The Best Times To Post To Social Media: Introducing the Burrito Principle | Beth’s Blog

The Best Times To Post To Social Media: Introducing the Burrito Principle

Conferences


Flickr Photo: Mr. T in DC

Note From Beth: Next month I’m lucky enough to be doing the keynote at Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in San Francisco to share some ideas from my book, “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” winner of the 2013 Terry McAdam Nonprofit book award.   The conference offers lots of opportunities to learn many practical tips for social media from a wide range of experts, like colleague Kivi Leroux Miller.    (If you register, use can save $25 by using the discount code “Beth”)

Darian and Ritu have been organizing this conference for two years now.   Darian offers up this social media insight called the Burrito Principle.  How many times have you seen people in the grocery store or waiting to pick up their sandwich order or their burrito from a burrito truck – while standing in a line and browsing their mobile phones? It’s called “found time,” as Udi Ofer, CEO, ACLUNJ once described when I asked how to you find the time to tweet?   This is the time you should should be posting and engaging on social channels.

check out or better yet, join our keynote Beth Kanter and us in San Francisco on October 10-11, and use the discount code “Beth” to save $25.

The Best Times To Post To Social Media: Introducing the Burrito Principle
By Darian Rodriguez Heyman, Founder of Nonprofit Boot Camp and Co-Founder of Social Media for Nonprofits

As the end of the year draws near and nonprofits large and small start thinking about strategies to break through the clutter and raise big bucks, Beth asked me to share a simple yet important tip for ensuring your message is heard when you put together your email appeals and online fundraising campaigns.

Aside from our beloved Beth Kanter, John Haydon and many other top social media professionals have written about the best times of day to post your messages on the world’s largest social networks.  Often these tips contradict one another, so as we gear up for the biggest fundraising time of the year, I decided to combine some data with the personal experience gained producing the Nonprofit Boot Camp and Social Media for Nonprofits conferences (next up, SF on 10/10-11, with a keynote by Beth!) and a bit of common sense… introducing The Burrito Principle.

The basic idea is that you want to reach people on Facebook and Twitter during their down time, when they’re most likely to log in.  Note this is different than email, where the guiding principle is not to be unread message number 42 of 63 when someone gets back to work and clears out their inbox (hence, send your email blasts at 11am or 3pm Tues/Weds/Thurs).

With social media, on the other hand, your Facebook posts and tweets should be timed to catch people when they have time on their hands:

  • 8:30am— when they’re on their way into work
  • 12:30pm— when they’re checking their iPhone while eating a burrito
  • 5:30pm— on the bus ride home
  • 10pm— after the kids go to sleep, which in general is the single best time to post during the week

The data says that weekdays all perform about the same, but Wednesdays are actually the worst, while weekends provide the best reach, so plan your posts accordingly.  Of course, your mileage may vary depending on whether your audience is professionals vs. youth, and be sure to use tools like RowFeeder’s free reports to figure out what time zone your audience is in.

I hope this small tip helps you reel in the big bucks as 12/31 roles around, and if you’re interested in learning more about our efforts producing the nation’s only conference series devoted to social media for social good, check out www.SM4NP.org or better yet, join our keynote Beth Kanter and us in San Francisco on October 10-11, and use the discount code “Beth” to save $25.

About the Guest Blogger:

Darian Rodriguez Heyman co-founded Social Media for Nonprofits, which educates social sector leaders on how to advance fundraising, marketing, advocacy, and recruitment efforts online. Previously, he served as Executive Director of Craigslist Foundation and he is also the author of the best-selling book, Nonprofit Management 101 and a frequent keynote speaker at nonprofit gatherings around the world.

10 Responses

  1. [...] As the end of the year draws near and nonprofits large and small start thinking about strategies to break through the clutter and raise big bucks, Beth asked me to share a simple yet important tip for ensuring your message is heard when you put together your email appeals and online fundraising campaigns.  [...]

  2. [...] Note From Beth: Next month I'm lucky enough to be doing the keynote at Social Media for Nonprofits Conference in San Francisco to share some ideas from my book, "Measuring the Networked Nonprofit," winner of the 2013 Terry McAdam Nonprofit book…  [...]

  3. Debbie Willis says:

    I’ve done a lot of research on this topic and have read that Wednesday is THE best day of the week to post on Facebook, with Wednesday at 3pm being a time that works well to engage on all 3 major platforms (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn). What is the reasoning behind Wednesday being a bad day?

  4. Beth says:

    Hi Debbie:

    I’ll let Darian respond to your question about what specific research he was basing that on.

    BTW, do you have links to the studies you looked at? Thanks again for your insight comment.

  5. Debbie Willis says:

    Hi Beth,
    This is one of the articles that I’m referring to, it references data that bit.ly released. In this Mashable article you’ll see that Facebook’s best time is 3pm on Wednesday. Of course, the timing will never be the exact same for everyone, but I thought this article had a good summary of optimal times for the different platforms.

    Article link: http://mashable.com/2012/05/09/best-time-to-post-on-facebook/

    Quote: “However, Facebook’s optimal posting times are slightly different than Twitter. Links sent between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. get the most traction, with Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. being the best time to post on Facebook all week.”

  6. Beth says:

    That article is over a year old, do you think there has been changes? Also, did you look at Dan Zarella’s research.

    Anyway, I think it is good to use these sorts of studies as guidelines, but then test test test. You can set up simple a/b tests. It’s about your audience context, your goals, etc. THis post says it well
    http://www.websighthangouts.com/best-time-to-post-on-social-media-infographic-mistakes/

    Also, for Facebook, the new report in Insights that tells you what time your fans are online is also a useful data point.
    http://socialmediatoday.com/sheersocial/1671646/best-time-post-facebook-using-insights?inf_contact_key=536c91a16535536fdbbd3d063d18bf01e3dd816416be4967f589104bacba2229

  7. Debbie- Thanks much for your comment! Yes, there’s definitely a *lot* of conflicting information out there. Blackbaud was the one that shared day of week info, but I’ve seen the Weds 3pm data (i.e. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226973?goback=.gde_66325_member_254889664). Like I said in the blog, just trying to use common sense and anecdotal experience, but happy to look at anything else you’ve seen.

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  9. [...] Burrito Principle, a term coined by social media specialist extraordinaire Beth Kanter, answers the age-old questions [...]

  10. [...] by the way, this can change from season to season and research resource to resource. In a recent article by Beth Katner’s organization Darian suggests posting to Facebook, Twitter, etc. during your [...]