Got a Post? Get the Timing Right!

If you’re using any social media channel for communications, such as blogs, Twitter or Facebook, timing can be just as important as choosing your topic in a couple different ways.  The first is frequency, which covers how often you post.  The second is the timing within the day, week, month or year, which looks for when your audience will be most receptive to your message.

I’ve provided additional detail about each area below in order to help you ensure appropriate timing that’ll make your communications even more successful.

Frequency

In addition to the content you wish to share, you need to consider how often you share that content.  For example, if you provide new content just once a month, you’ll train your audience to tune in just that often. If they know there’s nothing new to see for a while, most members of your audience won’t check back until they feel it’s time.

To put it another way, think about your favorite television show — DVR’s notwithstanding. If it’s aired weekly on Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. you’re not going to tune in on Monday or Tuesday.  The same goes for your audience.  They’ll learn quickly.

One of the ways to control frequency is to break up your writing into smaller pieces.  Don’t break it up too much and leave your audience wanting, but if you find logical breaks that let you deliver your message over regular intervals you’ll train your readers to tune at the appropriate time and build a longer term relationship that has benefits of its own.

Time of Day (Week/Month/Year)

It’s not only important to control how often you post, but also when you post. Time of day can also pertain to day of the week, day of month or even the right time of the year based on the type of content you wish to share.

If you know that your audience is primarily made up of night owls that live on the east coast, then plan for that. Or, does most of your audience read during their lunch hour? If so, use that to your advantage.

Depending on your communication channel, there are different tools available to help you find out when your audience is most likely to pay attention.  With that in mind, I’ve been trying out a few different analytics tools for Twitter, including SocialBro.  Depending on your budget and your needs there are a variety of tools, like these four for Twitter, some free and some with associated costs.

Using SocialBro, I can run an analysis (see the image below) that tells me that most of my Twitter followers appear to be more active on Wednesday and Thursday from about 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  That won’t stop me from posting at other times, especially when the content is time-sensitive or more real-time in nature, but if I’m planning content that’s definitely my sweet spot.

My Twitter Followers - Best Time to Tweet (Using SocialBro)

Image 1 – Follower Times Bubble Chart

Working Smarter

So now that you have a target timeframe, you may be asking, “what if I can’t be available to post when it makes the most sense?”

The good news is that there are a wide variety of tools that let you schedule posts for a specific time. This lets you control your frequency and time of day, while you’re off running the rest of your business, helping you work smarter and not just harder. I’m using HootSuite, not just to consolidate my social media channels, but also to control the timing to hit timeframes that make the most sense for my audience. You’ll find other options as well, so you should find something that works for your needs.

Now that you know that, what is the right time for you?

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