As we have seen on several occasions, establishing a content marketing strategy to promote your music online requires creating an appropriate content schedule.
Musicians and music groups who understand this can then take full advantage of their music community management on social networks.
However, a question very often arises when it comes to determining the timing of publications: when to publish on a particular social network? When is the best time to post and reach as many people as possible?
And for good reason, it’s only natural when you publish on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or even Snapchat, to want to get the best return on investment by reaching as many current and potential fans as possible.
Nevertheless, the concern is that all kinds of information can be found from “experts” in social networks on this subject.
Everyone makes their own estimates and ultimately creates ever more confusion for artists. So what is it really like?
Well, in this article, I’m going to give you the three elements that you absolutely must integrate when you want to determine the ideal publication time for your social media postings.
1. Theory: what they tell you
The problem with this type of information is that it must be truly generalizable.
However, for this to be generalizable, it is necessary to be able to rely on a study of a large number of publications and accounts on social networks in order to be as representative as possible of the results that the average user can expect.
Thus, many sites (marketing agencies, community management tools, etc.) are challenging themselves to carry out the most accurate and up-to-date study on the ideal timing for posts on social networks.
However, you can easily understand that these studies are ultimately limited: they mostly concern a large number of accounts without discerning industries (and even less cultural projects!), they are often carried out by companies based in English-speaking countries (and having English-speaking audiences) and focus mainly on studying the results of the most popular pages.
In short, these studies necessarily lack data to be generalizable to the case of the average musician or band.
Moreover, it is easy to see that the task of generalizing the ideal timing on social networks is difficult since these experts end up contradicting each other.
So what can we do? Well, we’re going to go back to the basis of the theory in order to better understand these studies.
And the theory is that we try to reach the potential or current fan when they are connected to the platform (from a computer or mobile device) and are willing to consume content online.
Of course, this varies depending on the platform, but in general the average user tends to connect more around noon, in the afternoon and early evening.
As an indication, by cross-checking several studies, here are the peak hours on the musician’s main social networks:
- Facebook: between 12pm and 4pm (and more generally between 9am and 7pm)
- Twitter: between 12pm and 3pm (and more generally between 11am and 6pm)
- Instagram: between 12pm and 7pm and between 9pm and 3am
- Youtube: between 1pm and 5pm (and more generally between 12pm and 7pm)
2. Facts: What changes for you
Although you can use theory to guide your content schedule at the beginning, in practice, you need to test and analyze.
Indeed, there is a very good chance that the best hours to interact with YOUR audience do not correspond to what the experts advise you through their studies.
So you have to test different schedules and days of the week for a certain period of time to see how your community and algorithms react.
You can very easily study the statistics in the dashboards of your various social networks to better understand the consumption habits of YOUR fans.
Theory helps, but there is no single answer to this question. The ideal timing depends on many factors:
- From the platform
- From your fan community
- From your market niche
- Time zones you target
- The purpose of the publication (advertising, entertainment, promotion, etc.)
- The publication itself
If, for example, you have fans all over the world, the publication schedule becomes secondary, because it is totally unmanageable.
We will then target the majority audience or the one most concerned by the post.
Keep these different factors in mind, perform tests and observe the results to find out what works best for YOU.
3. The Truth: What you need to know
Very spontaneously (and informally), if I were asked when is the best time to publish on social networks, I would not answer by invoking theory or facts, but rather by saying something like that:
Who cares? Who cares? But like, serious.
As long as you follow at least the common sense of the theory and adapt it to the reality of YOUR community management, everything else is just literature.
Scheduling a publication for 13h, 14h or 15h will only change the final result very significantly. So don’t get caught up in this and stop looking for absolute perfection.
Optimization is necessary, but it must not overshadow the creation of quality content and sharing with the community.
There is no magic recipe anyway. There is no miracle.
Just because you find the perfect time to publish and maximize your reach (14:57 and 39 seconds on the first Thursday of the month?) doesn’t mean you’ll make the buzz or even hit the mark with your audience.
It depends on your content itself, your proximity to your audience and many other criteria.
Instead of looking for the best time to publish, focus on creating a calendar of engaging content around your music.
Instead of trying to optimize what is largely random in algorithms (once common sense and hindsight are demonstrated), focus on what you can control: your promotion, strategy and branding.
As you will have understood, you must use common sense and not publish your last clip at three in the morning on Tuesday.
But in terms of return on investment, it is by optimizing your content and marketing that you will get the most results from your fanbase that will listen to your calls to action and the social networks that will put you forward.
Learn good practices, adjust them and then take action.