Social media is one of the best ways to communicate your restaurant brand to customers. So, when should you post on Facebook and Twitter to optimize your social media results?
Obvious Benefits for Restaurants
In addition to mass exposure, social media gives you the opportunity to engage 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?
There’s no perfect answer, but plenty of research has been done to guide you to making the best decisions about posting. Each customer is different and how they use social media will vary. Through trial and testing, you will find what timing works best for your restaurant.
Here are a few tips to help you get there!
Locality and Time Zones
When it comes to social media accounts, over 80% of U.S. profiles live within the Eastern and Central time zones. But as a restaurant, you are most likely posting for local customers and won’t be impacted by someone in California reading your post if your restaurant is in New York.
However, it’s recommended to tweet during non-peak hours if your optimizing for clicks. Tweeting during non-peak times will help your tweets standout since there is less competition in a customer’s feed. This rule applies to Facebook posts too.
With Facebook, businesses should focus on posting engaging and quality content that will encourage comments, shares, and likes.
Knowing your local audience and 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 if they “Share” or “Retweet” one of your posts to their followers!
Days of the Week
Each social media channel has specific days that are ideal to make a post.
With Facebook, between Thursday and Sunday, engagement can be anywhere between 18%-32% higher than Monday through Wednesday. If you’re looking to keep a more “informal” tone with your content, use Friday to test the waters. People tend to be the happiest on Friday and will be more receptive to fun and engaging content!
Facebook usage spikes by 10% on Fridays because – and we can assume – it’s because it’s the last day of the work week and people are ready for the weekend. For popular 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 generally 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. Customers peruse this information 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.