Social media marketing, ultimately, needs to be strategic. If you just post updates to your followers when the mood strikes, you risk shooting messages into the dark that don’t actually help to grow your business.
Strategy, of course, begins with building a content calendar that ensures you post on a regular basis. But it also means finding the best times and days to post on your network of choice, ensuring that when the posts go live, the largest possible audience sees and can interact with them.
You might be surprised just how much timing plays into social media marketing. But in reality, it should play a major part in your efforts. Here’s how you can find the best times to post on social media.
Analyze Your Audience
As with any strategic marketing decision, your strategy on when to post should depend in large part on your audience. Working professionals, for example, will be online to check their social media at different times of the day than teenagers. The best times to post on social media depends largely on when your audience is online.
Fortunately, a number of analytics tools can help you make these distinctions. For example, Facebook Insights allows you to view both the times of day and days of the week at which, on average, most of your followers are online. If you find that most of your followers are online on Sunday evenings, consider placing your most important content into that time slot.
Do the Research
At the same time, your analysis can go beyond your own account, as well. Especially if you are just starting to build a following, you may need larger sample sizes to make definite decisions. That’s where industry research comes into play.
A number of studies have aimed to evaluate exactly what are the best times to post on social media. Hootsuite aggregated some of these studies, and came up with some pretty interesting results.
The Huffington Post, for example, found that Tweets at 12pm, 5pm, and 6pm generated most retweets, while 12pm and 6pm also averaged higher click-through rates. Meanwhile Facebook posts at noon on Saturdays tend to have the highest shareability.
Evaluate and Adjust
Of course, industry research can only get you so far. You may, for example, find that your audience acts differently simply because they don’t fit the demographic profile of many of the above studies. That’s why evaluating your own posts remains a crucial task in optimizing your efforts.
Navigate to your social media analytics platform, and take a look at your last month of updates. Do you see a pattern? You might find that Saturday posts outperform Wednesday posts, or vice versa.
At the same time, always keep the content itself in mind, as well. That Saturday update may have outperformed its Wednesday counterpart simply because its content was more engaging. Test your initial thesis by posting the same content on both days, and see which outperforms the other.
Reaching Your Audience More Effectively
Finding the best times to post on social media may seem like a tedious process. But it’s a worthwhile exercise to ensure that your efforts actually help to attract and engage your audience, and grow your business. Taking the steps necessary to improve your posting times will help you grow your social media audience, simply because more of your followers will see your content.
As a business owner or manager, you might not have the time to engage in such a prolonged exercise. That’s where we come in. By working with us, you can ensure that your content will not only be engaging and effective, but also placed at the perfect times for your audience to read it. To learn more about how we can help your small business grow, contact us.