What works for some digital marketing agencies is providing expensive social media management services, with scant content. In the long run it actually doesn’t work as well for the agency, because it doesn’t take long for the business owner to figure out that fewer posts, mean less results and recruitment of potential customers.
When you are a small or medium sized business and planning your marketing, you need to have a plan that will provide the right level of brand exposure for your budget. Many businesses outsource the creative content and management to boutique agencies like ours, who can help them keep their social media engaging (without breaking the budget).
How often should I post on social? What are the best times to post content on social media? These are the two most frequently asked questions we receive from prospective clients, and we’d like to break it down to fully explain when, why and how you should be posting amazing creative content on social.
The Three Big Mistakes Businesses Make When Posting Social Media Content
Let’s start with the ‘what not to do’ because if you have been trying to manage your social media marketing on your own, you may not even realize some of the common mistakes that are limiting your audience growth and engagement.
1. Not Sharing Proprietary Content and Links
Where do you want people who see your social media content to go? To your website of course! That’s where you can inform them about your products and services, ask them to subscribe to your email for special offers, or share your amazing collection of interesting blog articles.
Social media is multifaceted in the benefits it provides your business. First, the links that you share on social media are indexed as ‘activity’ by Google and other major search engines. When you are sharing at a regular cadence and consistently, this is one of the most powerful organic SEO benefits to recruit more website traffic.
Don’t just share the product pages, or special promotions. Show them your team! Share your blog articles. If you have a community page of charity’s you support or volunteer activities that you and your staff participate in? Definitely share that. It makes your brand more human, and more likeable when you vary your content.
2. No Visual or Multimedia Content
Links are great, when you choose non-proprietary or third-party content that helps demonstrate the value proposition for your product or service. But social content without videos, or eye-catching graphics is bland. Did you know that the average video gains 300% more engagement than a static link-based post (according to some studies), and graphic posts that are watermarked with your logo are an effective way to break up the content to be more appealing and enticing to customers.
3. Irrelevant or Superfluous Use of Hash Tags
#Is #There #Anything #More #Annoying than too many hash tags in a post? This is the most common mistake that we see small and medium sized businesses make with their social content, on virtually every network. And it’s also common with some digital agencies that feed into the concept that ‘more is more’ when it comes to hash tags. It’s not.
Focus strategically on a set of hash tags that captures the conversations that are relevant to your brand, product or service. Three hash tags within a post are sufficient enough; one should be a geo-tag if you are a regional or local business, i.e., #YourCity, #YourState. A long list of hash tags at the end of a post does not make your post reach more people. It’s distracting and counter effective.
When and How Often Should You Post on Social Media to Grow Your Audience?
Okay, let’s get down to the nitty gritty now. We’ve picked three of the most important social media networks for product or service-based brands, with research about how often and what times you should schedule content on social media.
Facebook (Twice Per Day)
Some experts have sited studies by HubSpot and other global CRM and metrics gurus, that state the more you post on Facebook, the more likely you are to irritate your customers. That results in people unfollowing your page, or worse yet, complaining about your posts which can flag you to Facebook Admins as a potential problem for SPAM.
Now, we’ve seen a lot of digital marketing providers sell packages for posting three days per week. They legitimize this low content flow because of big brands; Coca Cola doesn’t post 20 times per week on Facebook, do they? But then again, they are an internationally recognized brand with millions of followers. They don’t have to.
But as a small or medium sized business owner, you need to build that social following. Remember that it is not only your followers on Facebook that see your posts. When they ‘like’ or ‘comment’ on your content, their whole network of family and friends will see that engagement. That’s how digital WOM (word of mouth) spreads on social media.
So, you are not just accessing the engagement potential of people who subscribe or follow your Facebook Business page, you are also expanding your reach into their online social networks. And that potential can be huge.
Our advice is to post twice (2) times per day on Facebook, five-days per week. But don’t fall into the rut of posting at the same times, or only during business hours. (That’s another way some marketing agencies do a big disservice to their clients). Posting exclusively Monday through Friday may miss the biggest and most attentive consumers, who browse social on the weekends. You are allowed (and encourage) to post outside of normal business hours if you want to reach a broader audience.
Think about when your target customer is most likely to look at Facebook and vary your post times. Save one post for 7-8 p.m. when everyone is relaxing after the business day, dinner is done, and they are active on social media.
