Making the most of your social media calendar is essential to creating social signals around your brand. Effectively utilizing a social media calendar involves planning content, aligning posts with marketing campaigns and key dates. Regularly updating content types (images, videos, blogs) keeps the feed fresh. Timely engagement with trending topics and audience interaction is crucial. Analyzing performance data helps refine future content and posting schedules.
To make the most of your social media marketing efforts, it helps to have a calendar with a plan of the content you want to share, and when. Thanks to automation tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, it’s even possible to load a number of posts in advance and schedule them to post at certain times.
But having a plan to post content and knowing when it will go live is one thing – and making that calendar and schedule work for you is another. Let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider as you plan out your social media content – whether for the next day, week, month, or year at a time.
To get started, take a look at our guide on How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar.
How Many Posts Per Day? Per Network?
Organically, your posts aren’t going to show to the majority of your social media following. That’s because the platforms want to have their fair shot at getting you to pay for advertising, so they can boost their revenue.
But, if you have content that your social media audience responds to and engages with, you’ll increase the likelihood that a larger portion of your audience will see what you post.
That’s why it’s important to strike a balance between the right number of posts on each network you include in your social media strategy, and your overall post frequency. If you post too much, you run the risk of people feeling like you’re the only thing they see. If you don’t post enough, few people may see your content at all.
And certain networks, like Twitter, move so fast that your new content doesn’t last long before it gets lost in feeds. That’s why it’s expected that you will post more there every day than you would on Facebook or Instagram.
Uses these informal guidelines to help you decide how often to post to each social platform you use. There are no strict rules to follow. Post frequency and timing tends to vary from one niche to another.
- 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 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.
If you want a guideline to follow that’s specific to your niche, take a look at your top competitors. Pay attention to any patterns you see. Look at the dates and times on the posts that have the most engagement, and test your own activity based on that.
Post Timing Matters
In addition to post frequency, the time of day your content goes live matters, too. Think about it. If you post at night when the majority of your audience is asleep, you are not likely to get a lot of response. By the time your audience wakes up and browses through social media, your content will be buried in their feeds, by content that has been posted more recently.
You can use your social media analytics to see the times when your audience is most active. Base your posting time around that, so your audience is online to interact with the content as it goes live. The more engagement you get right away, the more likely your content will be shown to a larger percentage of your followers.
Post timing varies for each social network, and for each niche or industry.
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 time zones are likely the best bet for optimal reach – unless you know for sure your target audience is outside of those.
Run some tests of your own to find out what works best for your personal audience, starting with guidelines for your niche and adjusting from there. Here is another place where studying your main competitors can help.
Social media posts, especially on Twitter, have a short life. It’s okay to share some of your old content again. Do you want to share the same thing on Facebook twice in the same day? Probably not. But something you shared early in the morning on Twitter could easily be shared again in the evening hours.
That said, you should still make the majority of your social media content new and original. Between your content and stuff you’ve curated from others to provide value to your audience, you’ll want to wait a bit before you start sharing older content again.
When you update an old post on your blog, definitely share it on social media again to let your audience know that you’ve breathed new life into the post.
Don’t Blanket Post
As tempting as it may be to share the exact same thing to all your social media networks at the exact same time, it’s safe to assume that if someone is following you on Facebook, they are also following you on Twitter. You don’t want to bore your audience with the same thing over and over.
Each social media network is different, and with it, come nuances that call for you to adjust the way you post slightly. On Facebook and Instagram, you have enough room to write a mini blog post that describes your content. But on Twitter, you have a character limit. Even though that character limit has been extended compared to what it was when Twitter launched, it’s still highly restrictive compared to what you can do on other platforms.
You’ll get far better results by adjusting your content slightly, to better fit the needs and aesthetics of each individual social platform you’re using to share the content.
Measure Your Results
To ensure you’re getting the best possible ROI on your social media efforts, it’s important to continue to measure your progress. Keep track of your follower growth, engagement rates, which hashtags get the best response, and so on. Add UTM tags to your links and track their progress in Google Analytics. Or, use a URL shortener so you can track link opens.
If you’re not getting the results you expect, experiment with one thing at a time so you can determine what factor influences your results. For instance, adjust your post timing without adjusting content type or frequency. Testing too much at once will make it hard to figure out which change produced the results.
If you’d like help with your social media marketing strategy, get in touch with us today.