One of the best things about social media is that it gives you the ability to share the perfect content at any time and establish direct contact with your audience. However, you cannot simply post your content any time you want. The most popular questions any content marketer asks himself is when to post on Facebook, what’s the right time to share photos through Instagram and whether four tweets a day is too much or too little.
We perfectly understand all the dilemmas you are facing, because we asked ourselves the same questions when planning our own social media timing strategy. In this post, I will outline some basic guidelines people use when trying to select the optimal posting time for social media.
Time for Timing
More than 81 percent of small businesses have profiles on social media; 94 percent of these use social platforms as an effective content marketing tool, and this number will continue to grow. Small and medium businesses are currently using social media as a key source of communication with their clients, even more than their websites. Such a trend places additional importance on the effective timing of posts. Here, the greatest importance is given to strategic planning, as you have to get maximum results from your time investments. Nowadays, there are a great number of apps that allow you to schedule your posts. But, that again raises the question of effective time management when posting on social media and the effectiveness of different publishing times. Although plenty of research has been conducted on the topic, there is no perfect answer to this question. The best posting times are unique to every social media channel, type of business and region. Therefore, it is important to be able to define the ideal time for your individual business.
Guidelines for the Right Social Timing
- First, you have to choose the social media channel you want to use as a platform for your marketing your business. Different social media outlets have different schedules and, therefore, different peak hours for posting.
- Secondly, you have to define your main business target and the type of audience you want to reach.
- Thirdly, you have to define the region where your target audience is located. The ground rules for a small local business in Northern Europe and a prospective New York start-up that will work with international clients are as different as they come.
- Fourthly – and maybe the most important thing here – you need to analyze and understand users’ social media habits and how they act as a result of those habits.
The ability to properly evaluate all the main aspects of social media given above is the key to building a foundation for an effective social media strategy that will help you better reach your target audience. Our research will help you to define all the specific features of the most popular social media platforms and their users.
Weekly Social Media Usage Habits
People use Facebook during the week and on weekends, at work and at home, and from mobile phones and computers, so you can reach Facebook users almost anytime you want. Users demonstrate peak activity on Thursdays and Fridays, mostly after midday. User activity decreases slightly Monday through Wednesday – a 3.5 percent decrease in engagement. The peak time for engagement falls on Thursdays and Fridays. On Fridays, users are 10 percent happier because of the coming weekend and are more active on social media. This time is good for posting various discounts or special offers because people are more likely to buy something in preparation for the weekend, and they typically have more time on their hands. According to Quick Sprout, 1 p.m. is best for getting the maximum number of shares and 3 p.m. will get you the largest number of clicks.
Twitter users log on mostly at lunch time, and during breaks and commutes. The peak hours for clicks are in the afternoon and after 6 p.m. Twitter is also used both at work and at home, and from computers or through mobile apps. Posts made at 5 p.m. get the largest number of retweets, while those at 6 p.m. get more clicks. You should choose your optimal time based on the type of goods or services you want to promote. For the B2B sector, audiences are 14 percent more engaged on weekdays than on the weekend. Conversely, B2C audiences are more active on weekends – their engagement rate is 17 percent higher, according to Dan Zarella.
LinkedIn is used by business professionals to share their intellectual potential and to seek useful business tips or competent advice that can help them to develop their career during work hours. The platform is mostly used during weekdays during business hours, just before the beginning of the work day and just after its end. For B2B companies, the best hours for publishing content are from 7 to 8 a.m. and from 5 to 6 p.m. The best days to post are Tuesday through Thursday, as on Mondays and Fridays there is a noticeable decline in user activity. Most clicks and shares happen between 10 and 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, because these days enjoy the highest level of audience engagement. Another good time is from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and at 12 p.m. LinkedIn is a platform with the largest number of social media leads – 93 percent of B2B marketers have accounts.
Originally a source for a mostly female audience, Pinterest is still is partly female-oriented, so it’s best to post during the evening on weekdays and the weekend. The hours with the highest levels of engagement are between 8 and 11 p.m. Other appropriate times for posting content are between 2 and 4 a.m., 2 and 4 p.m., and at 3 p.m. on Fridays. Some brands prefer to post on Fridays, as it’s the perfect day for the fashion and retail industries.
Instagram was originally designed to be used on mobile devices, and it is used accordingly, so the best time to post is essentially anytime, although users tend to be more active during break time on workdays. With slightly improved users’ engagement on Mondays and Wednesdays, the gap for all weekdays is between 3 and 4 p.m. Videos are watched the most at nighttime between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. Some businesses have enjoyed success by posting at 2 a.m., 5 p.m. and on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., so we highly recommend that you try these times and find out whether they will work for your audience.
Social Media Content
The definition of perfect social content depends on the type of audience you want to attract. To establish an effective relationship with an audience, you have to get really close to them and understand their needs by creating detailed buyer personas – generalized conceptual images of your perfect customers that are used to humanize your audience. It is also important to define the types of posts you should create for different social media platforms. The most effective posts can be used for increasing traffic to your blog, comments and shares, or for any other purposes. The main thing is to post content that is real and relevant. Your Facebook and Twitter posts should contain about 30 percent promotional content that provides direct links to your website or other contact information, and 70 percent useful and valuable topical content that provides relevant and trustworthy information that will be interesting and helpful for your target audience. When posting on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest, it is important to remember that the perceived value of your posts greatly depends on whether they are both concise and gripping. You also have to avoid click-bait phrasing such as “You have no idea what will happen…” When posting on Instagram, make your inscriptions slightly longer to increase your opportunities to connect with your audience. Here, you have a 2,200-letter limit, so you can write some good comments. However, avoid getting too close to that limit, so as not to lose your audience.
Content is King
This notion has been written thousands of times, but what really defines good content that will provide the desired result? Let’s try to figure out the basic features of a good post.
1. Post Unique and Relevant Content
You must provide your audience with original and relevant content to be considered as a reliable source of information. It’s OK if you want to share thoughts and information from other websites or social media accounts, but always add your own insight. It is important to be unique if you want your audience to remember your brand specifically.
2. Post Interesting Content
While being unique is a must, it is also extremely important to avoid posting content that is too commercial. Know where to stop when promoting your product. People like to read and share some interesting stories – that’s what makes your content go viral and gets you the desired result.
3. Post Valuable, But Catchy Content
It’s a good idea to share content on topics that you have an expert knowledge as they have a higher chance of getting shared. You should find a specific question related to the niche you are working in and share your experience with readers. However, try to avoid coming across as a know-it-all and producing content that is tedious rather than gripping.
4. Launch Contests and Special Offers
Pay close attention to the effectiveness of launching different contests and discounts. This is a method used by many companies to go viral on social media. You can offer free products or services as an effective way of advertising. The feedback you’ll get from it will be much more high-priced than anything you proposed. To get your offer shared more, add likes and reposts as the condition of competition.
5. Post Regularly
Although your ideal number of posts will vary for each social media, you should find the most effective frequency and try to keep up with it. Such data is usually defined by your amount of public response. The most popular periodicity of posts publication is twice a day. Here, the time of publication is defined by multiple criteria, and especially the users peak activity time periods.
6. Give Responses
To effectively communicate with your audience, you have to pay attention to your readers. Remember to respond to all comments, thankyous, questions and complaints.
7. Be Real and Reliable
It is extremely important to show your readers that you are a real person they can refer to and not an ordinary internet bot. To achieve this, post several photos on relevant occasions.
8. Be Trendy
Share your latest and most exciting content; make people want read, like and share your posts. On Facebook, you can set up “interest” to collect thematic data. Twitter also has plenty of industry sources that you can follow and share posts with and discuss the trendiest topics as soon as updates arrive. If you are still not on social media, you should be! According to statistics, more than 74 percent of adults in the United States have at least one social media account. And many have more than one account. For sure, that number is larger for young people, and in a majority of cases, they will keep their accounts when they become adults. When elaborating effective content marketing strategy for your business, it is important to take into account the development of social media accounts. It is the cheapest and fastest way to reach your audience and provoke their engagement. You will be able to tell the world about your products or services and get necessary feedback. Social media is popular all over the world; therefore, it is definitely possible to reach new markets and grow your target audience. If you want your business to develop and expand, and ultimately succeed, apply all the facts and data provided above.
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