Link shortening and tracking service bit.ly has released new data on the best and worst times to share links on popular social networks, from Facebook and Twitter to blogging site Tumblr.
The company revealed that posting links to Twitter between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET (or 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PT) will give you the highest click rank, especially on days earlier in the week. Meanwhile, sending a tweet with a link after 8:00 p.m. should be avoided — as should posting links after 3:00 p.m. on Fridays.
The half-life of a link posted to Twitter is about 2.8 hours, according to bit.ly.
However, Facebook’s optimal posting times are slightly different than Twitter. Links sent between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. get the most traction, with Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. being the best time to post on Facebook all week.
Links posted after 8:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m. on Facebook don’t get the most clicks. Similar to Twitter, bit.ly recommends not posting the links you want to go viral during the weekend.
“While traffic starts to increase around 9:00 a.m., one would be wise to wait to post until 11am,” bit.ly said in a blog post on its site. “Traffic from Facebook fades after 4:00 p.m.”
Meanwhile, Tumblr has a much different usage pattern than Facebook and Twitter. It’s suggested to wait until at least 4:00 p.m. ET. to post important content, and posts that go up after 7:00 p.m. get the most clicks during a 24-hour period.
It’s also suggested that Friday evenings are a key time to post on Tumblr — a time bit.ly recommends avoiding on Facebook and Twitter.
Bit.ly traffic from Tumblr peaks between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, with similar traffic on Sunday, according to the study.
“It’s easy to see that just like your neighborhood restaurants, each social network has its own culture and behavior patterns,” bit.ly noted in the blog post. “By understanding the simple characteristics of each social network, you can publish your content at exactly the right time for it to reach the maximum number of people.”