Takeaway 1: Timing of social media posts matters. Our estimates on time-of-day effects suggest that, ceteris paribus, posting stories in the morning generates approximately an 8.8% (11.1%) increase in link clicks compared with posting stories in the afternoon (evening).
Takeaway 2: Deploy TCA at the right time. In the afternoon, on average, TCA accumulates approximately a 21% increase in link clicks compared with TCA in the morning. In contrast, TCA at night, on average, decreases link clicks by approximately 9.7% compared with TCA in the morning, These findings contribute to the knowledge on boundary conditions of online advertising effectiveness, such as personalization (Lambrecht and Tucker 2013), obtrusiveness (Goldfarb and Tucker 2011), and purchase funnel stage (Hoban and Bucklin 2015).
Takeaway 3: Post appropriate content type at the right time. Posting social media content with negative high-arousal emotions the morning, on average, leads to a 1.6% (7.6%) increase in link clicks compared with that in the afternoon (night). Thus, we offer implications for online content virality (Akpinar and Berger 2017) by underscoring the need to account for content type depending on the time of the day. Specifically, we suggest managers to weigh in on the interactions between various content characteristics and day parts while designing their social media message.
Takeaway 4: Timing reallocations pay off, even without budget increases. Simply rearranging the posts without allocating additional budget for TCA can help the firm increase gross profits by at least 8% on average over a ten-day horizon. This suggests that our optimizer could be used as a decision-support tool to profitably schedule content on social media without adding additional resources.
Takeaway 5: Spend advertising dollars wisely. Our analysis reveals a nonlinear association between advertising spending (i.e., TCA costs) and gross profits. Indeed, prior research has shown that the relationship between increased budgets on traditional media and optimized profits (conditional on optimal allocation) is concave (e.g., Mantrala, Sinha, and Zoltners 1992). Managers can use this finding to allocate budgets effectively across multiple marketing communication instruments including the TCA.
See original research at American Marketing Association