When Should I Post my Narrative Short?
Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, with millions of people logging on to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram every day. From staying connected with friends and family to promoting businesses, social media platforms have become integral to our communication and marketing strategies. However, with millions of users and content being shared every second, it can be challenging to know the best time to post your content to get maximum engagement.
Social Media & Filmmakers
In recent years, social media has become an increasingly popular platform for filmmakers to showcase their narrative short films. With the rise of platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and Instagram, filmmakers now have the ability to reach a wider audience and share their work with viewers all over the world. However, with so many filmmakers vying for attention on social media, it's important to understand the best time to post your narrative short film in order to maximize its exposure.
Timing is key when it comes to maximizing engagement and reaching your target audience. In this article, we will discuss the best time to post your narrative short film on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Vimeo.
When to Click Post
After analyzing various data and experimenting with different posting times, I've found that the best time to post a narrative short film on social media is on a Friday at 10:00am EST.
Friday is a great day to post a narrative short because many people are in a relaxed and laid-back mood. They've likely completed their major tasks for the week and are ready to start winding down for the weekend. Folks in this mindset are easily distracted and as a result, they may be more likely to take a break from work and watch a short film. Higher-ups also tend to take off on Fridays more than any other day of the week, and you know what they say... "when the cat's away, the mice will watch short films on social media."
Most people get to their desks around 9:00am, and after logging in, catching up on the day's to-do list, and responding to a few urgent emails, they'll often take a break around 10:00am to grab their first refill coffee or tea. This is the perfect time to post your narrative short film, as it will be near the top of their feeds when they return to their desks. They even may watch it before heading to the kitchenette which can lead to an immediate discussion with whomever's by the water cooler. (How 'bout that Tobias Fünke?) By the time lunch hour rolls around, your film will have already accumulated a few hours of views, likes and hopefully shares, which will increase its visibility on social media for the upcoming hours.
Working for the Weekend
By the time Friday afternoon rolls around, people are already thinking about the weekend and making plans. Your narrative short film can be the perfect way to kick off the weekend and set the tone for their leisure time. By the end of the business day, your content will have had a solid 7 hours of casual air time, and with any luck, will be diving into the weekend with your core sharing audience. Hopefully by this time your film has been shared by your core followers and fans, providing you with a solid opening day.
Holidays and Exceptions
Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. Holidays, for example, are a time when people's routines are disrupted, and they may have more free time to browse social media. In these cases, it can be beneficial to launch your content at a specific time that aligns with the holiday in question... especially if your content is based on, set around or influenced by said holiday.
For example, the last two narrative films I produced had holiday releases. The horror short, Stick Doll, was released on Halloween day 2021, followed by Marian Edmiston's One Last Glance, a film that takes place on Christmas Eve, launching on Christmas Day '22.
Scene from "Stick Doll" Directed by Joe Ronca Copyright ©2021, Keasbey & Mattison, LLC.
Both films were released at 10am on their respective days. With Stick Doll, people were looking for spooky things to watch on Halloween. They were easily distracted at their desks, frequently in costume, and generally had a laid-back office day. Stick Doll was quickly shared and accumulated a number of views very quickly.
Marian Edmiston in "One Last Glance" Directed by Joe Ronca Copyright ©2022, Keasbey & Mattison, LLC.
Similarly, One Last Glance was launched at 10am on Christmas Day. After the presents were opened, breakfast was being cooked, kids were texting their friends, and parents (the target audience for the film) may have gotten a moment of rest, making it the perfect time to watch a few videos on social media. By understanding the specific audience and timing that aligns with the holiday, the content was able to reach its intended audience effectively.
There are other exceptions as well. Is your ad local to a certain city? Maybe put ad money behind it during the next snow-day, or any other time the general public is home unexpectedly.
Different Times / Different Platforms
It's also worth noting that different social media platforms have different peak posting times. For example, Instagram is most active on weekdays between 10:00am and 3:00pm, while YouTube is busiest on weekday evenings and weekends. Understanding the specific patterns of your chosen platform can help you optimize your posting schedule even further.
In addition to understanding the best time to post, it's important to make sure your narrative short film is of high quality and visually compelling. Use eye-catching thumbnails and titles, and consider incorporating subtitles or closed captions to ensure accessibility for viewers with hearing impairments.
Here is a breakdown of best posting times by Social Media outlet - according to recent studies:
The best time to post on Facebook is during the midweek, particularly on Wednesdays, between 11 am and 1 pm. This is because people tend to check their social media accounts during their lunch breaks or after they have finished their work for the day. Posting your short film during this time can help you reach a wider audience and maximize engagement.
Instagram is a visual platform, and as such, it is important to post your narrative short film when your target audience is most active. Studies have shown that the best time to post on Instagram is during weekdays, particularly on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 9 am and 11 am. Posting during these times can help you reach a wider audience and maximize engagement. It's also worth noting that Instagram can be used as a great avenue to promote your film to view on other streaming outlets - with a 'Link in Bio" you can post a trailer to your film and share a link to the full movie on Vimeo or YouTube.
YouTube is the largest video-sharing platform, and it is essential to post your narrative short film at the right time to maximize views and engagement. Studies have shown that the best time to post on YouTube is during the midweek, particularly on Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 12 pm and 4 pm. This is because people tend to watch videos during their lunch breaks or after they have finished their work for the day.
Vimeo is a video-sharing platform that caters to a more niche audience, such as filmmakers, artists, and creative professionals. The best time to post on Vimeo is during weekdays, particularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10 am and 12 pm. This is because Vimeo users tend to be more engaged during work hours, and posting during this time can help you reach a wider audience and maximize engagement.
Feature Length Narratives
The title of this article refers to the best times to post your narrative short films. But what if your film is feature length? In a discussion with fellow filmmakers who specialize in long form narratives, they've found that releasing a trailer, or preview scene from the film earlier in the day with a Friday "happy-hour" (generally 5-7pm EST) release allows people to plan their night's viewing schedule. Reminding them of the trailer they saw earlier that day, and letting them know that the film is now available to watch. With any luck, your opening weekend numbers will soar.
Tested and True
The "Friday at 10am" strategy for launching content began during my years producing sketch comedy videos for "Yes, Hello!". At the time, we read that Sunday at 12pm EST was the best time to post a video. (This was also back in 2011-2013, so things have changed since then) We tried this several times with little success and always went back to our Friday at 10am strategy, which proved to be much more effective in terms of engagement and visibility.
We continued to test this theory over the next several years, varying it slightly, with Friday at 10am serving as our control group.
Find the Time that Works for You
In conclusion, launching your content at the right time is essential if you want to ensure that it reaches as many people as possible. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to timing, Fridays at 10:00am EST are generally the most effective time to launch your video or ad. But be sure to do your homework.
Lastly, don't forget to engage with your audience by responding to comments and sharing your film on other social media platforms. Encouraging your followers to share your film with their own networks can help your narrative short gain even more traction.
Take advantage of people's relaxed weekend mindset and coffee breaks. Additionally, knowing the best times to post on specific social media platforms can further optimize your posting schedule. With these tips in mind, you can increase the visibility of your narrative short film and reach a wider audience.