Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: you spend 15 minutes (or a lifetime, at least on the Internet) crafting the perfect social media post. From counting out your characters to resizing your image to coming up with an irresistible headline, you do everything right. You hit publish, then lean back in your desk chair, take a sip of your latte, and wait for the clicks to roll in. Except they don’t. Instead of clicks you get crickets, and another perfect social media post fades into nothingness.
Oh, look. Everyone’s hand is raised. Just as I suspected.
The problem isn’t what you’re posting. By now we all know what goes into a solid social media presence. The problem is when you’re posting. As it turns out, social media is more than just creating great content. It’s also developing a strategy that gets your content in front of your audience at just the right moment. If real estate is all about location, then social media is all about timing. And just as neighborhoods vary, so do networks. The timing is different for each platform.
While there are no hard and fast rules for how to time your posts (your particular audience and industry will have a big influence) there are some general guidelines, based on when users are most active. To help you navigate our virtual world, I’ve pulled together advice for the most popular platforms. Read them, experiment with them, and discover which ones work for you.
When: Save your best content for later in the week – Facebook posts tend to do best on Thursday and Friday, when engagement rates are up 18 percent higher. This is probably because people are gearing up for the weekend and making plans. They’re also worn out from the workweek and looking for a distraction to help them make it to the end of the day. Generally, the best times to post are between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., with the biggest spike right around lunch. (If you don’t tell the boss, neither will we!)
When: If you’re only posting during the workweek, you’re missing out! Twitter users are most active on the weekends, so make sure you schedule out a few posts, especially if you want to take some time off yourself. The middle of the day and just after work are the times when the most people are tweeting. Again, it seems scrolling through social media is a favorite lunchtime activity. Tweets have a very short lifespan, so if your tweet is important – a link to sale, blog post or announcement, for example – don’t consider it a “one-and-done” thing. Tweet the same link three times a day, with different text each time. You can also schedule one of those tweets for the middle of the night. Fewer people are tweeting, which means yours is more likely to get clicks.
When: Instagram is pretty consistent throughout the week, though it is most active outside of work hours. After all, there are only so many photos you can take of an artfully arranged cubicle. According to a recent study, Wednesday at 5 p.m. is the ideal time to post a photo to Instagram by a slim margin. It makes sense; the workday is over and people are checking in for a pick-me-up before they head home or while on their commute. Another popular time to scroll through the old Instagram feed is 10 p.m., probably because it’s a relaxing way to unwind before bed.
When: Pinterest is used almost exclusively for leisure activities – meal planning, clothes shopping, redecorating and wedding planning. This means that people tend to pin on the weekends, specifically on Saturdays. They also like to peruse the website in the evenings, after dinner, with a nice glass of wine (or so I’ve heard). There’s so much content on Pinterest that you’ll be hard-pressed to overwhelm your audience. Post as much (quality) content as you can – anywhere from 15 to 30 images per day is the oft-quoted sweet spot.
When: Because LinkedIn is a place where you can share and read articles related to your industry, the best times to post to LinkedIn are in the middle of the week, during the work day. Mid-morning, after everyone’s had at least one cup of coffee and cleared out their email, is a great time to share your best business-related content. The worst time is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. because all those hard-working professionals are fast asleep (or at least they should be!).
While these guidelines are a great place to begin developing your social media strategy, finding the right time for your business will be a case of trial and error, experimentation and tweaking. This can be a time consuming process, but I’ve got good news: The team at Sage Island can help. Our marketing department spends hours every day monitoring the trends for each of our clients and optimizing their posts for the most impact, and we’re happy to do the same for you. Contact us at any time to get started.
Mike Duncan co-founded Sage Island in 1997, and since then has evolved the agency’s scope to include marketing strategy, creative design, technical development and a wide range of digital marketing services. With an integrated approach that leverages the power and measurability of the internet, the savvy Sage Island team develops strategies, builds brands, writes killer copy and delivers to clients all over the world. And they have an awesome time doing it. Sage’s collaborative working environment keeps creativity and innovation at the heart of the concept. With a 17-year history in Wilmington and beyond, Sage Island shows no signs of slowing down. To learn how Sage Island can grow your business, check us out at www.sageisland.com. To stay updated on the latest in digital marketing, follow Sage Island on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SageIsland, and on Twitter at twitter.com/SageIsland.
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