Why your best time to post is the best time to post
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Suppose you’re taking a relaxed approach to social selling, sending out a couple of posts per week on LinkedIn, supplemented with maybe a weekly post on Facebook. Meanwhile, a competitor is posting content multiple times per day on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, their employees working diligently to churn out a constant stream of content. Who wins out in this tortoise vs. hare matchup?
Unlike the fable, the tortoise doesn’t always finish first in social selling. But contrary to popular business belief, the hare’s approach may be flawed too. Whether you or your competitor is more successful in social selling depends on a variety of factors: post quality and consistency, which you control, but also prime engagement days and times, which your audience controls.
Every business move should be about adding value, and social selling is no different. When and how often you should post involves many considerations, but it boils down to your capabilities for creating and posting content and what is best for your prospects and clients. Here are some tips on how to optimize your post times and frequencies.
Prioritize quality and consistency
Each social network has optimal post times and frequencies, but they don’t matter unless your content is relevant. You might catch your audience at the perfect time and be at the top of their feed, but if your content isn’t captivating, they will simply scroll past it, and you will miss out on a prime opportunity.
According to Sendible, social media algorithms now make it less likely that businesses’ posts will appear in users’ feeds. So, you need to make the most of your views. All of your posts need to be engaging and relevant enough that your audience at least stops to look. If a client is bored every time your posts appear in their feed, then they’re likely to unfollow and give up on you.
In addition, relevance seems to be a big factor in the algorithms. Your connections express their interests through all of their likes, comments and shares on social media. When you produce targeted, relevant content that matches your network’s preferences, the algorithms are more likely to display your posts in their feeds. Always value quality over quantity in your social media strategy.
Consistency is also important. You’re trying to build credibility in your business through social selling, and a large piece of that is dependability. Your prospects need to know that they can rely upon you to be there for them should they come on as clients.
You can demonstrate your business’s dependability by practicing social media dependability. If you consistently post, whether daily or weekly, your prospects can count on seeing your posts when they log on to social media, helping you retain followers. More importantly, if you have prospects that are seriously considering your services, they may be checking your social media feeds regularly, viewing your content as a means of confirming their interest. Having a consistent stream of quality content will help you generate meetings and close deals.
Quality and consistency should be your starting points when scheduling posts. Set standards for your posts and determine how many posts per day, week or month you can produce at those standards. Then, figure out how to distribute those posts in a consistent manner.
Align post frequency and times with your audience and business
While there are general recommendations for post frequency and times, ultimately, you need to do what’s right for your audience and business. What time zone are most of your prospects located in? What times of the day are they interacting with your posts? Do you have post-scheduling software, or are your post times limited by your employees’ hours? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself as you decide when to post. Cater to your audience — within your capabilities.
Since social media algorithms tend to drive recent content higher in users’ feeds, it’s best to publish content just before your audience checks their social media, if not while they’re online. Utilize a combination of analytics and trial and error to figure out what’s best for your audience.
I recently ran an analysis for our clients using data provided by our ReadyForSocial platform, where I compared when our clients’ posts went out to when their audience engaged with them. Engagements were higher than expected on certain days and times, indicating that a high percentage of the audience was on social media in those windows. I have now started scheduling our clients’ posts in ReadyForSocial to match their prospects’ engagement times and am eagerly waiting to see if these adjustments yield increases in engagements.
Willingness to differ from traditional methods and try new approaches is key to maximizing your social selling success. If your post engagements are high on Sunday night, then post on Sunday night! Leave no stone unturned to find out what best suits your audience and then implement a targeted plan.
Follow these general recommendations for post frequency and times
Maybe you have the capacity to create as many posts as possible, but you’re just getting started and have no indication of what your prospects’ preferences are. How often and when should you post?
You need to strike a balance, remaining present in your prospects’ minds while not overwhelming them with content. To achieve this, I recommend posting once daily on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram, and three to four times per day on Twitter. Twitter is the exception because of the sheer volume of content published there. People expect that Twitter accounts will post frequently, and you need to publish more not to get lost in the sea of Tweets.
As for exactly when to post: All platforms tend to receive the most engagement on posts from 10 am until the mid-afternoon. Noon is an especially popular time as many people take their lunch break and have a moment to pause and check social media.
Keep in mind that your competitors likely have this data and may be posting at these times as well. If you think it’s better to differentiate yourself and be the sole representative for your industry at the times you post, it could be in your interest to avoid these time windows.
Process for determining your strategy
When deciding how often and when you will post, assess your business’s capabilities and your consumer’s needs. Determine the maximum number of high-quality posts you can produce in a set time frame and scale that number to your customers’ expectations. Then, establish a consistent schedule for your post days and times to signify your reliability to your audience.
As you go along, evaluate how you can improve engagement with your posts. Tweak your post days and times to match your audience’s periods of high social media use and maximize the benefits of your social selling.
How have you navigated the decision of how often and when to post? Let us know in the comments below.
Photos by JJ Ying on Unsplash; Amol Tyagi on Unsplash; and iMattSmart on Unsplash