The number of “best times to post on social media” cheat sheets amuses me.
( Make your own social media cheat sheet)
A long time ago way before social media took over, I had my first business in 2002 (the same year that Myspace and LinkedIn launched) so social media was just beginning (some sources say that social media has only be around for 30 years). So I had to utilise what I had at my disposal to find clients and basically I had my community, email, a website and myself. I had to build relationships and work consistently. No one was talking about the best times to send emails back then.
The growth of social media and its massive potential has also created a kind of anxiety amongst businesses around “how do I get this to work” “I’m not doing it right”. It’s also created opportunities for many businesses (including rawmarrow) to help those businesses.
If you google “best times to post on social media” you will get such a range of recommendations, cheat sheets with such a wide range of “optimal” times that they are rendered almost useless.
“Post Monday- Thursday 8am to 8pm”
“Don’t Post after 10pm” (side note one of my most popular Facebook posts was posted way later than 11pm)
“Optimal time is Monday to Wednesday 9am- 12pm”
You get the idea.
Something you also need to consider is the life of a social media post; that is how long your content will appear in your followers feeds. Statisics vary depending on which report you read. A twitter post for example has an average life span of 15 mins compared to Pinterest post which has longevity of around 4 months. Knowing each social platform will also inform “best times to post”.
Back to the “best times to post on social media” cheat sheets. While you can look at these recommendations for a “general guide” (the way check the time zone they are talking about because you know time zones matter). You can also think about when you check your phone and how often, which may or may not be the same time as your audience.
There are a few things I suggest with respect to when to post on social media.
- Your social media goal(s)- if all you want to do is have a “presence” (dig a little deeper and ask why you want that presence.) then it doesn’t matter what time you post.
- Who your ideal client is- if your ideal clients are chefs they are unlikely to be online pre dinner as they will be loving preparing the slow cooked lamb shanks…I digress but you get the point.
- When your ideal client is active on social media (and this will vary across social media channels)
- External factors- current example is Covid19 restrictions – more people are on social media for longer that otherwise wouldn’t be. Holidays also change people’s social media habits.
- Concentrate more on consistency rather than when to post…which of course leads you to the cheat sheets on “how often should I post on social media” (spoiler alert- it depends…that’s a post for another day).
So yes what I am telling you is there is no “cheat sheet” (I know I suck!)- you still have to build relationships and work consistently just like I did in 2002. Except now you have way more tools to use and way more information at your disposal about how to use those tools. So you can make your OWN cheat sheet; this is about your business and audience after all- so maybe I don’t suck ;).
The best way to work out the best times to post, the types of content to post are to look at your data, it’s your audience (and you can also ASK your audience what they like to help you create more engaging posts).
The richest data is the data you have across all your social media channels. You can see which of your posts engage the most, you can see the effect of posting at different times. Don’t be scared to test things, analyse and learn. If social media is daunting or you are having trouble understanding your data have a chat with us– no obligation.