I often talk about posting the wrong type of information on your social media profiles, but posting at the wrong time can also hurt your marketing efforts. Maybe you’re not one of those businesses that I constantly critique for blasting out 25 updates to their Facebook everyday or who continue to post pushy sales content on their Twitter and can’t figure out why they have no followers. You could be sharing the right type of content, but you’re still having trouble reaching the social media community with your brand message. Why?
Today, let’s talk about the timing of your posts.
Sunday is your biggest opportunity of the entire week, with Wednesday being the best day to take the day off.
This is the advice from “Strategies for Effective Wall Posts: A Timeline Analysis,” a report based on activity from 1,800 of the world’s biggest brand pages from April 1 to May 31.
This analysis supports my claim that brands are posting way too little during the weekends and evenings. It’s understandable; your business probably operates from 8-5. Often, businesses have a member of their staff update the social media throughout the day. After reviewing these numbers, however, you may want to set aside a few minutes in the evenings and weekends to take advantage of these social media hot spots.
Weekends, when brands are posting too little, the audience appears primed for interaction. This is a hugely missed opportunity for so many businesses. It may seem inconvenient to update your Facebook page on a Sunday night, but as a business owner, you simply cannot afford to miss the #1 most active and engaging time period for your past and future customers. (Shameless plug: you can always outsource this process if you don’t have the time to someone like me).
In general, though, Wednesday is the worst day to post; interactions on Hump Day are 7.4% lower than average.
The study also found that off-hours are the best time to post. Brand posts between 8pm and 7am got 14% higher interaction than those published between 8am and 7pm.
Meanwhile, when it comes to posts, less is more. Brands that post 1 or 2 times a day see 19% higher interaction rates than those that publish three or more posts. “The key is not to bombard fans with too many posts, as Facebook News Feed optimization often penalizes for this,” the report cautions.
And while Twitter has a 140-character limit, Buddy Media suggests a self-imposed 80-character wall for Facebook posts. Such posts get a 23% higher interaction than longer posts. However, 75% of posts are beyond that limit. It’s also a good idea to run photos — photo posts get 39% higher interaction rates than average. Text-only posts aren’t a bad option either, though: They get a 12% higher-than-average rate. Video and link posts appear to be the worst option: They have lower-than-average interaction rates.
Among the other recommendations:
-> Use links with a recognizable URL, like “www.shop.com/umbrellas” where users have an idea of what to expect.
-> Asking a question is a good idea, but ask it at the end of your comment, not at the beginning. Posts with a question at the end have a 15% higher overall interaction rate and a 2X higher comment rate than those with a question asked in the middle of the post.
-> Ask fans to caption a picture. Posts that ask readers to “caption this” get 5.5X higher comment rates than average. Such posts also increase the overall interaction rate by more than 100%.
-> “Fill in the blank” is another good option. Such posts garner 4X more comments than average.
-> Use emoticons: Posts that contain emoticons receive 52% higher interaction rates. Posts that employ them have a 57% higher like rate,a 33% higher comment rate and 33% higher share rate.
-> The best emoticons to use: “:D” and “:P.” Such emoticons have a 2.4X and 2X higher response rate, respectively than other emoticons.
-> Use a call to action. Posts with commands like “Like,” “Caption This,” “Share,” “Yes or No” and “True or False” get interaction rates that are 48% higher than average.
Thought this was interesting? Check out my other post, Business Owners, You’re Doing Twitter Wrong!