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Social Media Content; Best Days and Times for Car Dealers to Post

Optimal Times for Car Dealer and OEM Link Posting Differ Across Social Networks

When car dealers and automotive marketers are looking to achieve high click counts, the optimal time to post is similar for Twitter and Facebook, but differs dramatically for Tumblr... details in a May 2012 blog post.

Exploring how content propagates through social networks, and how the day and time of a post affect the attention received, the company finds that for Twitter, posting in the afternoon earlier in the week (1-3 PM Monday through Thursday) gives the best chance at achieving a high click count for car dealerships and automotive marketers. Similarly, on Facebook, links posted from 1-4 PM result in the highest average click throughs, with Wednesday at 3 PM proving to be the peak time of the week. By contrast, Friday evening, which is the slowest time on the other platforms, is the optimal time to for automotive marketing professionals to post on Tumblr, with posts after 7 PM on average receiving more clicks over 24 hours than content posted mid-day during the week.

Facebook Traffic Peaks Mid-Week

Looking at the traffic patterns by automotive consumers among the 3 biggest social networks, reveals that Facebook traffic peaks mid-week, from 1-3 PM. Traffic begins to increase around 9 AM, and fades after 4 PM. The peaks of Twitter activity by automotive consumers occur from 9 AM through 3 PM, Monday through Thursday. The post suggests that while posting on Twitter when there are many people (overall) clicking helps raise the average number of clicks, it does not guarantee the optimal amount of attention by automotive consumers, given the increased competition.

In contrast again to activity on Facebook and Twitter, traffic from Tumblr for automotive marketers and car dealerships peaks between 7 PM and 10 PM on Monday and Tuesday, with similar traffic on Sunday.

Majority of Google+ Activity Occurs During Work Hours

Meanwhile, according to a May 2012 study from Simply Measured, the vast majority of Google+ activity takes place during the work day, with car company brand posts and total automotive consumer engagement peaking at 9 AM.  It is noteworthy that 10 AM is also a significant hour for car company brand posts, while the evening hours and early morning hours see the least engagement from automotive consumers.

Looking at days of the week, the report finds that car company and OEM posts and total automotive consumer engagement peak on Wednesday, with Monday and Thursday following... Saturday and Sunday see the least amount of activity.

Other Findings:

  • The Simply Measured report also finds that Google+ adoption by car companies (OEM) and activity appear to be on the rise. Looking at the Interbrand Top 100 list, the study finds that 64 major corporations have activated a brand page, up from 62 in February (the 3-month anniversary), and 61 in December (the 1-month anniversary).
  • 22 of the Interbrand Top 100 brands now have a circler count of more than 100,000, up from 13 in February, while the number who post more than 3 times a week to their page has almost tripled (from 15 to 43) in that timeframe.
  • The automotive industry leads the way in circler size, ahead of electronics and luxury.
  • Average weekly circler engagement has risen 112% in the past 3 months, even though the scale of activity still does not come close to Facebook or Twitter. 
  • Google+ content engagement among automotive consumers is also growing, with multimedia content - in particular video - driving the vast majority of engagement.


Views: 878

Tags: Best, Car Dealers, Content, Content Marketing, Days, Post, Social Media, Times


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Comment by Bruce Etzcorn on May 14, 2012 at 9:27am

Interesting info if your interesting in just getting clicks. I'd like to elaborate on a gem you brought to the surface:  "it does not guarantee the optimal amount of attention by automotive consumers, given the increased competition."

Both Ralph and Karla touch on this, but what you're referring to is something called "contra-competitive timing". It's trying to find moment when social networks are less competitive and more receptive. For example, if you're looking for responses on articles, contra-competitive timing might show that on weekends, fewer posts are fighting for my attention so I have more time to craft a response. Which makes sense. It's trying to find that window that's tricky.

There is a great book that you might want to take a look at. Dan Zarella of Hubspot's book "Zarrella's Hierarchy of Contagiousness" (  ) supplements this post well and is a very quick read.

Lastly, contra-competitive timing analysis is something that many social media management tools are starting to employ. Since everyone's network is different, smart tools can/will analyze your network and help you determine the optimal time YOUR network is more receptive to your messages.

Comment by Thomas A. Kelly on May 14, 2012 at 3:19am

Many years ago a wise used car manager taught me that putting too many of one thing on the lot can be unsettling to a consumer. We had measurably more success moving iron with 40 cars in front of the building and 80 hidden behind the building. If we owned 12 Mustangs, 8 would be hidden...His theory was too much can and often will, spin out the consumer. We delivered more by offering less. Content delivered to a smaller audience may result in more conversions. Split testing with similar content we may find the valleys are more fertile. Good information Ralph.

Comment by David T. Gould on May 12, 2012 at 10:38am

very good post. this is helpful information. thanks Ralph. I suspect the answer to Karla's post is going to be similar to getting higher email open rates. Be there at the peak time with an interesting subject (line) to get viewers to engage.

Comment by Karla Pincott on May 11, 2012 at 9:10pm

I think you've raised a valid point about 'peak hour', Ralph. As a fellow congestion avoider, I'm also starting to detour from some of the high-activity times on Twitter. Youtube is probably another good example of congestion. It would now be impossible to watch all the freshly uploaded content even in a narrow search category, as about an hour's worth is being loaded every minute. The crucial question will become: how do you gain the particular attention you want amid all the other noise?

Comment by Ralph Paglia on May 11, 2012 at 4:29pm

Marc, thank you for the encouraging comment and I too found this information to be relevant and very useful. One idea that is troubling me though... If professional marketers all concentrate on the time periods of greatest activity and engagement, it seems that would lead to a lot of clutter, and may make the time periods regarded as less desirable, the exact opposite... Maybe I am over-thinking this, but I am one of those people who avoid restaurant and club hot spots because when things are so crowded as to be "congested", it becomes a turn-off to me.

Comment by Marc Burley on May 11, 2012 at 3:59pm

Hi Ralph i found that post really interesting and I wil try this ove the next two weeks to see if it works out. I love your posts and the knowledge you bring and i will keep reading.




Marc Burley

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