Social media is one of the best ways to communicate your restaurant brand to customers.
In addition to mass exposure, you have the opportunity to engage your customers on a more one-to-one level, compared to other marketing channels. However, timing is everything with social media.
What’s the best time to post on social media? What day of the week receives the most engagement? Are you familiar with local events that could drive more traffic to your social sites?
While there’s no perfect answer, plenty of research has been conducted to guide you to make the best decisions about posting. As far as customers go, each person is different and how they use social media can vary. Through trial and testing, you will find what method works best.
Here are a few tips to help you get there!
Locality and Time Zones
When it comes to social media accounts, over 80% of the US profiles live within the Eastern and Central time zones. As a local restaurant, you are most likely posting for customers locally and won’t be impacted by someone in California reading your post if your restaurant is in New York.
However, it’s recommended non-peak hours are the top time to tweet for clicks. Tweeting during non-peak times will help your tweets standout since you’re not tweeting during high-volume times and competing for attention in a customer’s feed. This rule applies to Facebook posts too.
With Facebook’s, businesses will want to focus on posting engaging and quality content that will encourage comments, shares, and likes. Knowing your local audience and being in the know about upcoming events can help drive social media traffic and engagement. Be sure you’re connected locally to events occurring in your area and begin following local business pages that are constantly posting events for customers and residents in your area. These pages could end up being your best friend in the event they “Share” or “Retweet” one of your posts to their followers!
Days of the Week
As far as social media is concerned, each channel has different recommended days to post.
With Facebook, between Thursday and Sunday, engagement can be anywhere between 18%-32% higher than Monday through Wednesday. If you’re looking to try a more “informal” tone with your content, so it isn’t so restaurant/business focused, use Friday to test the waters. People are most happy this day of the week and will be more receptive to that fun and engaging content!
Facebook usage spikes by 10% on Fridays because – and we can assume – it’s the last day of the work week and people are ready for the weekend. For brands, Fridays generate 17% of all likes, 15% of comments and 15% of shares.
Twitter is slightly different. The best day to post content on Twitter is Wednesday, but customers respond more positively on weekends. Weekdays tend to show a stronger performance, though some niches might have more active audiences on the weekend.
The best times to post on Facebook are early in the morning (around 9 a.m.), during lunch (1 p.m.), and late afternoon (when we all are looking for that ‘before-I-leave-work break’ at 3 p.m.) Specifically, 12-1 p.m. is prime time on Saturday and Sunday.
The worst times are weekends before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. The best time to post on Facebook is up for debate, with stats ranging from 1 p.m. to get the most shares, to 3 p.m. to get the most clicks, and anytime before dinner.
Knowing this is a big deal as a restaurant owner because you could promote a special to drive some last minute traffic to your restaurant! Once dinner passes, user engagement begins to fall, as customers begin to settle into their evening routines.
Twitter is very similar, where the most ideal times to post are around 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and after work at 5-6 p.m. These times revolve around “breaks” in the work day where people roam on sites other than doing their work. Customers view Twitter like a RSS feed where there is constant information and content that is updating every second for them to peruse during down times while commuting, taking breaks, and during non-work hours. If you want to get more customers engaged, tweet around 5 p.m. to get the most retweets, but 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. will bring you more click-throughs.