Social Media: When Should I Post?

How often have you asked yourself, or others, when is the best time for me to post to Social Media?  Perhaps you have googled this question.  If so, you may have quickly learned that although there is an abundance of confidence in responses provided, there is paradoxically a lack of consistency in the answers.

Why is that?  There are many reasons.  Consider the different targeted audiences.  The best time to post consumer posts may not be the best time for B2B posts.  Furthermore, the best time to target consumers past the age of 40 is likely different from the best time to target consumers in their early twenties.  Even within B2B posts, posts that interest larger businesses should be timed differently than those to the small business owner who is likely working all hours of the day.

Let’s take another perspective.  Who wrote the article? Did the staff or team of one of the social media companies write the article?  Think LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+. The article may be skewed to best represent their product.  Also, look at where the research was based.  Many articles are based out of the UK, and if you don’t check closely, you may not notice. Our cultures do influence the best time for posting.

Another problem with articles and research papers is the timing of the research.  Many papers and much of the research are simply out of date.  The algorithms for the various social media platforms change…all too frequently.  These changes may affect how and when your posts are shown. Another issue is perception.  When a set time is perceived by the masses to be the ‘best’ time, the overabundance of posts at that time may decrease the impact of yours.

So what is the answer?  With all of the ‘experts’ spewing statistic after statistic, surely you can simply google your answer.  Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.  However, here are 5 tips to help you determine the best time to post and to reach YOUR audience:

  1. Use Google Analytics to measure the source and timing of events on your website.   This is key, because for the source to be measured, someone had to click on a post link to your website.
  2. Review your Facebook Insights.  What are the key times your audience is online?  Pay attention to the difference in demographics.  Review the days and times when your posts are receiving the most interaction from your audience.
  3. Be consistent in your posting, but also test new scenarios. If you post to a specific platform three times a week, play with the timing of one or more of the posts to determine the best time on that platform.
  4. Post to each social media channel separately.  Don’t simply create auto-feeds so that a post on one platform automatically posts to your other channels.  Doing so causes you to miss opportunities to reach a wider segment of your audience.  If your customer isn’t online at that time, he will miss your post on ALL the platforms.  Instead, post to one platform and then repurpose that post on another channel later.
  5. Use a social media management tool. This will allow you to manage your posts across platforms.  You can also view basic insights for your various channels at a glance and act accordingly, all within one platform.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group.  The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis.  Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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