The 5 Social Media Prime Times

Posted on December 17, 2012

Ryan Stewman



Marketing 101 taught us all to know our audience. I’ve taken it one step further by making my clients identify their perfect customer. You see, we waste so much time trying to cast a broad marketing net when statistics show that niche markets hold the highest conversion rates. It’s easier to catch the right fish if you have the proper lure.

In my time as a high-level social media manager and consultant, I have accumulated quite a few clients. So many clients in fact that my company may make up to 5,000 posts in a 24-hour period throughout many different social media platforms. This has given me the ability to gather analytics beyond most people’s comprehension. My clients work across many different industries but the one thing they all have in common is that they are all in sales. My clients hire me to sell stuff on their behalf using social media and the internet. Plain and simple, that’s the bottom line.

With that in mind, I’m constantly testing and testing and testing again what works. I’ve taken in clients that have a Facebook account with 80 friends all the way to clients that have 30,000+ social media connections. One of the top occurrences I see on social media after we take over an account is the familiarity factor. Most of my clients are not really active on social media. I take them from 1-3 posts a week to 3-5 posts a day. It takes their audience a month or so on average to get accustomed to this frequency. Once they do become accustomed, they become familiar and branded. This is no different than direct mail or an email branding campaign.

In order for me to do all of this without pissing my clients’ friends off, I have to understand their audience, who they want to talk to, and what they are trying to accomplish. Once I get my head around those three aspects, I can set up campaigns that not only create engagement; they will convert friends to clients. If the content I create is boring, too salesy and unfriendly, I could cost my clients, customers.

With all of that in mind, I have discovered that there are 5 social media primetimes. You know primetime, like on TV when the best shows come on. Yes, it works the same way on social media. In TV land, the prime time to broadcast is between 7-9pm CST—only two hours a day. (at least in Dallas where I live), but in social media land, there are primetime spots for 16 hours of each day. Different times apply to a different audience.

There are 5 daily social media prime times. To us them and market effectively, you must understand who is viewing, when and why. With my 10,000+ hours of extensive research and constant split testing, this is what I have come up with.

PRIMETIME Spot #1 “Early Riser” 5am-9am

The Early Riser spot is a primetime slot that I fit into. This slot is for the people who wake up, check email, Facebook, their calendar, and everything else before they get their day started. The Early Riser knows that when he/she gets the day started, there will be no time for playing on Facebook.


PRIMETIME Spot #2 “Employee/Stay At Home Mom 9am-12pm


This time period consists mainly of employees and stay-at-home moms (SAHM). Studies show that SAHM are more likely to surf Facebook in the morning. This is a quiet time for the SAHM and gives them the ability to have a little fun on social media before they are caught up in running the house for the day. As far as the employee goes, this is the time when a couple of things are happening. Thing #1 is that the employee is driving to an office somewhere. As much as it pisses me off, people surf Facebook and drive. Thing #2 is the typical employee will get coffee, turn on a computer, surf around and waste the first 30 minutes of every workday. You and I both know that Facebook takes up a good grip of that 30-minute time period. That’s why many companies have Facebook blocked. But everyone has smartphones so what good does that do?  


PRIMETIME Spot #3 “The Foodie” 11am-2pm


Remember back in the good ol’ days of Facebook when you could take a picture of your lunch and everyone would like it and comment on it? This still happens on a regular basis. People are known to surf Facebook to see what their friends are doing for lunch. Because of this trend, many people have got accustomed to checking Facebook before they go to lunch. This primetime slot is also a time when people are standing in line for lunch. We can admit that we ALL stare at our phones while we wait in any line. Americans will do anything to avoid eye contact with strangers these days. This is a great time to make sure your posts are mobile-friendly.  


PRIMETIME Spot #4 “Afternoon Delight” 3pm-6pm


This spot is the #1 most heavily trafficked time on social media. This is the prime time of prime-times. The people surfing during this time slot are mostly made up of two groups. Group one is the employees that have finished work early for the day and are killing time before they leave. The second group is the people all over the USA sitting in traffic. I hate to say it, but the numbers don’t lie. This gives them a quick time to check social media again before going home to their family for the evening.  


PRIMETIME Spot #5 “Finisher” 6pm-10pm


This spot is for the folks who make sure everything is all in order before they call it a day. The person who is making sure all their loose ends are tied up before dinner time. The person that makes sure all their tasks are completed before going to bed for the night. I personally fit into the “Early Riser” and “Finisher” spots, so if you are posting on social media trying to get a person like me to pay attention, and you are posting at 10am every day, I will never see a thing. I’ve got too much work to do during the day and I rarely have time to check social media once my day begins. But bet your ass, I’m on it the first and last thing every day. If you have never thought about the importance of time in your social media strategy, you need to start factoring it in.  

Social media is becoming more and more intelligent on a daily basis. Arming yourself with information like this will make the difference between people who play on social media vs. people who get paid on social media. Trust me on this, my clients and the people around the world just like them will take your clients if you are not careful. These are people who are investing their time and money into learning what it is going to take to market their business in the near future. I encourage you to take action as well.  

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