Although many sources may claim to know the best day and time to post, a strategic social media strategy ultimately depends on your location, type of business, and type of audience. For a B2B company like NewsCred, we choose to stop using social media to market to brands and instead choose to start communicating with people. To do so, brands need to know the right place and the right time to share, so NewsCred created a guide to help you along the way.
When formulating your social media strategy, timing and frequency are paramount to ensuring your content reaches your audience at the right place and right time. Many sources claim to know the best times to post. However, these sources often contradict each other with differing statistics, often because companies will release the dates and times they receive the most engagement. This is flawed as not every company is reaching the same demographic, and ultimately taking a one size fits all approach is not efficient because many factors contribute to which platforms your audience are on and when they’re most likely to be active.
For instance, an audience of business professionals might use Twitter to keep up with the latest news and industry trends, while a college student might follow their favorite brands on Twitter to receive discounts and rewards. These two sets of people are also likely to be active at different times too. NewsCred’s audience engages with content the most in the morning, likely individuals scrolling through their feeds after waking up or during their commute to work. A college student might take time in between classes to tweet. At the end of the day, it is all relative to who your brand is and who your audience is.
This is why we’ve provided data on when users are the most active on each platform, so your company has guidelines to know when to post. However, this plan isn’t the be-all end-all of your social media strategy – these are simply the best average times for each platform. This means marketers must also have a plan to monitor engagement in order to tailor your social strategy around your audience. Here are guidelines on when the most popular platforms are most active:
How Often Should I Post to Social Media?
For global brands, or just businesses whose audiences are in multiple time zones, posting more frequently is a necessity to ensure your message spreads. NewsCred, which has a large readership in the United States and the United Kingdom, publishes one tweet an hour from 7am to 2:00am EST. This way, our audience around the world can engage with our brand. As a general rule, brands should tweet at least 3 times a day or more, with B2B brands tweeting at least 14 times per day.
According to Facebook’s algorithm, your company’s posts may never be seen by your target audience because Facebook ranks posts based on what they believe their users will find relevant. Facebook does this by collecting information on users’ friends, groups they belong to, and what pages they have liked. Taking this information, Facebook applies it to a secret algorithm that determines how content appears in their feeds. For a user who follows many groups and has a large following of friends they might only see the first 100 posts in their feed. This is why posting frequently, but avoiding being spammy, is paramount to getting your message across.
In general, brands should not post more than once a day to Facebook unless there is truly exceptional news to share. To keep up the level of frequency, consider posting once every day of the week. If you are a media company, share throughout the day. The New York Times has multiple newsworthy stories to share, which is why they post throughout the day, while a B2C company like Starbucks might only share once in a day.
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, the frequency of posts on Instagram doesn’t have any effect on the amount of engagement a post receives. Rather, it is the time of day that has the most effect. Brands on average post 1.5 times a day and up to 20 images during special events. The ideal time to post depends on the brand’s audience, with mornings and evenings being the most active times for the platform. It is important to note that most Fortune 500 companies post their Instagram content during East Coast business hours, posting from 9:00am to 9:00pm, while posts receive the most engagement when posted between 10:00am and 3:00pm.
LinkedIn is the go-to platform for business to business marketers. However, of all the top social platforms, LinkedIn is the least effective in getting people engaged. Despite having the second largest unique population of all social networks, LinkedIn has the lowest overall time spent. To put that in perspective, B2B brands have 36 times more followers on LinkedIn than on Instagram, but receive 20 times more engagement on Instagram.
Now, this isn’t to say don’t publish any content there. It is still important to have an active profile on the largest professional social network. According to LinkedIn, posting once a day reaches 60% of your audience.
The optimum time to post to Pinterest is during the evening, and marketers are encouraged to pin at least 5 times a day – that’s up to 30 pins in a day! The trick is to spread out the pins over the course of the day. To encourage more engagement, make sure your pins are searchable with relevant keywords. 70% of Pinterest engagement happens within the first two days, while the remaining 30% occurs up to a month after.
With 26 million Snapchat users in the United States and 54% of users using the app daily, Snapchat is the most desirable platform for marketers to master, but there isn’t much information on what time users are most active or the optimum frequency of snaps for engagement. This highlights the importance of monitoring engagement and experimenting with post frequency to discover the peak times your audience engages with your content. Ideally, a brand should focus on using Snapchat to tell a story, while still being cautious of not spamming your followers. Users can easily distinguish between a brand who creates content because they have fun and relevant stories to share, and brands who do not.
While this article gives insight into when popular social media platforms are most active and what the average frequency of social posts are, a strategic social media strategy ultimately relies what type of business is utilizing it, and requires research into how your target audience engages with social media.
Whether you’re a startup creating your first social media strategy, or seasoned professionals looking to optimize your performance, ultimately every brand on social media needs software to automate their sharing. That way, marketers can focus on curating content and fostering engagement with their followers, while the content marketing automation software ensures the timing and frequency of your posts are reaching your audience at the right place at the right time.
This article was written by NewsCred’s Ashley Karhoff.
Originally published on Jun 14, 2016 10:00 AM, updated Nov 8, 2016