A perfect post for Social Media
Is there such a thing as a perfect post for social media?
I think Woody Allen probably summed it up best…
‘80% of success is showing up’
While it is important to try and find you’re posting ‘sweet spot’ for each social network, in reality you need to post multiple times through the day to remain visible and relevant.
When to post?
True, some times are better than others but equally these are not the only times your audience will be online. Try and consider the most likely times people will be connected and browsing.
For example, outside of the sweet spot times what about…
- 0600 – 0700:- early in the morning… Yep, people check their smartphone before they get out of bed
- 0800 – 0900:- lots of people browse on their commute to work
- 1000 – 1030:- the mid morning cigarette/coffee break
- 1200 – 1400:- lunchtime
- 1500 – 1530:- the mid afternoon cigarette/coffee break
- 1700 – 1800:- the commute home from work
- 2000 – 2200:- Between the ads during prime time TV viewing (time varys depending where you are in the world)
- 2230 – 2300:- in bed, before lights out
Where to post?
In addition to when you are posting you also need to think about where you are posting. You can’t take the ‘one size fits all’ approach and push everything out to all your networks at the same time.
For example, HubSpot created an infographic highlighting the best times to post on each social network. If you keep reading, you’ll find it later in this post.
If you compare LinkedIn with Instagram the timing of posts are really quite different.
Instagram has a lot of latitude for when you post whereas LinkedIn has a much more narrow window. Therefore, you could catch people on the commute using Instagram and then catch them again at lunchtime on LinkedIn.
Based on the infographic, it would make sense to have some posts scheduled for the sweet spot times for each social network. You can also schedule more posts around some of the times outlined in the bullet points above.
What’s the frequency… Kenneth (REM?… Anyone?)
OK, we’re getting closer to building a perfect post for social media.
In addition to the when and where, how frequent should you be posting to social?
For most of the social networks there is a best practise around the number of posts per day. Twitter is the only one that is open to interpretation
Twitter – The good folks at SumAll and Buffer (see below) believe 3 posts a day is plenty but I have seen some digital marketers recommend as frequent as every 15 minutes. Personally, I schedule 8-10 posts a day and also dip in and out to reply, comment, quote tweets and share items I may have just come across
Facebook – 1 or 2 times per day should do it. Facebook ads are a more targeted way of achieving your goals and can reduce the need to post more frequently.
LinkedIn – Once or twice (max) a day. Although LinkedIn is one of the least visited social networks (mainly done during office hours) it can lead to high engagement. Though I post much more to Twitter, LinkedIn drives more traffic to my website (20% versus 18%)
Google+ – 3 times per day
Pinterest – 5 or more per day
Instagram – Once a day seems to be the consensus
This infographic below from SumAll and Buffer will give you a really good feel for how often you need to turn-up. Think of it more as a yard-stick rather than a definitive guide.
What types of post are there?
So now that we understand the when, where, how often… it’s time to talk about what we put in our perfect post for Social Media.
First off, don’t make it about you all the time. You need to share other peoples content and then mix in your own from time to time.
Think about it, do you hate when you meet someone and all they do is talk about themselves for the whole conversation? Don’t be that guy on social media
Here are the advantages to posting other peoples content…
- It gives you more stuff to share
- You can save your content for the post time sweet spot and share other content during the rest of the day
- By sharing valuable information to your audience, regardless of its source, shows you understand the topic and you are willing to help others.
- It gives you the opportunity to connect with influencers by tagging them when you share their content
- Ultimately you are trying to inbound visitors to your website. This is obviously easy to do sharing your own content but you can use Start A Fire when sharing other peoples’ content.
There are a few different types of post. Some get more attention than others. The list below is a hierarchy of post type. However, just because you share a video doesn’t mean it will go viral overnight… But it’s more likely to compared to a plain text post.
Rich Media – eg. Video, animations, audio, GIF’s, you can even post links to live streams
Image – eg. infographics, pictures, and don’t forget the #selfie
Links – try where possible to have a visual accompany the link. Twitter cards are a great way to bring a link to life
Text – Boring! Avoid a plain text post if possible, especially when posting for your business
When are the post time sweet spots?
Rather than look at these as the only times to post, consider these as the times you must have a post scheduled. You should go as far as putting your best posts and your own content at these times.
Maybe there is no such thing as a perfect post for social media marketing but we can at least try and make our posts as engaging and entertaining as possible.
As you’ll often here in the digital world, this is an inexact science. Trial and error is necessary to find out what will work for you and your business.
Have you anything to add?
Have you ever created a perfect post for Social Media?
Drop a comment below and share some of your social media experience.
If you’d like to get in touch with me, it’s easy, you can find my contact details HERE.
Thanks for reading.
Also published on Medium.