Timing is everything in life. Like a knockout punch, an annual shoe sale, and pumpkin spice lattes, the best results come when you know exactly when to do something. Miss that window, and you may find yourself knocked out, wearing’ last year’s heels, or suffering pumpkin-flavor withdrawals for another year.
The same, of course, goes for social media marketing (doesn’t it always seem to come back to that?). Start posting too little, too late, too often, too soon, and all your fabulous posting will be for naught when no one reads them. Here are a couple things to consider when making your Facebook and Twitter posts.
Absence Makes the Heart Grow…
We all know the phrase. Ever had a girlfriend or boyfriend who just loved you a little too much? Texts every four minutes, Facebook messages every hour, phone calls every other… Sometimes a girl (or guy) just needs some space.
That’s how it is with your posting. Though basic logic might seem to say more posts = more chances for engagement = more engagement, the best social media marketers understand more isn’t always better.
It’s the white noise theory. You’ve probably experienced this from signing up on Facebook initially, or joining a new site like ModCloth, etc. You love the new site, and enjoy your regular updates – at first. After a few weeks, you start deleting them immediately without reading, after a few more they’re officially in your Junk folder.
Posting too often does this to your followers. Regular posting is absolutely essential in building a great social media presence, but remember, “regular” doesn’t mean “constant.” Post at least weekly, ideally 4-7 times per week. Be present, not annoying. If you can’t come up with interesting, not-consistently-spammy posts (see how Twitter really works for businesses) that many times weekly, cut it down. Not quite often enough is better than an overload of junk.
Giving the Time of Day
Time of day also can have a huge impact – but effectiveness varies by following.
For instance, a largely corporate following may be more apt to checking their Facebook and Twitter feeds during lunchtime. If that’s true, posting in the morning may find your post buried by noon, and posting later may mean the same by the time they get home.
Have you ever wanted to know exactly what time of day your messages are most valuable or when your audience is listening? You can! Well, that is if you have a PuTTin’ OuT! Click here to get a free account, add your social profiles, start posting social messages and whoala! My Reports is a miracle telling you exactly when you’re best off posting messages. It’s always a good idea to post messages at various times in the beginning to test your audience.
What Are You Doing This Weekend?
Weekends, it goes without saying, are big times for social media. You’ll want to always make sure you schedule posts for weekends, at least one of the two days. Again, your PuTTin’ OuT reports will tell you not only the best times to post, but the best days to post on Facebook and Twitter too!
But what about the 5 other days? Mondays and Thursdays may seem to have little in common, but do you know that for sure?
So How Do You Know?!
It’s all about metrics. Assuming effective times and days for posting does little good if it’s not backed by actual data that’s specific to your actual following. Checking over your engagement statistics, look for the best and worst posts you’ve made in terms of reach and engagement, and note the times.
Are weekends best? Afternoons? Evenings?
Consider that there are numerous other factors at play like type of post, holidays, virality, use of images, etc. Testing should help. Make similar types of posts at different times over the course of a month, and check back on the results. But be careful – you’ll want to make sure your posts are still optimized and high quality. See our post on nailing those Facebook thumbnails to make sure that you’re getting the most out of every post.
Remember, you’ve got to engage with your following in the way they like to engage. Listen to their needs and behaviors and plan accordingly. And oh! Don’t assume this month’s metrics will be the same next month. Often people’s habits change each season. Keep retesting to make sure you aren’t missing your spot while PuTTin’ OuT!