“When should I post on social media?”

An age-old question that has been asked since the beginning of social media marketing. If there was one blanket answer to this question, we wouldn’t need to write this blog!

Knowing when your audience is most active will ultimately generate more engagement and traffic. Though there’s no perfect answer, there’s still plenty of information available to help you determine the best times to make sure your content is seen.

How to Find the Ideal Posting Times

There are four main factors that determine the success of your posting times. Consider the following in your research:

  •         The demographic of the audience on the platform (ages, gender, lifestyle habits, family, work life, etc.).
  •         Your audience’s time zone.
  •         Analytic data provided by the platform (if applicable).
  •         Knowing the types of content your audience consumes on each platform.

It’s important to know that each social platform has a different audience and to understand how the audience uses each platform. Though there isn’t one specific time and day that works across all industries, there are some generic best times that apply to each platform and work as a starting point when researching posting times for your industry and audience.

Using Analytics to Determine Posting Times

Your social platforms provide basic (but valuable) data about your audience. Getting to know how much analytical information is available to you on each platform will allow you to leverage the data and provide timely content to your audience!

You can dig even deeper by working with a separate social media analytics tool. These tools have the capability of analyzing audience behavior, which includes the times and days your audience is most active. Sites like Sprout Social offer paid plans that gather audience data to help you determine best posting dates, times, and a lot more.

Google Analytics is one of the best free tools available to gather analytical data from. It’s likely that you have Google Analytics setup on your website, but did you know you can also scale social media data from it, too? UTM tracking is one of the most effective ways to accurately gather audience data, and you can learn about it here.

When Analytics Aren’t Enough

Audience insights and analytics aren’t enough to help you determine the best time to post to social media. There are a few reasons for this:

  •         Not every platform provides detailed information about when your audience is active.
  •         Analytics tools may not be in the budget.
  •         Just because the audience is active, doesn’t necessarily mean they are engaging.

If you are just starting out, it is important to draw your own audience conclusions through observation. Take the demographic information you’ve gathered about your buyer and use that to determine when you think they are the most active and available to engage with your content. Ask the following questions:

“Are they actively engaging on social at this time, or are they browsing to pass time?”

“What does their day-to-day schedule look like?”

“Is this content adding value to their day?”

If you are seeing a recurring pattern with engagement days and times that go against when your audience is most active, go with it! Again, just because the audience is online, doesn’t mean they are engaging. Use the data you gather manually to help you determine optimal posting times.

Just like every other aspect of social media marketing, figuring out the best time to post is an ongoing task. It’s not a set it and forget it type of task and must be re-evaluated often.  

You Don’t Have Time to Analyze Data

Researching optimal posting times is one piece of a much larger social marketing puzzle.

Analyzing the data you’ve gathered and applying it to your social strategy can be a time-consuming venture. Though analytics, research, and schedulers can help you reach your audience, managing social media effectively requires consistency, strategy, and constant monitoring.

Having a dedicated social media manager can help you free up the time you spend trying to manage your own business profiles. Let’s chat about how we can help you keep your business profiles optimized, relevant, and engaging!