This article also appears at farmingtonwriterscircle.wordpress.com.
I try to publicize my works as much as possible using social media, because it is very inexpensive (often free) and it has the potential of connecting with people around the world. My personal WordPress account shows that my viewers come from around globe from such diverse locales as Ireland, Russia, India, Singapore, Australia and Brazil among many others.
- I became curious about what would be the best time to post to reach the largest audience. I did a little research on the Internet and made a few calculations and came up with some interesting results.
According to study by Fictionophile, the most “literate” of the United States is the East Coast, where most major cities are concentrated along with most major universities and Ivy League Schools. Therefore, to gain the most exposure to this audience, you have to time your posts with the eastern time zone. How you want to do that, of course, is up to you. I try to post at 7:00 a.m. EST, when most people are rising for the and reading their e-mail or newspaper. But you might want to post at 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. when most people are coming back from work and settling in for the evening. You might also want to post on Fridays, often advertised as #FictionFriday, when people start to seek out reading for the weekend. There are a lot of other possible strategies as well. Fortunately, WordPress allows its users to schedule their posts, so this is easy to do for me.
Here are a few notes I took during my research. Being a former Naval officer, I still find military time easiest to use, so most of my time references are based on the 24-hour clock. I live in New Mexico, thus the references to Mountain Standard Time (MST). UTC is “Universal Time Coordinated, the successor to Greenwich Mean Time, which is the time in London, England. More on UTC can be found at https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/timezone/utc.
- To time European English-speaking countries for publicity, use Central European Time (CET) which is eight hours ahead of MST. (2030 MST Monday = 0430 CET Tuesday). Ergo, 0001 MST = 2001 CET.
- India Standard Time (IST) is UTC + 5:30 or CET + 4:30. Ergo, 2030 MST Monday = 0930 IST Tuesday
- Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT: Sydney, Canberra) = UTC + 11/CET + 10
- Staggering release times of announcements would seem to be best to catch a world audience. Ergo, for a three day free promotion, Release as follows:
- 0801 Mon. MST = 0001 Tuesday CET = 0431 IST
- 0001 Mon. MST = 0801 Monday CET = 1231 IST = 1701 AEDT
- 1931 Mon. MST = 0331 Tuesday CET = 0801 IST
- 1500 MST Monday = 2300 Monday CET = 0801 Tuesday AEDT
To make this easier for me to track, I use the World Clock feature on my iPhone clock, which allows me to track the time in several time zones at once. Currently, I am tracking the time in Washington, DC; Brussels, Belgium; New Delhi, India; Singapore; Perth, Australia; Sydney, Australia; and Honolulu. By targeting these time zones, I believe I can reach the majority of the English-speaking world.
Note that, if you are interested in targeting an Australian audience, they are about fifteen hours ahead of us (MST), so promoting book giveaways or announcements for a specific day is tricky. For example, if you have a book giveaway that starts at 8:00 a.m. MST on February 25, it won’t start for the folks in Sydney until 11:00 p.m. February 25. Here’s a screenshot from my iPhone to show the intricacies involved. Still, I believe that proper timing of your posts with the audience you want to reach will eventually be worthwhile.