Social media continues to be one of the fastest growing ways to market your business, increase your customer base, and reach company goals and objectives. The value in knowing how to use social media correctly will help achieve these objectives. One of the first questions businesses ask is when they should post to a social media site, but before posting, there are a few key questions to answer.
1. Understanding Yourself
Your social media posts need to meet your specific company objectives. What is the goal you would like to achieve through your posts? Is it the most views, the most interactions, the most responses, or all of the above? Considering the dates and times you post will prove to be incredibly valuable. Also, consider your time zone as it compares to your target audience, and adjust accordingly.
2. Understanding Your Audience
Who are you marketing towards? Is your audience made up of younger millennials, older working professionals, company executives, or those not in the workplace? Adjusting your posting times to match when your audience is active on social media will increase post views and engagement.
3. Understanding the Forms of Social Media
Some forms of social media such as LinkedIn are viewed as highly professional sites, which means they will be heavily used during the work week and less frequented on weekends. Others, like Facebook, will have higher Internet traffic all week long.
Now that you understand the questions to consider before deciding when to post, here are the best times overall to post for specific social media platforms.
Facebook is an attractive form of social media to many businesses because it reaches a wide variety of people. Businesses often have professional Facebook accounts, and consumers often have personal accounts as well.
Keep in mind the traditional work week schedule as well as what your followers may be involved in on the weekends. Afternoons and early evenings during the work week are effective times to post on social media, and the optimal time of day is between 12-4pm on Monday through Friday.
Posting on the weekends can also be effective on Facebook, but keep in mind that your audience is likely resting or busy in the early mornings and evenings on Saturday and Sunday. As a result, if you decide to post on a weekend, schedule your posts during mid-day.
Instagram specializes in sharing photos, and is used both privately and professionally, with the option of creating a business or company page. Know whether you want your posts to be seen by businesses or companies that may be active during normal work hours, or private users that may be active during lunch time or later in the evenings.
Additionally, remember that Instagram now has a new setting that does not display posts chronologically, but rather in order of posts with higher engagement. This strengthens the importance of posting at the best time.
Posts usually have the most success midweek rather than on weekends, and the best time to post is Wednesday or Thursday from 11am-1pm or 7pm-9pm.
LinkedIn is a networking site that ultimately targets the professional world rather than merely social engagements. It is more likely than almost any other form of social media to be used during the work day, and as a result there will be much higher post interactions during the work week rather than on the weekends.
Again, primarily target your posts towards the middle of the week, and pick times on Tuesday through Thursday. The best times of day to post are during the morning around 8am, during lunch time around noon, and in the early evening from 5-6pm.
Twitter consists of short posts of 140 characters or less, that often include links to external pages or articles. Posts need to be catchy and succinct enough to gain attention in one to two sentences. Twitter is used as a news feed, similar to newspaper headlines.
Studies have found that in the morning tweets usually have the most views or clicks to external articles, but during the evenings they have the most favorites or retweets, the equivalent of likes and shares.
Most Twitter users tend to post in the middle of the day, from 12-1pm. Consider if you want to post during this time when many are online, but keep in mind that a higher volume of posts could result in yours getting less attention. Try posting after the storm of tweets is over, around 2-3pm on weekdays.
In conclusion, increasing your social media engagement requires understanding your own objectives, your audience, and the social media platform itself. Following these general tips will help increase your post engagement, and remember you can always adjust your posts based on insights. Market for success, and recognize the power social media has in transforming your business.
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