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Social media can play a massive role in marketing, and the travel industry is certainly no exception to this rule. However, knowing precisely how to target social media users is something of an art form, and one that many businesses have yet to master. Thus, a recent piece of research produced by QuickSprout could be of huge interested travel-related companies. The study assesses the best times for companies to post on social media in order to maximise their opportunities.

Before discussing the findings of the study, it is worthwhile to outline the origins of QuickSprout. The company is the brainchild of Neil Patel, a particularly significant entrepreneur. Patel has made his name as an expert on Internet advertising and analytics, beginning his career at the tender age of 15.

Since his early Crazy Egg undertaking took off while he was still an adolescent, Patel has built up a huge reputation. He was recognised as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35 by the United Nations. Today, Patel assists companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue via marketing and analytics. Patel has been named by The Wall Street Journal as a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world.

In short, QuickSprout are well worth paying attention to! In order to provide a real insight into the social media sphere, QuickSprout has assessed all of the major social media platforms and deciphered what are the best days and times for people to post commercial messages. So here are the findings of the company.

FACEBOOK

The best of days to engage with social media users on Facebook are Thursday and Friday. 86 percent of posts on the market-leading social media platform are published during the working week, with engagement peaking shortly before the weekend. In summary, the less people want to be at work, the more likely you are to find them on Facebook!

The optimal time to post Facebook information is early in the afternoon. 1pm was found by QuickSprout to be the best time to get a message shared by Facebook users, while 3pm would result in a high number of clicks. If one is looking for a broader window to post on Facebook, any time between 9am and 7pm would be beneficial.

TWITTER

Although Instagram has officially overtaken Twitter as the second largest social media site in terms of users, Twitter probably retains its reputation as the second most important social media platform commercially. QuickSprout found that B2B and B2C marketing should be handled significantly differently on the social media sites, with the former more suited to weekdays, and the latter generally more appropriate at the weekend. QuickSprout in fact found that B2B engagement increased by around 15 percent during weekdays as opposed to the weekend.

Twitter is definitely an evening platform. The highest number of re-tweets can be achieved at 5pm, while the highest click through rate is achievable just one hour later at 6pm. Twitter is clearly a site that users like to engage with in this timeframe, and are less likely to utilise during working hours based on QuickSprout evidence.

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn has rapidly elevated its reputation as a social platform in recent years. The business-oriented nature of LinkedIn ensures that it is a popular website with commercial social media users, and thus some of the results acquired by QuickSprout don't come as a huge surprise. Unquestionably, it is better to post on LinkedIn on weekdays, with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday particularly popular.

After analysing data from 14 million LinkedIn users, QuickSprout found that it is possible to acquire the largest number of clicks and shares on this social platform on Tuesdays between 10 and 11am. It is notable that 93 percent of B2B marketeers rate LinkedIn as the top B2B social media lead generation source. 7am to 8am and 5pm to 6pm were considered to be the ideal times to post on this social media site, with the beginning of the working day and the very last portion of it clearly an ideal time to market on LinkedIn.

PINTEREST

Pinterest is a relatively new social media platform, and one that is garnering a certain amount of attention. With its leisure-based focus, it is not hugely surprising that Pinterest interest (pardon the pun) peaks at the weekend. Posting on a Saturday is definitely the best way to go with Pinterest. According to QuickSprout, the best times of the day to pin on Pinterest are between 8 and 11pm. Activity on the social media site actually peaks at 9pm. Fashion and retail also proved to be particularly popular on Friday afternoons.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is definitely establishing a massive following as a burgeoning social media site, and the image-based focus of Instagram appeals to an attractive millennial demographic. This is a site occupied by busy young people, and thus it is notable that Instagram experiences a peak in usage on Sundays. By contrast, the best time to post on Instagram is Mondays.

Instagram is a fun site that is generally not considered to be suitable for working environments, we ourselves consider our Instagram Takeovers an exception to this. Indeed, many corporates block Instagram completely as it is not perceived to have any legitimate usage within such settings. Plus, lunchtimes are the best time to engage with Instagram users, with 12 noon to 1pm considered the peak time on this social media platform.

GOOGLE+

Google+ hasn't perhaps had the impact that Google was hoping for, but it is still becoming a widely utilised social platform. Google+ is very much aimed at business markets, thus the best time to post is naturally during working hours. QuickSprout found that the optimum days to post on Google+ were Monday to Friday, with the social media site being used considerably less over weekends. QuickSprout also found that it is better to be the early bird when posting on Google+. Any time between 9am and 11am is considered ideal, with social media posts peaking on Wednesday at 9am on Google+.

There is a lot of logic in the findings of QuickSprout, and any travel-related business should be able to adapt its social media strategy appropriately based on this research.

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