Businesses are continuing to implement social media at a faster rate than ever, but are they getting the most out of their time and monetary investment? Whether you hire someone specifically for the role, are making it a piece of an already existing role or are outsourcing the work to an agency, there are many businesses that are missing out on golden opportunities through social media simply because they are posting at the wrong times. When you post is one of the most important factors of the social equation.
As the saying goes in web marketing, (and truthfully, across all types of marketing, advertising and public relations channels) “Content is King.” If content is truly the king of your marketing efforts, then timing is absolutely the queen behind its success. If you aren’t sharing worthwhile content, it really doesn’t matter if anyone sees it or not. However, even the best content on the web can be deemed a failure if it is posted at times when no one will see it. While this may seem fairly rudimentary, you would be shocked how often businesses will schedule out posts for the month and never check to see how they are performing and tweak future posts accordingly to maximize exposure. Just like traditional radio and television advertisements, you want to share when you are guaranteed the largest viewership to get the most out of each of piece of content.
Here are a few ways that you can ensure you are posting the right content at the right time:
Analytics/Insights: Analytics tools such as Facebook Insights give you the information you need to best determine when a post will be successful. With the ever decreasing organic reach of posts to fan’s timelines, it is very important that you examine when your posts are getting the most engagement from fans and when your fans are online and using Facebook. These metrics will help you put together a plan of when to post which types of content, maximizing the reach of each and every piece of content you share. Add in a budget for boosted posts through advertising to further increase your reach, gain likes and boost engagement. Even budgets as little as $5 per boosted post can increase your reach exponentially. I recommend you don’t boost every post; instead, boost posts for strong pieces of content you created such as blog posts as a way to boost traffic to your website and increase your overall exposure.
Stagger Distribution: We have established that the timing of your social media posts is important. It is also important to distinguish that different networks have different peak times for posting, as well as peak days of the week. These times may not only be different for different networks, but also different for different audiences within each of these networks. For example, posts on LinkedIn perform better when content is shared on weekdays surrounding normal business hours (7:30AM – 6:00PM). You may want to share content that drives users to a blog post or other page of your website one day on LinkedIn and measure how much traffic you received, then on other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ on different days later in the week to maximize your reach.
Live Tweeting: As with everything else, rules are made to be broken in certain instances. Live Tweeting industry events and other live events is a big phenomenon on Twitter. We are in the age of wanting information the moment it is released. With events such as the NFL Draft, Twitter became a hub for those seeking up to the minute information on which players went to their favorite teams. This is not unique to sports. Other events such as the Academy Awards are a hotbed of social media activity. Take advantage of these opportunities with events within your industry and share content that people want to engage with, even if these types of events take place outside of your normal posting window.
These are just a few ways to better understand when you should post to each of your social channels. This timeframe should always be shifting in some ways, and the more you post and measure, the more refined these windows will be.
What times have you found to be most effective for posting? Does your company currently test different posting windows on different networks? Share your findings and insights in the comments below!