Shocking Research: People Use Social Media More as the Weekend Draws Near

By Tracey E. Schelmetic April 08, 2011

In news that will surprise absolutely no one, a media research firm has found that people use social media before the weekend more than any other days of the week, reported Mashable. Shocking news, we know.

Buddy Media, which is a “Facebook Management System” company, has analyzed more than 200 of its clients' Facebook pages over a two-week period. The company found that Facebook “engagement” on Thursdays and Fridays is 18 percent higher than the rest of the week, and that engagement was actually even better on Thursday than on Friday. It's apparently not a Facebook-only phenomenon: Twitter Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain, speaking at the Ad Age Digital conference earlier this week, said that Twitter users are more engaged with tweets on Fridays.

The reason is fairly obvious, says Jeremiah Owyang, a partner at the Altimeter Group (though apparently not obvious enough that it didn't need to be stated in a press release): “People are heading into the weekend so they're thinking about things besides work,” said Owyang. “They're mentally checking out and transitioning to the weekend.”

Rick Liebling, director of digital strategy at Coyne PR, concurs with the shocking news that people do, in fact, socialize on the weekends. “It's a matter of people finally pushing past the work week and coasting toward the weekend, picking their head up a bit to see what's going on and what their friends are up to,” he said.

However, Liebling adds that there might be another factor at work: There may be fewer posts overall on Fridays, which means a greater number of average click-throughs.

Dan Zarrella, a social media scientist at HubSpot, agrees with that assessment, and told Mashable, “I call it 'contra-competitive timing,'” said Zarrella. “As the overall activity seems to slow down from the hustle and bustle of the week, readers can give each tweet more attention because there are fewer other tweets fighting for it.”

Whatever the case, the fact that Thursdays and Fridays are the best days of the week for engagement isn't yet common knowledge among marketers. As Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow also noted at the Ad Age Digital conference, most brands are similarly unaware that their status updates will get more pickup if they're posted after work hours.

But Owyang says that what's generally true may not be applicable to many marketers, anyway. For instance, “Friday may not be the best time for the B2B audience because they're checking out mentally.” Similarly, Lazerow said that for movie companies, the weekend is the sweet spot, but for other media companies, Monday is the worst day of the week. “It's the noisiest time to post,” Lazerow said.

In other breaking news, the beer industry reports that people drink more beer on the weekends.


Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Janice McDuffee

TechZone360 Contributor

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