When It Comes to Social Media, Timing Is Everything
Social media never sleeps, never stops, and is constantly changing. For community managers, this creates quite the challenge, and for businesses, presents an enormous opportunity. Unfortunately, there’s no clear cut schedule of what the best times are to post are for social media engagement across so many different industries. Since it varies so greatly by industry, location and target market,
there is nothing I can do for you you have to consider many different variables. If there were a formula, it would probably include a good helping of research, some well-marinated trial and error, and a dash of unicorn tears. However, I've attempted to hack the question of how often to post on social media for your brand's benefit:
Social Media Best Practices
The infographic below showcases not a precise rule book to follow, but rather some best practices to steer you in the right direction. We all want engagement, right? I mean come on, no one likes bringing up a topic at a dinner party where no one responds, comments or finds what you’re talking about interesting. Timing is everything with wit, humor, and social media. You want to optimize your posts (conversation starters) so that your followers might want to bring their crowd into the conversation as well. But you also don’t want to interrupt or talk out of turn when you know no one is listening. We all know this is different for every group of friends (followers), every dinner party (company page), every crowd (target market), every restaurant (network).
As you can see, each platform shows different times for optimal posting. What does this mean for those who have tied all social media accounts together? Your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest content is hitting the web at the exact same time. Aside from boring your followers to tears with the same information on all channels, you’re also missing your opportunities to hit the perfect posting times for at least three out of four of your platforms. If this has been your modus operandi, it’s time to make a change.
Social Media Change-Up
Step one is to separate your social media clients. Step two is to determine the type of followers on each of your accounts. For instance, your Twitter followers may be younger and more in-tune with pop culture than your LinkedIn connections. Step three is to create your content according to the target audience of each account, and make sure the message is different. Step four is to determine the lifetime of your various social media posts. For instance, the lifetime of a tweet is significantly shorter than the lifetime of a LinkedIn post, so you’ll need to develop you posting schedule accordingly. The same is true for Pinterest and Facebook posts.
With a spreadsheet, you can keep track of each social media outlet and determine which times are best for your particular industry. Do some research, test everything and hold on to what works for you. Do some A-B testing; post the same thing at different times throughout the week. Take note of what times or days are getting you more traction. If you notice your content is slipping further down the feed on Twitter at a faster rate, consider adding another post to your daily schedule. If you see that Facebook posts gain traction and stay toward the top of the newsfeed longer, you may be able to remove a post from your planning.
Be Ready for Anything
No social media science is exact, so you’ll always need to experiment to see what works best for your company. Feel free to use the infographic as a guide, but it should never be the rule. Remember, too, that something new and better is always going to come along. Be prepared to make changes quickly so you don’t get left behind.
The bottom line is this: If what you’re doing right now is getting you your desired results, then you know that peak posting times are much more of an art than a science. But if you’re not getting the engagement you are looking for, mix up your content and posting schedule, check out this handy guide, keep notes of what works and what doesn’t, and start experimenting!