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Timing Your Social Media Posts

Most businesses have some form of social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or a combination of all three, to work in accordance with their websites to drive online traffic and generate new customers.

However, many businesses lack strategy in their social media posts. In order to get the most exposure and interaction out of social media, it is necessary to be intentional with the timing of your posts.

To be intentional with the timing of your posts, you must first know your audience and your platform. If your audience is made up of college students, for example, you should caution posting early in the morning, as college students tend to stay up late and will likely miss early posts.

In fact, before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. is considered the worst time to post on social media because of low activity. As a general rule, social media sites tend to be more active later in the day. For example, Facebook’s average click-through-rate peaks on Wednesdays around 3 p.m. However, share rates tend to be higher slightly earlier in the afternoon, around 1 p.m.

If you aren’t sure of your audience’s demographics or social media habits, experimenting could be a viable solution. Schedule posts throughout the week at different times and take advantage of the analytic tools that most sites offer. Find your perfect window that features a balance of high views, click-through-rates and share rates.

Remember that all social media platforms are not created equally. Just because one time slot works for Facebook doesn’t mean it will also work for Twitter. Further, since LinkedIn is a more professional-driven site, it breaks the traditional rules and tends to be more active during business hours rather than afternoons.

Also, be wary of posting too often. Several posts throughout the day can appear as spam and therefore be buried in users’ news feeds. It is much more effective to post concise updates at high activity times rather than to bombard followers throughout the day.

Your timing strategy should also be adaptive. As social media sites undergo updates and changes, your followers’ habits might also change. Be prepared to retool your strategy as needed. It might be a good idea to post once a week outside of your normal posting times to gauge the activity and interaction of other times. You might notice new trends or discover a time that’s prime for posting.

Timing is often an overlooked aspect of social media marketing that demands attention. If you aren’t satisfied with the production of your posts, perhaps a different posting time could be the change you need.

this post courtesy of summer intern Andy Hendricks

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