When is the BEST time to post social media? Here are 5 free tips to getting it right.
It’s the eternal question that businesses will ask themselves and big marketing companies will keep on researching. When IS the best time to post on social media, and get the best levels of engagement from people? Is there a magical moment in every day where suddenly the whole world will retweet your tweetings, or a sure fire time to up your share rates on facebook?
Here are 5 TIPS that should help you decide when to upload your most valuable social media postings.
1 - EVERYONE’S ONLY AFTER ONE THING.
No, not THAT (mind out the gutter please). In the world of social media, the Holy Grail is Engagement. But what does that actually mean? For most of us, it’s a vague, generic term that’s used to describe positive activity on social media. It means actual responses from real live people. But Facebook has a different definition.
According to Facebook: Engagement = (Comments+Shares+Likes) ÷ the number of people who’ve Liked your page
That means that a rapid influx of Likes, while definitely a good thing, will drive your engagement down. Why’s that important? FB rewards pages with high engagement by featuring their updates more prominently on a greater percentage of their fans’ news feeds. Still with me? Good….
2 - BUSY LIVES = LESS ENGAGEMENT
Fridays are best for engagement, narrowly edging out Tuesday and Thursdays (both of which were also strong). But in order to fully make the most of your social media, you've got to try and understand why. Tuesdays and Thursdays are excellent for lightweight interactions such as getting Likes, retweets, or pins on Pinterest. Most people are busiest mid week, so anything that requires more than a click or two is less likely to happen.
3 - THANK FACEBOOK ITS FRIDAY!
Ah Friday, a favourite day of the week for most people. Last day of the week at college or work, long lunches beckon, work rates drop off. In fact it seems a whole nation start slacking off whatever work they're meant to be doing, and start staring at their phones instead….Which explains why Facebook comments and TWITTER engagement really surge in both the mornings and afternoons before people go to happy hour at the pub. Got a funny clip of a dog? Post it on a Friday. Easy.
4 - WEEKENDS CAN WORK
Weekends are not a lost cause. Even though general engagement is less for most social networks at the weekend, there is one exception - Pinterest. Weekends are when users go back and check out what they missed during the week before they start their Saturday ritual of a bit of retail therapy. Posting on the weekends will actually encourage people to review all of your content when they land on your page, boosting engagement across all your posts.
5 - IGNORE ALL OF THE ABOVE
Let’s be honest, there’s no easy or simple solution to actually knowing when to post, pin or tweet. There is SO much information out there giving sweeping analytical information on each social network and its users. And many of them are contradictory, so who or what are you to believe?
The reality is, the best time to get engagement on social media is when your specific audience is active. I’ve worked with a gardening retail business, and their best time for engagement on Twitter and Facebook was at 7am on a Sunday morning. SUNDAY MORNING?! This totally flies in the face of every bit of research into social media engagement. But of course gardeners are up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday morning. They’re browsing on their ipad, having a quiet coffee, before they head out into the garden or allotment for a day of digging and pruning. Totally makes sense FOR THAT BUSINESS.
Because at the end of the day, the best time to post is as customised and unique as you and your business.
So what does this mean for you? I’m afraid it means you need to do a little bit of leg work and test out the times that work best for you and the times that don’t. Post at different times. Different days. Test the water over a few weeks by posting at various points in the week and just SEE WHAT WORKS.
So much of social media success is trial and error. Everyone knows that, but not everyone will admit it. Make use of the free analysis tools on Facebook and Hootsuite to learn which of your trial posts is the most successful, and then mould your posting strategy around that. Then, and only then, can you truly understand where your users are and get them to fully engage with you and your business.