Timing is half of everything, and in some ways that’s obvious to marketers. For example: we send theCLIKK’s daily newsletter around 6:30am eastern because this puts it near the top of our readers’ inboxes when they start their days.

By much the same principle, anyone posting on social knows that timing is the difference between catching the biggest group of people at the perfect time and getting buried by 20 hours’ worth of content before anyone can see you. If you’ve ever held this responsibility, you probably have some sense of the “target times to post” on each social platform.

Recently, though, the targets have moved. Just about everyone in the world has had to adjust their habits and routines; even if people do many of the same things, they’re doing many of them at different times. People are definitely still active on social media—but the average person’s prime social-media hours have shifted.

Here’s our CLIKK Notes from Sprout Social’s report on COVID-related changes to social engagement:

You’re DOA trying to post late in the day. Afternoon and evening were never great times for social posting, but they’re especially bad times recently—because now, when people go offline, they really go offline. Put simply: the average person, when their workday is done, has way more domestic s**t waiting for them nowadays.

Consider moving your social posts up by an hour or so. Sprout Social’s report provides a full breakdown of ideal windows for all the main social platforms, so definitely check it out for details. If you just want broad strokes, here you are: aside from a few brand-new posting windows, the new recommended posting times have remained the same or moved up from previous recommendations, but never moved later in the day (with the lone exception of Wednesdays on LinkedIn).

People are hungrier for engagement. One cool revelation from Sprout Social was that—across all networks and industries—brands posting on social are seeing higher daily engagement nowadays. Weirdly, though, DMs and PMs and other 1-to-1 communications with brands are down across the board. Our read of things (and we tell it with a sigh): we’re all a little stir-crazy and want people to talk to, but we’re also too busy and scatterbrained to sustain many direct conversations, so we take what instant gratification we can.

It’s harder to know what all is coming next, much less how to (adjust the) plan for it. To be honest, it might still be too soon for long-term planning. But for now, we can still be here for one another—and if posting good stuff on social gives our prospects and customers something soothing to chew, the effort is worthwhile (and they’ll remember it later).

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