Following on from my previous post, Help With Social Media Planning, about the need for social media in business and how to prepare and organise your content, this article talks about conflicting advice on when it’s best to post on your chosen platform(s) and how you can avoid the confusion to optimise your communications.
Articles and infographics are out there in abundance, telling you among other things;
The best time of day to post
The number of times per day you should post
The type of content to post
These can be helpful as a guideline if you’re just starting to use social media, but the problem I found is that the suggestions vary wildly. It can be confusing.
So, my suggestion is to incorporate what works for you into the preparation and planning of your social media posts. Before you can do that, you will need to know what suits your business best. What you post and when will depend on your industry, location and knowing which platform is your best fit.
A little research is in order. Invest some time in following your target market, see what other people are posting, when and the level of engagement they receive. What type of content are they using and at what time of day? Doing this research will also help you to establish whether a particular platform is right for your line of business. For example if your business is B2C, you may find that Pinterest works well but if you are strictly B2B, LinkedIn would be ideal.
Don’t forget, if your target market is overseas, timing your posts to suit their time zone will be crucial. I found these two helpful snippets at coschedule.com
“In theory, the Eastern or Central time zone would be the best time to base off for a United States audience to reach the most people through your social media shares.”
This is because;
“50% of the U.S. population is in the Eastern Time Zone, and the Eastern and Central combined represent almost 80% of the U.S. population.”
Timing of your posts really depends on your line of business, who you are aiming to attract and engage with, and where they are.
One element that does seem to be universally agreed are the content types. Content can be a mix of:
And should be a combination of:
Information – demonstrating your knowledge of a particular business related subject
Problem/Solution scenarios – understanding your customers’ problem and how you can solve it
Engagement – using questions, answers and general interaction
Amusement – funny stories or images
Promotional – advertising products and services
Be careful not to bombard your audience with purely promotional content or you could cause them to switch off completely. The general consensus is to apply the 80/20 rule – 80% non-promotional content, 20% promotional content.
To know if your social media activity is having the desired effect and reaching the right people, a quick survey of responses, clicks, shares etc., should give you a fair idea. Of course your level of enquiries and orders may suddenly increase, in which case you will know that your efforts are working. For a deeper dive into behaviours relating to your content, analytics will provide the finer detail on which posts have been the most successful. Study your analytics for each social media platform on a regular basis (most provide a weekly overview). Don’t necessarily dismiss a post that didn’t attract any attention – maybe it will be more popular if posted at an earlier or later time. Also take into account any seasonal factors, for example; your UK audience probably won’t react positively to your promotions for ice-lollies in November!
Above all, learning about and using social media for business can be fun. Experiment here and there, try new tactics and keep your content fresh and relevant.
And finally, I’d like to share with you a particularly useful social media comparison infographic, recently updated and reproduced with the kind permission of Leverage New Age Media.