Timing is EVERYTHING in Online Marketing

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There are three main factors dealing with time and online marketing and each one is critical to successful online marketing campaigns:

Time Management

When I ask most people why they are not using social media more, most answer that they do not have the time.   On the other hand, many complain about how much time is wasted online using these channels. Most poorly performing online marketing campaigns; whether social media, online marketing or PPC advertising; seem to be failing because the manager has either put very little time into planning the campaign, or has spent a lot of time setting up a campaign and getting it started but has then left it to ‘flounder’.

Establish a schedule of when you (or those in your company working on your online marketing campaigns) will work on online marketing activities on a day to day basis and for the longer term: week to week, month to month and for the future.   Making a commitment to such a schedule will:

  • ensure that your campaigns are well planned out, with all of your online (and offline) marketing activities working together and inline with the other activities of your business – and, more importantly, inline with the activities/needs of your prospects;
  • make it more likely that you keep your campaigns up to date;
  • bring better results from consistent efforts over the long term rather than sporadic activities here and there;
  • reduce the amount of time wasted on poorly timed activities.

Example of a 12 Month Plan for long term planning:

Time management

Click to download a blank form for your planning your 2011 campaign (pdf)

Be in the Right Place at the Right Time

One of the main issues Twitter users have is getting people to follow links posted and getting those posts retweeted.  Often posts on social media channels go unnoticed because they are badly timed, whether posted at a time when your key connections are offline or when there is such heavy activity on the channel that your posts are pretty much lost.  I first started looking into timing when working on improving open rates of email marketing campaigns. Like your social media efforts, an email newsletter delivered at the wrong time is more likely to end up lost amongst a number of spam messages.

Identify the best time for your online marketing activities. In my post “Get Focused for a More Effective Online Marketing Campaign” I discuss the importance of thoroughly identifying your target market, which includes determining when they are likely to be online so that you can ensure that you are active at those times.

  • When are your key followers on Twitter, Facebook, etc.? Post your updates during these times. Use a social media app where you can schedule posts, like Hootsuite so that you can post at the right time, even if it is inconvenient for you to be online at that time. Make it a point to be online during some of this time so that you can properly interact with your connections at the best times.


  • When are those on your email marketing list most likely to be checking their Inboxes? Schedule your email marketing campaigns to be delivered at these times.  If you aren’t sure what time is best for your market, divide the list and send at different times and see which have the best result.
  • When is your audience most likely to be using search engines? Schedule your PPC ads to be shown at these times to improve your ROI.


Time is Money – so treat it that way

As it is free to participate in most social media networks, and it’s become easier and easier to manage your own email marketing and PPC campaigns, many business owners forget the real cost – the cost of your own time to manage your campaign. It’s important to carefully monitor the amount of time that you are spending in all of your social media marketing activities and compare to the results you are achieving by looking at your analytics.

If you are not getting a sufficient return on the time spent, then you need to review all of the activities and see where you can improve. A few common concerns:

  • Are there certain social media channels that are bringing no return and may be best to leave out of your campaign?
  • Are you spending too much time interacting with ‘friends’ on social media channels, but not getting to speak to decision makers?
  • Do you need to spend more time writing articles for the site, because once a month is not enough?
  • Would you get a better ROI to hire a professional to manage your PPC campaign?

At time is such a valuable commodity, use it wisely – plan, observe, review – and see the great return you get from your online marketing activities.

Ann Donnelly
For ten years Ann Donnelly has been helping businesses achieve their goals using the internet; starting with developing static brochure websites to now offering fully... Read Full Bio
Ann Donnelly
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  • Rahul @ MazaKaro

    great topic , loved the point when you said reduce the amount of time wasted on poorly timed activities, of course people have to be aware of wasted time. i believe it’s all about time and being organized matters a lot != thank you 🙂

  • Jamie Favreau

    Thank you… your editorial calendar is great. Very good tips.

  • women health fitness

    The world has changed a lot people started to work on internet to gain the profit

  • Steve

    Hi Ann,
    I just read your post i am very much interested to join social activities but i haven’t enough time to do this.but some time i used to visit such related article just like yours.Anyways great work keep it up.

  • Nick Massa

    Great post Ann. For new bloggers and Twitter users, timing is definitely key – until you get big enough that people wait for you!

  • Sandeep Dash

    Thanks Ann! Hm..using social media app to schedule & post at right time is really a great idea for the online marketers 🙂

    • Dinesh

      Time management tips give bite size chunks of practical advice on how to make your personal time management system work.

  • Steve Jobs

    Time is really of utmost importance for online marketing and that in reality is not being utterly exploited by lots of online marketers due to the fact that they really don’t have much time to spend. Like in social media campaigns, for it to succeed you should have more time with your friends to chat, in a way having a more personal approach to earn their trust.

  • Dori Kelsey

    I lead people and mostly supervise and instruct their work. I face lot of constraints of time to get these people manage and their overall work. And as you said scheduling of work will be of great importance. what I will do, this sunday I will sit and fix the things for them so that I can manage their work as per the schedule rather running behind me daily.

    Your planning sheet is awesome, that will helpful for me.

    Thanks for your unique thought Ann 🙂

  • Resell Rights Biz

    Timing is everything and I truly believe that my tweets are receiving greater reactions when I post within 2 separate time frames throughout the day (afternoon and a period during the evening)

  • Car Hire USA

    “Time is Money”- true in all sense. Great post.

  • sheridan

    thanks for tips great reading now to put them to work

  • Roshan Joshi

    some good points that you have raised on social media marketing timing. creating the buzz at the right time is so essential in business. compare this to a live news channel, where if you are few hours late to breaking news then you are gone.

  • Email Marketing Software

    @ann_donnelly its a great factor to know your time, its also a prior investment regarding in online marketing where you may know what are the client’s suggestions or needs that will help the people for their business growth and for their future plan. thank you very much, this is a very efficient tips for us..