According to a May 2012 Bitly study, different social networks have their own distinct personalities. The study shows how content goes viral through social networks, particularly how the day and time posted affects the amount of attention it will receive. The study evaluates the persistence of a link by calculating the half-life: the amount of time at which a link will receive half of the clicks it will ever receive after it’s reached its peak. Findings include:
The half-life of a social link is about three hours, unless published on YouTube, where it can receive seven hours’ worth of attention.
For Twitter, posting in the afternoon earlier in the week is your best chance at achieving a high click count (1-3 p.m. Monday through Thursday). Posting after 8 p.m. should be avoided.
For Facebook, links posted from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. result in the highest average click-throughs. Links posted after 8 p.m. and before 8 a.m. achieve lower amounts of attention. Facebook traffic peaks midweek, 1 to 3 p.m. and fades after 4 p.m.
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