Marketing departments and individuals alike are increasingly generating content to share via social media. Have you ever wondered the lifespan of a link you share? How long does it have a chance of actually getting clicked?
According to analysis reported on Bitly Blog , (Bitly is used for link shortening and tracking), after just 2.8 hours, the Bitly link you posted on Twitter will “have seen half of all the links it will ever see.” Here’s the same ‘half-life’ statistic for other ways links are shared:
- Twitter: 2.8 hours
- Facebook: 3.2 hours
- Direct (email): 3.4 hours
- YouTube: 7.4 hours
Mean Half-Life of Bitly Links on Social Sharing Platforms
Source: Bitly Blog . Results based on analysis of 1,000 popular bitly links.
How can a link’s life be extended? There are strategies specific to each social media platform that can help content stay alive at least a bit longer. For example, getting retweeted on Twitter can help.
Then there are the day and time variables. Bitly  studied how the day and time might influence a link’s life. Here’s a summary, but one thing to keep in mind is that while peak traffic on a site means more people to potentially see your link, it also means there is more content competing for a user’s attention.
According to Bitly, here are the days/times to post to maximize link traffic:
- Twitter: 1-3pm Monday-Thursday
- Facebook: 1-4pm during the week, traffic peaks at ~3pm on Wednesdays
Tools like the Hootsuite dashboard also will let you auto-schedule your tweets, automatically scheduling shares for a time of day when your followers are most likely to see it. Time of day statistics like these can vary widely by audience and data set, so it’s most important for marketing departments to pay attention to their own data to see what content and posting times result in desired metrics and engagement.
Above all else however, what you share might matter most. As discussed in a recent StratEDgy post , a successful content marketing strategy starts with generating content worth sharing.