Today, most business owners are keenly aware of how critical social media is to an effective content marketing strategy. When implemented correctly, social media marketing can be an incredibly successful and cost-effective strategy for engaging your audience.
With how today’s social media algorithms are developed, in order to get the most out of your social media posts, it’s essential to optimize when you publish them. The timing of publishing can have an enormous impact on how far it gets distributed in the feed.
There’s no generic best time to post on all social media platforms. The best time to post varies based on a few different factors. In this article, we’ll break down what you need to consider when developing your social media schedule.
When is your audience online?
The most important factor to consider when developing your schedule is your target audience.
First, you’ll want to consider their location and timezone. If your target audience is all over the world, you’re going to want to consider developing a few different audience segments and targeting them with different posts.
From there, you’ll want to consider when in their day your target demographic is using the platform of interest. For example, people are less likely to check LinkedIn on Friday evenings.
As a rule of thumb, people tend to check social media at the following times:
- In the morning when they wake up
- On their commute to work
- During lunch or breaks
- On their commute home
- In bed before going to sleep
For most platforms, Wednesdays are the most popular day and Sundays are the least. If you’re not sure when your audience is online, take a look at your analytics. Many platforms give you insights into when your audience online. If they don’t share insights, you can use A/B testing to figure out when is best.
What are you posting?
Next, you’ll want to consider what you’re publishing. Different types of media and topics will be better received at different times.
For example, if you’re sharing your latest podcast, you should aim for a time your audience can list to it - like during their commute. If you have a long-form article to share, you’re probably better off sharing it later in the day, rather than first thing in the morning.
Instagram posts and Tweets designed for entertainment and shorter engagement are more effective for posting in the morning and over lunch, as they’re aligned with people’s attention span at that time. The content you post during these hours will play a significant role, so keep that in mind when you are planning your posting schedule.
Where are you posting?
People use different platforms at different times. LinkedIn is popular for during work hours, but less popular over the weekend and evenings. Meanwhile, Facebook does great in the evenings and the weekend is the best time to publish on YouTube. If you plan to share the same content to multiple platforms, be sure to adjust the timing for each.
This is also critical to consider for content. Depending on which platform you publish on and when your audience will likely use different devices. You should optimize your content to be viewed how you anticipate your audience will come across your content.
For example, if you expect your audience to check out your Tweets during their morning commute, optimize your content to be viewed from a phone.
How often are you posting?
We’ve previously discussed best practices for posting frequency at length, but it’s worth revisiting here. You never want to spam your audience. Most platforms will limit your engagement if you start positing too frequently. As a result, you should never post in excess of five times per hour, unless you’re providing event coverage.
If you have days with more frequent posting, they need to be balanced out by days with less content. For the days you’re posting a ton, aim to spread your content out throughout the day. Remember that most users don’t spend all day refreshing their feed. If you post too many times between visits, your posts will either get missed altogether or show up all back-to-back on the feed. It’s better for your followers to see a few posts each time they sign on.
How can I build an effective social media schedule?
Scheduling your social media posts can save you tons of time that you can instead use for developing awesome content. Most social media scheduling tools let you develop a schedule for your content to follow. It’s a good idea to set a regular schedule for each of your social media platforms, but then still post a few sporadic posts outside of the schedule to come off more human.
To build an effective social media schedule, consider the above factors. If you have followers across a wide range of timezones, you’ll want to create separate schedules for your different locations.
How do I fill out my social media schedule?
Once you’ve established your base schedule, you’re ready to start filling it up with engaging content! Based on the above, you’ll want to ensure the content you select for each slot is aligned with the timing, platform, and audience.
When you first get started, it’s a great idea to focus on developing content for the immediate future. As you get more of a backlog built up, you can begin scheduling further in the future. For example, when promoting your blog posts, it’s a great idea to develop a handful of posts and distribute them across months.
After your content begins going out, it’s time to evaluate and optimize! Use the analytics in your social media platforms or your scheduling tool to review how your content performed. Look for trends in performance, such as content that’s published at a certain time or content of specific types.
The more data, the easier it will be to draw accurate conclusions. Double-down on the content and times that are performing well, while phasing out content that hasn’t performed as well.
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Missinglettr makes it easy to schedule social media content. For each blog post you publish, Missinglettr automatically develops a year-long promotional campaign — you just have to hit publish. From there, your posts will go out according to your schedule and you’ll be able to keep an eye on the analytics to improve your future campaigns.
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