There used to be a set schedule for internet marketers that despite a few tweaks here and there, was pretty much universal. You knew that emails should go out with the proper timing so that come Monday morning, they were at the top of a person’s inbox as they slid into work. You knew that social media posts were best delivered at five minutes to or five minutes after the hour so that you could catch people just coming back from lunch or a meeting. You knew that the best time to launch products that had restrictive marketing timers was about 11pm for the 24-hour counters.
In short, there was a schedule for internet marketing and as long as you pretty much stuck to it for most of the time, you’d have some success.
The Consumer is Always On
But now, things are a lot different. The worker isn’t checking his emails at 9 am when he gets into the office, he’s checking them Sunday night, Monday morning, Tuesday midday and Saturday all day. Social media accounts are being checked at all times, with alerts ringing off even during meetings. The difference here? The wide array of devices that people use to connect to the internet.
You have your desktop for when you’re at home, your laptop for when you’re commuting, your tablet for when you’re commuting light and your smartphone for when you’re commuting between devices. On the toilet, in the bed, watching TV, at the movies, there is no place that the consumer isn’t plugged in anymore. The consumer is always on.
And that’s great for internet marketers, we have a direct line to our clients and leads 24/7, 365 days a year. They even sleep with their phones under their pillows! This ought to be like shooting monkeys in a barrel (which we’ll assume is easier than shooting fish), right? Well, sort of.
When to Contact the 24-Hour Customer
The problem that arises here is that if the customer is always on, when is the best time to contact them with your marketing campaigns? When is the best time to post on social media for maximum engagement and reach? When is the best time to send an email so it doesn’t get shifted to the bottom of Gmail’s “Promotions” compartment?
These are the questions and here are the answers: no one knows. Sure, there are some educated guesses, but overall, there are no more “rules” on the best times to send out your marketing campaigns to interact with and reach your audienceâ€¦ that is, no more “general rules.”
Metrics and Analytics – Do Your Homework
The fact that the consumer is always on should make our lives easier, but it doesn’t. Not if you want to take full advantage of the opportunity before you. Sure, you can keep on posting at your standard times and if they are working for you, great! (We know for a fact that most of them aren’t, especially Facebook which has drastically changed the way it deals with reach, now it makes more sense to post constantly, instead of just once or twice a day).
But if you really want to dig in and capture the market like a pro, you’re going to have to look at your metrics and analytics. Don’t just find out what time your viewers are on, they’re always on. Find out what times they are interacting and engaging with your posts. While this might not be the easiest task, there are some tools that can help you get started.