How often should I post? What time is the best time to post? These are questions I hear from clients all the time. When it comes to social media there isn’t one perfect schedule for social media success, but there are some guidelines to get you headed in the right direction.
Social media timing and frequency is dependent on the people. The more you know about your audience, their habits and preferences, the easier it will be to set a schedule which gets you noticed, encourages interaction and drives traffic back to your website.
As you might imagine the best times will vary by platform.
Best: People usually use Facebook at work (if it isn’t blocked). According to research by FastCompany, the ideal time to post on Facebook for the highest average click-through rate is between 1-4 P.M. If you want to get really specific, data shows that Wednesday at 3 p.m. is your best bet for interaction on your posts.
Worst: As you could probably assume, early mornings and evenings on weekends aren’t usually prime time for Facebook traffic.
Best: This is a business platform and the data suggests interest in this platform rises and falls with the rhythm of the business week. The best times to post are Tuesday through Thursday, when people aren’t playing catch up from the previous weekend or counting down the minutes until the next one.
Worst: Yeah, no one is checking LinkedIn on a Friday afternoon. With the weekend approaching, people are packing things up and are completely uninterested with what’s happening on LinkedIn.
Best: Lunch time is prime time for Twitter. Reports show that people are likely to peruse their Twitter feeds while taking a break from work for a bite to eat. If you are posting during business hours, across all platforms, highest engagement takes place Tuesday – Thursday. As for the evenings, data supports posting around 6 p.m. for higher click through rates.
Worst: The worst times for engagement happens around 3 p.m. on Friday. People have officially checked out for the weekend and not very interested in what the Twittersphere has to say.
How much you post will vary by platform. What feels overwhelming on Linkedin is just right on Twitter. Also, you may break the rules during special events. For example, during an annual conference or festival, you may post significantly more than the rest of the year.
Facebook: We recommend posting no more than three times a day. The focus should be quality updates which generate interaction rather than a high volume of forgettable posts. Take a few more minutes to find the right picture, add a clever caption or an interesting question to encourage people to like, comment or share.
Twitter: Out of the three platforms, Twitter is the only one that is really about quantity over quality. Given the limitations (140 characters) and the sheer volume (6,000 tweets per second) you have to have content in the timeline on a regular basis. Five times a day is a good starting point for scheduled updates. To make it effective, you should build in time twice a day to interact with others. If you don’t, no one will like or interact with you.
LinkedIn: A minimum of two posts a week to your company page will help you maintain a reasonable presence on LinkedIn.
On all of these platforms, you can expand your reach by encouraging employees to share content on their individual timelines.
Trust me on this, no matter what your social strategy looks like, scheduling tools are your best friend. Tools like Hootsuite or Buffer allow you to keep an eye on social media, schedule content in advance and then get back to running your business.
My only warning with scheduling tools: Don’t rely on them exclusively. Remember, these are social platforms and without interaction, people will ignore you. So schedule content in advance, but then build in time to like, comment or share content posted by others.
Adjust your interactions based on your results
These are general guidelines based on averages across a range of businesses. Specific industries will not always line up with the norm, so use these as starting points and then pay attention to your results.
For a more in-depth breakdown of social media strategy, download our starter kit to learn the ropes and consider your own strategy.
Roundpeg is an Indianapolis content marketing firm.