Social media is an invaluable tool for any business owner. It’s a wonderful way to connect with potential and existing customers and build a community around your brand. However, it’s not quite as simple as just posting here and there. There are some important tips about when and what you should post if you want to get the best possible results.
Consistency is Key
There’s an important balance you need to strike when it comes to posting frequency. If you don’t post enough, your followers will forget about your brand. Potential customers may use your social media pages to determine if your company is reputable. Without a strong online presence, you may seem dated and/or unreliable.
On the other hand, social media posting too much can be just as bad. People don’t want their newsfeeds to be crowded with your posts. Updating multiple times per day is often a quick way to lose followers. You can go from trusted resource to complete nuisance.
The secret is striking a balance, depending on how many followers you have. If your business has a substantial fan base, you can get away with more frequent posts. For example, the old “two posts per day” rule is actually still valid if you have at least 10,000 followers. For anything less than that, however, you need to decide between post engagement and clicks to your website.
According to market research, posting twice a day will mean more interaction with your website via the click-through button, but about 50% less engagement with the posts themselves. Your total number of clicks will be greater, but you won’t have as many likes per update.
The best way for companies with small followings to get clicks per post is by updating 1 to 5 times per month. The same studies revealed that companies saw nearly double their total clicks throughout the month using this method. Ultimately, you know your brand, and your customers. You should decide what is most important and use your knowledge and intuition to adjust to your specific customers, but examples of what type of social media posting works for others can be used as reference.
The Right Time
Regardless of how many times you’re posting, there is good data suggesting the times of day that are most effective. SurePayroll did extensive studies on post effectiveness based on views, inter-actions, and click-throughs, and they found some interesting results.
For Facebook, the best time of the day to post, regardless of the day of the week, is 1pm to 4 pm. Updates posted within this time frame had the highest average click-through rate. Researchers say this is because people are dealing with afternoon slumps and need some entertainment to help them power through the rest of the evening.
The Twitter window is similar, with the most interacted-with tweets happening Monday through Thursday 1 pm to 3 pm. Ideally, you should schedule your posts around lunch time. Many people will check their notifications and browse their feeds during their break, so you don’t want to miss out on the traffic.
The absolute peak time on Facebook is Wednesdays at 3pm. Twitter has a four way tie for peak time on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 am to 3 pm. Many applications and business pages actually allow you to schedule posts ahead of time or set reminders so you can take advantage of these windows.
So, how about the times you should avoid at all costs? For Facebook, the deadest hours are weekends before 8 am or after 8 pm. At these times, most people are sleeping, spending time with friends and family, or going out for the night. Twitter, on the other hand, has the lowest in-teraction rates during any day after 8 pm, but especially Fridays after 3 pm.
Just remember, post often enough for your followers (but not too much), update in the after-noons, and avoid early or late weekend updates if you want to optimize your social media pres-ence.