Why I’ll Never Tell You When to Post on LinkedIn

June 28, 2017

Colleagues collaborating at desk

Imagine a world where your whole LinkedIn audience is online to see your latest posts. If only it were so easy. Unfortunately, reality isn’t as kind: Social users are getting on and off LinkedIn all throughout the day, making your audience a moving target that is hard to predict.

If anyone tells you they’ve got a silver-bullet answer for when to post on LinkedIn, don’t believe them. No such thing exists.

But while there isn’t a one-size-fits-all prescription for timing your LinkedIn updates, every company can do their own research to figure out which publishing windows offer the greatest potential reward. With a little testing and audience analysis, you can build a strategy for optimizing your timing of posts on LinkedIn. 

Understand Your Audience’s Location

Whether you’re a global company or a small business targeting a local audience, the location of these LinkedIn users matters. Peak activity windows on LinkedIn is strongly correlated with behavioral routines throughout the day.

Use Google Analytics to evaluate the time zone locations of your audience. Once you know where they are located, build testing strategies around publishing at times relevant to their location.

The time difference between you and your audience is crucial to keep in mind as you test different publishing times and compare the results. You might find that the lunch hour is a successful window for timing your LinkedIn posts, but if you’re targeting audiences in both Los Angeles and New York—or London—then you’ll need to account for these time discrepancies when scheduling your posts. 

Test Throughout the Day

Most LinkedIn users visit the platform when they have time to engage with content. Our own in-house analytics show that user activity increases in the morning before work, again around lunchtime, and also in the early evenings when the work day has ended and the day’s rhythms begin to slow.

These routines aren’t hard-and-fast rules, but they are good guidelines to keep in mind, especially as you start testing your content. People might work nine-to-five jobs, but the Internet never takes a break. Don’t be afraid to test odd hours such as late at night and in the middle of the work day. You never know when your audience may exhibit behaviors that differ from the larger LinkedIn population.

Accounting for Mobile

More than half of all LinkedIn traffic is now mobile, and that makes a difference in how companies time their posts to the platform. Instead of building a strategy around the times when users are most likely to be seated at a desktop device, LinkedIn users are now logging in all the time: During their work commute, at a sporting event, while watching TV at home.

To some degree, mobile activity has spread out the volume of LinkedIn activity throughout the day, but it has also increased the number of times users visit the platform. As you develop a testing strategy, keep this mobile audience in mind.

General trends are always useful in gathering information, but every brand’s audience is different. No matter what the “best time” blog posts may tell you, your own research is the only way to truly know when your content should be shared on LinkedIn.

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