Timing Is Everything: When to Engage Athletes on Social Media

RS3060_RJC__20130728_ActiveTechSD_9341Note: This post is part of a series on data and insights that will put your next event in first place. Find actionable insights that fuel event growth on ActivityCloud.com.

Chew on this: More than 500 million tweets are posted each day. On Facebook, it’s more than 369 million status updates. The takeaway? There’s a lot of competition for athletes’ attention on social media.

We asked our ACTIVE.com team to dig into their social media data and help us answer a key question: When are endurance athletes most engaged on social media?

With a combined social media reach of more than 1 million—all folks interested in the types of events that you plan—they have useful information about how you can optimize your social media strategy.

Here’s what we found out:

1. Athletes Stay Up Late: The best times to post all messages (that’s across Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms) are 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Central Standard Time. This aligns with general social media best practices to focus content posts in the afternoon. We also found that there was a significant peak at 11 p.m. and minor peaks at 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.

What’s It to You: Try to post in the afternoon for optimal reach, but also think about scheduling a few posts after the workday has ended for even more engagement.


2. Avoid Mondays: Thursday is the best day to post on Twitter to engage endurance athletes, with nearly twice as much engagement than any other day. Tuesday, Friday and Saturday were also higher engagement.

What’s It to You: Studies have found that Thursday is not just the best day for Twitter, but for Facebook as well. If you’re only posting once a week, make sure it’s on a Thursday. If you’re posting multiple times a week, avoid Mondays and Wednesdays as those days have the lowest engagement.


3. Reach Out to Women: Nearly 60 percent of ACTIVE’s Facebook fans are women, with 35 to 44 year olds representing the largest share (nearly a quarter). Next is women 25 to 34 and then women 45 to 54. All of those groups represent more fans than any group of men.

What’s It to You: There’s an opportunity to think about how appealing your social media strategy is to women. Think about the images you choose to accompany your posts or the gender pronouns that you use and try to include women, if you aren’t already.


There’s a lot more to social media strategy than just scheduling. We’ve created a handy playbook to help you optimize all of your pages to better engage with participants, connect participants with each other and communicate important updates.

Click below to download:

-Your Facebook play-Your Twitter