“Golden hour” on social media. Fact or urban legend?

“Golden hour” on social media. Fact or urban legend?
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Many marketers are still preoccupied with the so-called “golden hour” in social media, i.e. the time when it is best to publish content to reach the widest audience. Although there are plenty of studies and professional analyses of this issue available on the web, in reality their results are not universal and unambiguous. What does it mean in practice?

Does the “golden hour” exist?

To some extent, yes. But it is not a single hour that covers all social networks and all target groups. In practice, this means that yes, you can indicate the hours of greatest activity of Facebook or Instagram users, but these are averages and do not necessarily relate to the audience you are interested in.

When looking for the “golden hour”, you need to take into account:

  • the activity of your target audience;
  • The purpose of your posts;
  • the channel on which you publish.

By analyzing these factors, you are able to get as close as possible to determining the time frames where your post can have the greatest reach.

Target audience

If you want to achieve maximum reach, you need to know and understand your audience. This will be helped by defining a persona, which is a sample representative from each of the target groups comprising your potential customers. When creating a profile of the people you are interested in, focus on aspects such as:

  • device used to browse social media;
  • What channels they visit;
  • preferred content;
  • Hours of highest activity;
  • time spent browsing social media;
  • behavior on weekdays and weekends.

You need to know who your audience is and what their typical day looks like. This will help you deliver new content to them at the right time. Moreover, such knowledge will also help you get them to take certain actions.

When it comes to user activity, you can always use special analytical tools to check it. Most of them are paid, but in the case of Facebook, such a panel is an integral part of your account and you have unlimited access to it. Use the information you can find there and optimize your publishing time.

Social media channel

Each social network is governed by its own laws and has specific characteristics that directly affect the activity of users. This means that a post published in the morning on Facebook can have a completely different reach than the same content on Instagram. This is mainly due to the operation of their algorithms, which take into account not only the time of publication, but also its frequency and content quality. The optimal frequency for each social channel is, for example:

  • Instagram – one or two posts per day;
  • Facebook – two posts per day;
  • TikTok – several posts per day;
  • Twitter – three posts per day.

Additionally, on Instagram, hashtags are important for reach – their proper selection will help you reach a wider audience interested in a specific topic.

Quality content

It is important for the visibility of your posts that they are attractive to your audience. Quality and engaging content is something that users not only want to read, but also want to share with others. Each share means additional reach for you and a signal to the algorithms that your post is valuable to your audience.

As you can see, the “golden hour” doesn’t have to be a myth at all, but you will definitely have to define it separately for all your channels and target groups, as it is not a universal concept.

main photo: unsplash.com/Timothy Hales Bennett

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