Writers and business owners are constantly looking for a way to get a leg up on the competition when it comes to social media marketing (SMM). Most businesses have a presence on social media these days, but it seems like some marketing efforts get more of a response than others.
The 2014 Social Media Marketing Report surveyed 2800 marketers and found that about 64% use social media for six or more hours a week and 37% for 11 hours or more. However, what is more important than how much time you spend marketing is when you actually push out those social media posts.
No matter how much time you have to invest in social media marketing, using that time wisely is the key to getting more attention from friends, fans and followers.
Use Tools to Schedule Ahead or Post on the Fly
First, just because you figure out that a Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. is the right time for your post doesn't mean you have to be online on that day and at that time. There are a couple of tools you can use that will allow you to schedule your social media posts ahead of time.
This ensures you won't forget to push your social media promotions through at the optimal times.
Hootsuite allows you to add your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Google+ (pages) and Twitter and to schedule a post to go up on a certain day and time. You can also view your social media accounts in one spot to see how people are interacting with you and make any adjustments needed.It can be a little difficult to figure out Hootsuite at first, but they do offer some video tutorials. After you've scheduled one or two posts, it will be easier for you to use the software. You can also create Excel files with multiple posts if you want to upload your social media marketing for the entire month.
Everypost is a free app that you can download to your mobile device. It allows you to add social media posts to multiple social media platforms at one time. Did your brick and mortar store just get a new sign in front? Snap a picture and upload it to Facebook, Twitter and Google+ with one or two clicks. You can also personalize the message for each type of social media.
Similar to Hootsuite, you can use Sprout Social to schedule posts ahead and view all your social media pages in one location. One of the nice things about Sprout Social is that you can see how effective your posts are. You can track the response rates, group trends, impressions and demographics.
If you're looking for a platform that is easier to use, you may want to check out Buffer. While it doesn't have some of the bells and whistles of other posting software, you can schedules posts with one click, which saves time and is user friendly.
Know The Best Times to Post on Different Social Media
There are some general trends in best times to post that may help you figure out where to start with your social media marketing schedule. The infographic below offers some general ideas of days and times to post on different media.
As you can see above, there are some general guidelines for the busiest traffic days on specific sites as well as the times you should avoid posting updates. However, you will want to dig a bit deeper to figure out what the exact best times are for your business.
Understand Your Audience
Who is your audience? If your audience is moms, then you won't want to post in the early morning when they are trying to get the family off to work and school or at dinner time when they are busy with homework, baths and feeding their families. Instead, you'll want to aim your post on the best day for that social media platform during the middle part of the day when moms might be sitting down for a coffee break and to catch up on Facebook and Twitter.
If you are posting about an upcoming event, Email Marketing suggests that you send emails about three days before the event.
This holds true for social media as well, since it is an online platform. If you wait until the day of the event to post, you risk that your audience may not get online until after the event. If you post too early, the information will get buried in other news. Three days is a solid goal to aim for with a reminder each day until the event.
Online activity is less on the weekends as well, so it is best to avoid posting during these times.
More Tools Suggestions
There are also some tools you can utilize that will help you decide the best times to post on social media.
Social Flow studies social media activity and helps you decide the best times to reach your followers. Social Flow has a unique algorithm that studies your Facebook and Twitter data. It studies whether your message is relevant to your readers, the right audience for that content and the right time to post the content. You will have to pay for this service, but if you're ready to take your social media marketing to the next level, Social Flow can help you accomplish that.
If you've advertised on Facebook before, you already know that they offer some pretty detailed statistics about how well your ads are performing. Studying this information can help you make adjustments so that you reach more people, reach the audience you want and send out a message that will get action. Using A/B Testing methods as the campaign is going on can help you make an adjustments needed on the fly.
Crowdbooster also collects information from your Facebook and Twitter accounts. It will then give you a report tht tells you when people are most likely to read your posts or view your images. You can also see how engaged your followers are and how many impressions your posts are getting. While it is not a free service, it is as low as $9/month to analyze up to 50,000 followers.
A quick survey of 15 business owners brought some interesting results.
For the most part, these small business owners and artists felt that they got more response to social media posts that they made on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Since all of the social media platforms seem to list these days as the best days to post, it makes sense that this is when business owners are seeing a response.
Jen Conner, owner of Jen Luvs Art, said,
“When I push out a promotion on Tuesday, I get a great response. Wednesday, I get a goodish response. Other days, not much at all.”
What about you? Have you seen more success on some days than others? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
About Lori Soard
Lori Soard has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 1996. She has a bachelor's in English Education and a PhD in Journalism. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, online and she's had several books published. Since 1997, she has worked as a web designer and promoter for authors and small businesses. She even worked for a short time ranking websites for a popular search engine and studying in-depth SEO tactics for a number of clients. She enjoys hearing from her readers.