Anyone and everyone has shared this bit.ly blog post the past couple of days.
The data, which addresses the times of day on different platforms with the highest click data, claims to provide insight into the best times to post on each network. Mashable, ran with that and essentially rewrote the visualization into a post (understandable, it is a little hard to read).
But I’m not convinced that’s really what the data says.
The problem with solely tracking click data is that people need links to click on, and in order to generate links, you need content. If there’s less content (and lower quality) being produced and tweeted at night, on the weekends, and in the early morning there’s a much smaller chance that clicks will be generated. Because there’s less new content produced at these times, there seems to be less activity.
News doesn’t follow a 9-to-5 schedule, but for the most part, content producers do, and are only fully staffed in earnest during regular hours. We wouldn’t be shocked to see that bit.ly’s results would be echoed today as well: there’s a reason Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage was leaked this afternoon, not in the morning or even saved for the airing of the interview. People like to break news during the day, so naturally platforms like Twitter, which rely on up-to-the-minute news and sharing, drive the most clicks the moment content is produced. Facebook does more to spread out when you see content (hence why you see updates from hours ago in your newsfeed), so the results look a little bit more scattered, though within a general range. Tumblr doesn’t rely on news, so its results are more all-over-the-place.
Ultimately it’s the volume and quality of content being produced at these times that drives clicks, not actual activity. Or at least, this data doesn’t prove that, so it’s not worth relying on to figure out when you should post the most.
In reality, you should just post great content all of the time.