.

The study emphasizes that it’s important for companies to test the success of the times and days on which they communicate on social media, but that retail brands will see the most engagement from tweets and Facebook updates on Tuesdays. Meanwhile, YouTube videos garner the most views, comments, and ratings on Mondays.

Jason Warnock, vice president of market intelligence and measurement at Yesmail, said the findings apply across industries, not simply to retail.

“We’ve looked across other verticals, and we’re seeing the same things,” Warnock told PR Daily. “Marketers should pay attention to what their competitors are doing on these channels and what consumers want from these campaigns.”

Facebook

Although Facebook updates get the most engagement on Tuesdays, brands posted the majority of their content to the social network on Fridays. As a result, the deluge of Friday updates had created what Warnock calls “messaging madness.”

“Too much happens on Friday,” he said.

The second-busiest day among brands on Facebook was Wednesday, followed by Thursday and Tuesday. The least busy days were Saturday and Sunday.

This chart shows how often brands updated Facebook on specific days, as well as the level of engagement they garnered:

Updates between 10 p.m. and midnight Eastern Time were “an engagement gold mine,” according to the study. The likely reason, the study noted, is because many of these brands are popular with college students, who are often awake and online during these hours. For the most part, brands in this study were not taking advantage of this time slot.

Meanwhile, 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. ET was the least-engaging time on Facebook.

The most common time to update Facebook among the brands studied was from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.

In terms of frequency, the five most-engaging brands studied—Ann Taylor, Limited, Ralph Lauren, Eddie Bauer, and Banana Republic—posted Facebook updates 20 to 32 times per month. The five least-engaging brands averaged 54 updates per month.

The most-engaging content included pictures and videos. Sharing links in status updates is seeing declining rates of engagement, the study noted.

Twitter

On Twitter, meanwhile, the days when brands saw the most retweets were Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (with little difference among them), yet 20 percent of tweets are sent on Fridays, which is the least-engaging day, according to the study.

Most tweets were sent during regular working hours, even though the most-engaging time is during early morning hours, from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. ET, and 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET.

The five most-engaging brands tweeted 45 to 70 times per month, whereas the five least-engaging brands averaged 95 to 115 tweets per month, according to the study.

YouTube

Posting a video to YouTube on Monday will garner the most engagement, according to the study. Tuesday is the second-most-engaging day for YouTube videos. Similar to Facebook and Twitter, most videos are uploaded on Fridays and Thursdays. Few videos go live on YouTube on Saturday, even though the study shows strong engagement occurs that day.

As for time of day, 68 percent of YouTube videos were uploaded from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET, whereas—and this is surprising—the 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. ET time slot saw the most engagement. From 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. ET is the second-most-engaging time for YouTube videos in this study.

A key finding for brands on YouTube is that the length of a video is pivotal.

According the study, 33 percent of the top-performing YouTube videos were less than 30 seconds long; 28 percent ran 60 to 90 seconds; 17 percent were 120 to 180 seconds long; 11 percent lasted longer than 180 seconds; fewer than 10 percent ran 90 to 120 seconds.

Across all three platforms, email campaigns can help boost engagement, according to the study.

(Image via)

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