If you’re like most businesses online, you don’t have the time to manually post to all of your social media networks every day. That’s why there are so many scheduling tools available – so you can sit down and do a week’s or even a month’s worth or more of posts across Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. But, scheduling everything in advance takes a bit of effort to make sure your audience sees what you’re sharing so you get the greatest possible impact.
There’s a lot of research out there about the best days and times to share your content on social media. A lot of it depends on your niche and the platform in particular. Ultimately, everyone’s audience is a bit different, so you’ll have to start somewhere until you gather enough data about your specific audience to develop a schedule that’s tailored to them.
Here, I’ll discuss how to create an effective posting schedule for all your social media updates.
Determine How Often You’ll Post Every Day
The same way you plan an editorial calendar for your blog, you should plan a social media calendar to help you keep your social media posting consistent. A calendar of when you plan to post on each platform helps you see if there are gaps or times when you have too much going out at once.
Uses these informal guidelines to help you decide how often to post to each social platform you use.
- According to Socialbakers, post once a day for best engagement.
- Plan on up to 15 tweets per day, according to research studies summarized on CoSchedule.
- LinkedIn data, courtesy of Buffer, tells us you’ll reach 60% of your audience if you post there 20x/month.
- If your brand uses Pinterest, Buffer suggests you should pin five to 30 times per day.
- Brands can get easily post to Instagram up to 15 times a day, where it is relevant to their niche to do so.
Looking at your calendar tells you where to fill in gaps and where to remove the extra messages on the days and times that are overcrowded.
Post at the Right Time of Day
After you determine which days you’ll post on each network, it’s crucial to find the best times to share your content on each.
Don’t just choose a few times to share content regularly. Try different times every day to give the schedule some flexibility and pay attention to the analytics. With a bit of trial and error, along with your engagement stats, you can find the best times to share from own accounts.
Data from QuickSprout, FastCompany, and Buffer, along with other companies suggest you should try posting to:
- Facebook on Wednesdays at 3 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 4 pm, and on weekends from 12 to 1 pm.
- Twitter between the hours of 12 and 3 pm, and at 5 pm Monday through Friday.
- LinkedIn outside of working hours – between 7:30 to 8:30 am, and 5 to 6 pm, and on lunch breaks at 12 on Tuesday through Thursday
- Pinterest from 2 to 4 am and 2 to 4 pm
Avoid Instagrams on Mondays and Thursdays from 3 to 4 pm.
The majority of the studies analyzed data in the United States. 80% of the population lives within the Eastern and Central time zones, so those two timezones are likely the best bet for optimal reach – unless you know for sure your target audience is outside of those.
Share Your Content More Than Once
You may be creating great content, but lose out on a ton of traffic because you’re only sharing it right after you publish it, and only once on every social network. Sharing it more than once can get you 3,150% more traffic within your first day of publishing.
Now, imagine what could happen if you spread that social media sharing to publish links to your content through the week, month, and year after its original publication date. Use this schedule for sharing your content multiple times on social media as a guide:
- Announce new content right when it goes live on your site.
- Share it again a few hours later on the same day. A tweet’s average lifespan is only 18 minutes, so sharing it later the same day helps increase visibility
- Schedule a few more messages for the following day to spread the word while the content is still fresh.
- Drip a few more social messages the following week, to help catch the people who missed the first time.
- Scatter at least a single message per week, over the course of the following month, on all your networks.
Tailor Your Messaging to the Platform
Each platform has its own lingo, so even when you’re sharing the same content, you need to adjust the messaging accordingly. This is a much better approach than posting the exact same thing across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social platforms.
When you share it again on the same platform, make sure to vary the message so that your social updates stay fresh. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Reference quotes from your post – if they are from other people, share them and tag the influence to spread reach. Add them to Click to Tweet boxes to give a visual break in your blog posts
- Ask your followers a question related to the content to promote click-throughs and generate traffic.
- Incorporate the content’s meta description into your messages.
- Highlight the big takeaways – based on the article’s images and subheads.
Measure Engagement with URL Tracking
It’s important to know when and how to post your content, but it’s also important to know when you should retire it. Make it a point to review your metrics on a regular basis to determine what’s working well and what’s not. This way, you can keep what’s working in your rotation, while getting rid of anything that’s not performing well.
You can measure the response to your content by combining Google’s UTM tags and a Google Analytics dashboard. You can also use a URL shortening tool like Bitly to keep an eye on the number of clicks each specific post gets.