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Poorly timed social media and email campaigns mean that retailers are failing to maximise user engagement, according to a study by Yesmail.

The report looked at campaigns run by major retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Diesel, Gap and Ralph Lauren, over a three-month period.

It found that “many social media and email campaigns do not match up with consumers' patterns for when and how they engage with brands”.

As a general rule, Facebook campaigns achieve the highest level of engagement on Tuesdays, yet that day ranks fourth in terms of when actual campaigns are deployed.

The majority of Twitter campaigns take place on Friday, which is the least engaging day for those campaigns. Also, most interaction on YouTube occurs on Monday, but it is the least utilised weekday for campaign deployment.

The best times to run campaigns

Yesmail also found a discrepancy between the best time of day to run Twitter campaigns and the time that they were actually deployed.

More than 84% of Twitter campaigns occurred within regular work hours of 9am to 7pm EST, though consumer engagement is actually at its highest early in the morning (5am to 8am).

Similarly, Facebook campaigns reached the highest level of interaction between 10pm and midnight EST, but the most popular time to deploy campaigns was 11am to 1pm EST.

However, although engagement is higher late at night, it doesn’t necessarily mean that consumers won’t become aware of a campaign simply because it is launched earlier in the day.

The viral nature of Facebook and Twitter campaigns means that a well executed campaign will build engagement throughout the day as more people become aware of it and share it with their friends.

How does email impact social campaigns?

The report found that email messages sent out prior to a social campaign can help increase user engagement via share buttons and calls to action.

On Facebook, engagement grew by roughly 50% when one email campaign was deployed on the same day and by 100% when two email campaigns were deployed.

Twitter campaign engagement levels reached a 35% increase with one email campaign and a 50% increase with two.

This certainly suggests that brands can increase social engagement through email messaging, but will it work long-term?

If brands are consistently sending out two emails on the same day they launch a social campaign, then there is a chance users will soon come to see it as spam.

The best time to sell online

As consumers, we all know that we are more likely to make a purchase on payday then at the end of the month. A separate report from QuBit has found statistical evidence to support this fact, showing that Wednesday mornings in the first week of any month are the best time to be an online retailer.

The insight was generated from more than 350,000 customers using the company’s Exit Feedback tool, which gathers live responses from consumers about their online shopping experience.

It found that customers were typically at their most price sensitive on Sunday evenings at 11pm, and on the 24th day of the month – coincidentally, a combination of factors that only occurs in June this year.

Customers were at their least price sensitive on Wednesday mornings at the start of the month, suggesting that this is the ideal time for retailers to push full-priced products.

It could also be a good time for brands to launch social campaigns around new product ranges or offers on old stock.

QuBit’s research also found trends in consumer price sensitivity, and therefore propensity to purchase.

Consumers are comparatively 14.5% more price sensitive on the weekend compared with weekdays and in general are almost 10% less price sensitive in the days after pay day that they are in the rest of the month.

David Moth

Published 26 June, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1686 more posts from this author

Comments (4)


Richard Burns

Its curious why Yesmail's numbers and conclusions are different than the last report I saw which was different from the last report before that.

Personally I think there is no one time that is universally the best times to run social campaigns and articles like this one are actually dangerous to initial success in social media.

You need to test and then test again and then test some more to find out what is best for each and every type of campaign, company, industry and goal for each type of social media.

over 4 years ago


Gillian Hamilton Rogers

Thanks eConsultancy. An interesting read on a topic that I think is often overlooked.

Is there any similar information on timings for B2B social campaigns?

over 4 years ago


Gerben van Ouwendorp

I totally agree with Richard. Like building up your e-mail database you also have to collect (and use) data to optimize your campaigns. Especially with all the different types of social media and your goals. When you really want to engage with your customer and start a conversation you'll ask more from them than a f.e. a simple share.

over 4 years ago


Nimo Richmond

I agree with Richard and Gerben, this is highly subjective. Just like what we use to do with our off-line campaigns, we need to test on a set of objectives.

over 4 years ago

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