Check out this heat map of social engagement on Facebook to help you tailor a social media, from Sprout Social. The engagement rates also vary according to the niche industry. For example, healthcare related products and services should be scheduled during peak times of 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
For more maps and insights visit the Sprout Social blog.
Twitter (Five Times Per Day or More)
Either you love it, or you hate it, but no matter how you feel about Twitter, it is one of the social media networks that indexes social posts AND makes it easy to build followers organically. No bots. No illegal spam apps. You can use a variety of tools to identify your target demographic on Twitter and start following them on a weekly basis to build your network and audience.
How many posts should you make on Twitter? Most of the budget social media management packages we see advertised, promote (3) posts per day. That is the absolute minimum you should be posting on Twitter. The number we like to schedule for our clients is a minimum of (5) content posts per day, and then we retweet, and respond to customer engagements. So, it usually ends up being about 10 per day with live responses.
Search for your business on Google, and one of the things that will come up quickly in search, are indexed Tweets. What does that mean? When you drop the URL of your business website, Google and other search engines see that link as it has been shared on Twitter. This is an organic boost both to your website traffic (because customers will find you that way too!) and to your backlink ecosystem for website SERPs.
Remember, unlike other social networks with scrollable or legacy content, the average lifespan of a Tweet is about 18 minutes. So, you want to time it exactly when your prospective customers are looking.
Here are a few tips when you are planning your social media content for Twitter:
- Peak times for Twitter posts are Monday through Wednesday, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. A second window in evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. also nets high engagement for specific product or service niches.
- Lunchtime posts are also popular on Twitter. Schedule some content between 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- Saturday typically gets the worst engagement rates for Twitter posts.
- Twitter users like to consume content and links and are engaged earlier in the day than communities on other social media networks.
Data reveals that about 85% of the Twitter community are affluent and educated Millennials. If you are a global seller or e-commerce business, consider that over 80% of Twitter users are not based in the United States. It’s a global network that expands your reach, and effectively helps direct traffic to your website and other social networks like Facebook.
Instagram (At Least Three Times Per Week)
The gram! It is so much more than selfies, although you still see them from time to time. Instagram is about lifestyle, products and ‘things to do’ that make people happy. Unlike any other social media network, content on Instagram must appeal to the lifestyle message.
a) What problems do other people have?
b) How can your product or service solve those problems?
c) How will the customer feel when they are using your products?
Instagram is a highly visual social media network. Well-designed graphics get brands a lot of traffic on Instagram; conversely, amateur graphics, bad videos or uninteresting captions net a ghost-town like reaction from your followers. If you aren’t going to put the work in to create some killer content that’s visually appealing and interesting, you won’t be successful at building an audience organically on Instagram.
Optimal content post times for Instagram vary a little according to the niche or product category, but in general Wednesdays are the ‘hot day’ for content, as people look for inspiration to get through the week? That’s our theory anyhow. Conversely, posts on Sunday’s enjoy the worst traffic and engagement metrics for brands.
There are two windows of optimal scheduling for Instagram according to many large surveys and metrics reviews; weekdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and then 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
How Does Our Team Optimize Social Media Content Scheduling?
If you have been following Social Me Multimedia on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve probably realized which CRM system is our absolute favorite; Sprout Social. The Viral Post feature is an algorithm that automatically picks the best time of the day to publish your post. This is strategically customized for every social media network.
Not only do we custom write every piece of content we publish on your business accounts, but we also make sure that creative collateral is scheduled on days and times that will have the most impact. Sometimes what is best for your business is not scheduling on a strict 9-5 routine; we constantly review the engagement reports and try different windows to optimize the engagement potential of every social media post we share for our clients.
In this article, we’ve reviewed that a lot of creativity and strategy is required to get traction on social media. There is so much content being shared daily by businesses, you have to be ready to double down and invest in quality content and have a plan, to ensure you get the most value from your social media engagement.
Head over to our services page and check out the social media service bundles provided by our team at Social Me Multimedia. We believe in flat-fee turn-key solutions for small and medium sized businesses, that are affordable, and tick all the essential boxes your business needs to turn your social media and website into a customer recruitment funnel.
Our packages start at $499.00 (USD) per month. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We are trusted integrity marketers with an excellent reputation for providing quality service and value to our clients, since 2009.