Social media is with us every minute of every hour, seven days a week. Does it really matter what time your brand publishes its posts?
The short answer is yes, it matters a lot. Social media channels are saturated. So saturated that it’s difficult to get your content seen by your audience. Post at the wrong time – a time when your audience is not online – and your post will be lost; the likelihood is that it will never appear in their feed. With social media it is important to do everything possible to get maximum exposure. Getting your post live when your audience is scrolling is essential for the best possible results.
But how do you know the best time to post to social media? It is different for every business; there’s no one definitive answer. But you can find the answer for your business; your client avatar will give you a strong indication of the best times to post.
For example if your ideal customer is a busy mum, it’s unlikely she’ll be browsing at 8.15am because she’ll be doing the school run. Mid-morning coffee time could be a better choice.
At Coleman Hammond, we know exactly when our clients’ audiences are scrolling. Here are our top tips to find the best times to post to social media.
1. Use Data.
Take a look at the Insights tool on Instagram or Facebook. On Instagram, you can find this on the app: from your feed tap More (the three lines), Insights, scroll down to Your Audience, See All. Scroll to see your most active times and make sure to notice how they vary by day – it’s likely that weekends have different patterns to midweek.
On Facebook, Insights can be found on the desktop view of your business page. Head to the Business Manager, Business Page, look for Insights in the top bar to see the most popular days and times.
Having a detailed picture of how your audience uses social media will help you to schedule your posts accordingly for optimum visibility.
2. Try a Scheduling Tool
If analysing Insights across social media proves to be one step too much for you, try using a scheduling tool such as Planoly or Later. The paid versions of these handy apps will give you suggested times to post based on your audience’s behaviour and usage. In our experience, the times suggested are pretty reliable, but we suggest keeping an eye on things to test out different strategies.
Testing is my favourite way to find the ideal time to post on social media. Your own analysis is the most valuable way to work out the best posting times and optimise your results.
To test out the best times to post to social media for yourself, be consistent in your posting times for an entire week, and then make a change. For example, for the first week of your test, publish all your posts in the morning. The next week, try posting in the early afternoon, and for the third week, post in the evening. This approach is particularly useful if you find that the suggested times on scheduling tools don’t feel right to you – for example, midweek evenings and Saturday mornings may turn out to be more popular than midweek mornings and Saturday evenings. Analyse your results using the Insights tool to get real data on the performance of your posts. This will allow you to home in on the times when your when your target audience is active and your posts are most likely to get seen.
Why is it important to post on social media when your audience is active?
Could you just post in the morning, and let your audience catch up later? Sadly no. That’s just not how social media works and, unless you’re very lucky, you are unlikely to find the best time for your audience by simply posting at a time that suits you. But why?
Firstly, because anyone who happens to have their feed set to “latest first” is likely to miss your posts simply by being too late.
Secondly, because social media companies have set up their algorithms so that the faster someone engages with your post, the better that post ranks. The post is seen to be important and engaging. Similarly, it is also important to be active when your post goes live – try to respond within three minutes if possible, and certainly within the hour – for the best rankings, and therefore the best visibility. The effort you put in should be 20% content, 80% being active and engaging.
Finding the best time to post is an essential part of your social media strategy.
The brands that have the best engagement from their followers have earned it by working hard at engaging.
Social media remains at the forefront of digital marketing, so it needs to be done well. If you don’t post at the right time, your content simply won’t be seen, so your time and energy have gone to waste.
Social media may be fast-paced and immediate, but it takes commitment to make it a success for your business. If you haven’t got the time to run social media effectively, Coleman Hammond offers Full Service Management, so that you know you’re getting the most from your social media.
Book a free enquiry call to find out how we can maximise your success on social media.