Brands might think in terms of a Monday through Friday schedule, but people actually share on social media more frequently during the weekend.

In many ways, content marketing is about timing. A story published at the right moment can ride a trending wave, bringing in many more social referrals than it might ordinarily garner. But outside of atypical spikes in traffic, most brands are just trying to optimize their day-to-day operations for maximum visibility.

According to TrackMaven’s Colossal Content Marketing Report, businesses that want their brand content to make bigger social waves might want to reconsider when they set blog posts and news stories live on their sites, and more importantly, when they distribute links on social media. The study found 87 percent of commercial blog entries are posted during the week, with Tuesday and Wednesday being the most popular individual days (around 17 percent for each).

Yet social shares disproportionately take place on the weekend. Only 13 percent of blogs publish on Saturday and Sunday combined, but they account for over 30 percent of all social shares. In fact, the best day of the week to see content spread on Facebook and other networks appears to be Saturday, which accounts for 6.3 percent of blog posting, but accounts for 18 percent of the entire week’s social shares.

Personalization goes a long way

Every industry is different, and each set of readers and social sharers is going to exhibit different patterns. So should social marketing professionals commission their own social sharing studies? More than anything else, these kinds of patterns should give marketers two facts to consider:

1. It’s a good idea to publish posts on the weekend, even if offices aren’t open
2. Brands succeed when they clearly understand their customers and audience

In the past, it might have been beneficial to completely automate social functions and link all blog posts to Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds for immediate distribution. Now, it’s important to emphasize the fact that actual people are in control of social media publications. Google and other search engines can’t always crawl social posts to give them SEO value, so brands are better off focusing on engagement plays. It’s much easier to encourage genuine interaction when it’s clear a human is behind a social post.

Secondly, social users are increasingly savvy when it comes to brands’ online activity. If they’re being spammed by things they’ve already seen on other social accounts, let alone a company’s blog, they’re less apt to engage or follow. When a business knows its fans and learns when they’re most likely to read, it is making good faith attempts to engage with them online, an effort that could also pay off in added visibility. 

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.