In the previous blog we asked the three questions you need to ask yourself if you want to know the ‘right place’ for social media success. But how do you know the right time for your customers on social media? For your customers, time may be a movable feast. Showing up at the ‘right time’ is therefore the ultimate challenge.
There are always 24 hours in every day, 7 days in a week…
But the bottom line is, for your customer, time may feel like it’s in short supply. This will be more noticeable at different times of day, days of the week or whether they’re just about to take some time off and want to clear out their inbox.
Your goal is to post social media that reaches them
at the right time or day of the week, for them.
A quick look at your social media analytics will tell you when your followers are actively on that platform.
Facebook Analytics Posts even gives you a visual of when your connections were on Facebook each day. So as long as you are active on Facebook, or scheduling important messages for those key times, you will show up at the right time for them.
Work pressures and other life priorities are a big factor too.
Sometimes your LinkedIn update might have just popped up at the wrong moment and they didn’t have time to respond to it. This doesn’t mean that people don’t care, or are not interested, you’ve just caught them when they’ve got other things going on that are more urgent for them.
If you look at the analytics for your social media accounts and also look back through your feeds to see the time of day or day of the week you get the most engagement, you will start to build a picture of your followers. It really is different for each person/business, but as a rule of thumb, if you’re B2C (business to consumer) you should try scheduling posts to go out early morning, in the evening and at weekends, as these are good times to reach your audience.
If you’re B2B (business to business) early mornings, lunch time, and early evening are good times to reach your followers, as these are common times for people to dip into social around working hours. Weekends can work surprisingly well too and LinkedIn is a busy place even on a Sunday evening.
Remember, not every workplace tolerates social media activity on site or in working hours. Even B2B posts may not reach your audience until they ‘clock off’ and head home.
Your customer may have a short little attention span
Sadly, you may find that your lovingly crafted social media posts are competing with lots of other things happening in their lives. They may be dealing with their kids/pets/partners or have the laptop and the TV on at the same time, whilst having a quick dip into Snapchat or Facebook.
Multi-screening customers mean you have a third or a quarter of their attention at best, which is a lot of competition for your social media. Don’t just post once. Share the same posts at regular intervals throughout the day or week to ensure that they don’t your followers don’t miss them and potentially, miss out.
And your customer is mobile too
Location is important: where are people consuming your content?
The chances are that if they’re reading it on a mobile phone, they’re on the move (or having a quick ‘social snack’). They may be travelling or waiting for someone, checking out your restaurant or pub on Tripadvisor en route, or looking to see if an item is in stock en route to your shop.
Whatever they’re looking for, they will want to do it quickly and make a decision now. How well does your social media support these kinds of searches? Photos, maps, videos, quotes, testimonials, product reviews, links – social media platforms support just about any kind of content you need to help your customer find and choose you.
Smartphone screens are still quite small so make graphics and text overlay REALLY BIG so it can be read easily on a small screen. With imperfect eyesight!
Get ready to take your customer on a journey
There’s another dimension to time as well, which is thinking about the right time in that customer’s journey. Using the Inbound Funnel below as a guide, then typically if they’re at the early stages they’re just beginning to perceive a need or want. Content and posts that will intrigue and attract them and get them to visit your website are important.
Later on in your customer’s journey, as they progress, they’ll need deeper content, such as a video to show how to do something or how something is used.
An ebook, guide, whitepaper, email series, etc that offers them more information will garner their email address.
Later still, they may welcome a webinar or Facebook Live, which gives you an opportunity to expand on the topic and answer their questions.
The further they go along that journey, the more they need. Your posts in social media need to help customers to make the best choices and decisions for them, which is a key strength of content marketing.
Plan posts and schedule ahead if you want to reach them at the right time
The best way to plan is to use some simple tools.
Everybody uses a spreadsheet, and you don’t need anything more complicated than that, because it needs to be flexible and easy to update.
There are also a number of scheduling tools, and Hootsuite and Buffer are particularly good when you’re just getting started. As you develop you may want something more sophisticated, but only if you are doing a serious amount of social media on a variety of topics.
Scheduling platforms have different price points and strengths. As you progress, MeetEdgar is mid-priced and very good at scheduled, yet randomised posting but it doesn’t give detailed analytics. Sprout Social is slightly more expensive but gives you a lot of analytics, particularly around #hashtags.
Choose what’s most appropriate for your business stage, size and goals.
We hope you’ve enjoyed How You Will Know the Right Time for Your Customers on Social Media.
Why not check out the other blogs in the series:
- The Three ‘Rs’ of Social Media Success
- Know the Right Place for Social Media Success
- Get the Right Message: Get their Attention
- Build Your Social Media Following versus Buyer Reach and Followers
- Are your Goals ‘SMART’ Enough for Social Media Success?
- Mobile First and Live Streaming Video Help You Succeed in Social Media
If you like video, check out our recording of this fascinating topic and learn from these amazing thoughtleaders.
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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash