I see a post about the best times to post on social media every couple of months. In it, there is similar verbiage along with an infographic or some type of visual content, and while Isaac Campbell of Fannit notes in his post, “timing is huge”, let’s step back a bit.
Is Focusing on the Best Times to Post on Social Media Enough?
Yes timing is important, but it is not the entire story. At best, Timing is one of the main characters.
It’s not enough to post at the right time. What about posting the right content and making sure that it is resonating with the right person, enough so that they might act on it? Delivering the right content to the right person at the right time must all be working together for your social media posts to make a difference to your audience.
So let’s look at all three.
The Three Most Important Pieces of the Social Media Content Puzzle
1. Who is the right target for you? The answer to this requires a lot of research, which includes a lot of listening, interacting with and helping people. The answer will change repeatedly because your target is evolving and you must evolve with them if you want them to trust you and your content to resonate with them. This is a huge investment that you need to really plan out and execute appropriately.
2. What is the right content for your audience? After continuously researching and interacting with your audience, you will undoubtedly identify their hot buttons, likes and dislikes, their pains, and the type of help they want. Your content should be thoughtful, engaging and relevant. You start curating and creating – yes, both – content that they want and resonates with them. This is going to require a lot of testing. You are going to have many more misses then hits. I’m a creative so I love the creating, testing, revising or maybe starting over because I love to create and I love to help people. The investment here really energizes me and it needs to energize you, too. Why? Because you have to focus on your tone. If someone reads your content and it isn’t genuine and you really don’t want to help them, they will see that immediately and leave. Remember that going through these motions are ultimately going to help you help your audience and they will remember you for it. This is not an immediate gratification process, and you must be ready to make that investment to grab the future prize of a new customer – turned brand advocate.
3. When is the right time to distribute your content? Let’s get back to that handy infographic above. It is a great starting point to test as you’re posting your content. But, remember, these are guidelines. They are not the gospel. As an example, I have had some of my most engaging Twitter content posted in the “worst time to post” for Twitter, in the 8pm – 8am time frame. Take an “It Depends” attitude with the guidelines and continue to test. Now, there are some great tools to help you find your timing sweet spot. I am a big fan of Bitly, Buffer, and Tweriod. In addition, sites such as SumAll and Klout are great in identifying which posts are most engaging and being shared the most. And, of course, please do not forget to look at each of your social media assets to thank people for sharing and commenting. After analyzing your social media assets as well as utilizing the tools above, you may find you have a different timing sweet spot. Remember to keep analyzing because the best timing for you may change.
Delivering the right content to the right person at the right time must all be working together for your social media posts to count for your audience. There is no race to the finish line. In fact, there is no finish line. You must be in that continuous cycle of wanting to make the experience great for your audience. Doing so will land you the riches of having brand advocates!