In the last post we discussed how to pick the right social media platform(s) and why you need to learn the psychology of said platform in order to position your offering effectively. Now we are going to go over how to keep your audiences attention.
When to post.
Believe it or not, there are better days and times of the day to post your content, and it changes from platform to platform. If you're not posting when your audience is prime to receive it then everything else is useless.
There are countless resources online that will give you stats and reasons for when you should post to certain platforms, and I will go over the research results below, but when it comes down to it the best way to know is to look at your own stats and do some A/B testing.
Now, in the last post we used Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so we are going to continue with those in our examples throughout this series. These platforms all have native analytics or you can use a third-party like Hootsuite Analytics to see when your posts have the highest engagement. Try posting the same or similar content on different days and times and see when you get the best results. As a starting point, use the data below.
CoSchedule pulled data from 20 different studies and found the best times for each site. Again, I would primarily use this as a starting point and do your own tests on your audience to get the best results.
Facebook: The best time to post on Facebook is 1-4pm late into the week and on weekends.
Saturday and Sunday at 12 - 1pm
Thursday and Friday at 1-4pm
Wednesday at 3pm
The best general times, regardless of date, are 9am, 1pm, and 3pm.
Twitter: The optimal times to tweet are 12–3 p.m., with a peak best time at 5 p.m. During the workweek is the best, though some niches might have more active audiences on the weekend.
Monday - Friday at 12-3pm and 5pm
Wednesdays at noon and 5-6pm
Experiment with 2-3am, 6-7am, and 9-10pm
The best times to tweet in general to increase retweets and clickthroughs are Noon, 3pm, and 5-6pm.
Instagram: Instagram audiences are engaged throughout the week. Mondays should maybe get a little more attention.
Monday and Thursday at any time other than 3-4pm
Videos any day from 9pm - 8am
Experiment with 2am, 5pm, and Wednesday at 7pm
The general best times to post on Instagram are 2am, 8-9am, and 5pm.
Find when your followers are online and make sure they see your posts.
What to post.
It may seem obvious to some people but you need to post content your audience cares about. What this means for you... Stop trying to convert users with every single post. You need to treat all of your social media interactions like a new relationship.
Imagine if you were at the grocery store and complimented someones shirt and their response was "thanks, wanna go to a wedding with me next week?". Chances are you would say no and avoid that person if you ever saw them again.
Likewise, imagine if you started following a photographer on Instagram because they posted a picture of a cool sunset but then their next 5 posts were trying to get people to sign up for portrait sessions.
At least 80% of your posts on social media should be trying to foster a good relationship with your users. Post humorous quotes, interesting facts pertaining to your industry, cool graphics, etc. They aren't going to convert any users into customers but that's okay, you are developing the relationship.
On top of these light posts you will also want to add in some posts relevant to your company and field that will give you some industry credibility. Press releases, interviews, appearances at events, and blog posts. Again, we are not trying to convert users with these posts but instead establish your company as a product/service leader.
Encourage interaction and discussion. Customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that's engaged with them in memorable discussion than one that's solely advertising. Instagram's new polling feature is a great way to do this.
Focus on fostering a relationship with your users, take it slow.
Now we know what kind of content we need to post, and when to post it so that we have maximum exposure to our audience. However, if you're only posting once or twice a week, even if it's at the prime times, you are going to miss a huge portion of your audience and they aren't going to remember you.
So, we need to post consistently, but what does that mean? Every other day? Every Day? Multiple times each day? This is the tricky part, as with everything else so far, it depends on the platform you're using.
Facebook - 1 post per day. Twitter - 15 tweets per day Instagram - 1 or 2 posts per day Pinterest - 11 pins per day
It goes back to what we said in part 1 - you need to understand the psychology of the platform you're using.
How to use hashtags to grow your audience. Now that we know what platform(s) we are going to focus on and how to gain and retain our users attention, we need to learn some tricks for getting our content to even more people so we can grow our audience.
Picking the right social media platform
[Part 1] In this 6 part course we are going to go over the basic building blocks of social media marketing so that you will be better able to communicate with your audience and convert followers into customers.
[Part 3] In the last post we discussed how to capture your audiences attention. Consistently post the right content at the right times. Now we are going to go over how to get our content in front of more people to grow our audience.
The Importance of Patience in Social Media Marketing
[Part 6] In the last post we discussed advertising on social media to attain the broadest reach. Now, in the final part of this series, we are going to discuss the most difficult, and perhaps most important part of social media marketing - patience.
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