Timing is everything; learn how you can schedule your social media posts for maximum reach and engagement.
Getting the timing of your social media posts right is a much debated topic. There are some general rules which you can follow, for example not posting outside of working hours for B2B or after 8 o’clock for B2C. There are additional strategies you must implement to make sure your social posts are timed for maximum engagement.
To start with the basics it is important not to lump all your social channels into one as each one is used differently. An example of this is logging into Linkedin once or twice a week but dipping in and out of Twitter throughout the day. Using separate timing strategies is preferable. If you have an international following you should take the differing time zones into consideration. It may be easier to have separate accounts for each zone.
Hubspot states that the optimal time for tweets is between 12pm – 3pm Monday to Friday and 5pm – 6pm on Wednesdays, whereas Facebook posts should be scheduled for Thursday and Friday between 1pm – 3pm.This again is a very generalised gauge, but a good starting point.
A purely numbers based view involves posting when most of your followers are online. Tools such as Facebook analytics and Followerwonk are ideal for this as they look back at when your audience was online in the past week. Followerwonk goes into more detail and shows the time when you have received the most engagements. From this data you can then schedule your posts for when most followers are online.
However, there are a number of issues with this approach. It only looks at 2 points; whether they have liked your page and when they have been online in the past. It doesn’t evaluate whether they are likely to engage with your posts or are even your target audience. This means you could be missing out on a much more engaged segment or the data could be skewed if you have purchased likes in the past (never a good idea). Targeting another segment could lead to further reach on your posts or attract people who are more likely to make purchases.
Persona-based posting is about thinking about your potential customers, their daily lives and their use of social media. Do they work office hours? Do they go to college? Do they watch sporting events? From this you can make an educated guess when they are more likely to be on social media. Using this technique can be tricky, but if you get it right it can be much more effective.
This is also a great method of generating content ideas to post on your social channels.
It is unlikely that you will see instant results, even if you do it is worth continuing to refine your timings. The best way to do this is to create a spreadsheet and track which posts get the most engagement and the time they were posted. From this you can gain further information to continually improve your posting times. It is just as important to know when not to post as it is to know when you’re best posting. Following this plan will help to give you a clearer picture and can be further extended to help influence what you write about and whether a picture might improve your engagement.