How effective planning & scheduling can help your business achieve Social Media Marketing success
Social media marketing is much more than just regularly posting on your business Facebook Page or Twitter account. You can post as much as five to ten times a day, but does your content actually reach your target audience, at a time and place in the customer cycle when they are ready to really digest and actively interact with it?
In-depth research and analysis is required to take full advantage of your social media activity. For instance, do you know the best days of the week to share content across your channels? And do you have any idea at which times of the day your audiences are mostly active to respond to your posts?
Posting when your target audience groups are mostly active and ready to respond is essential. Below are a few things to take into account when setting up your Social Media editorial calendar, and schedule your content in order to deliver a steady flow of content to your fans and followers.
Decide on an optimal posting frequency
Just like you would plan a blog schedule, consistent social sharing can help you stay top of mind. An editorial calendar that sets out when you plan to post to each platform helps you see when you have gaps in your sharing schedule or when you have too much going on at once.
There is a wealth of research that can help you decide how many times you should be posting on each Social Media channel.
- Reports from Socialbakers suggest that you should post on Facebook once a day for optimal engagement.
- When it comes to Twitter, Salesforce has identified between one to four tweets a day as a good frequency to reach best interaction results.
- LinkedIn data has shown that you can reach at least 60% of your connection base by posting on your Page about 20 times a month.
- On Instagram, brands can easily share new imagery up to 15 times per day, according to Hubspot.
It’s definitely worth to take these suggestions into account when building your monthly Social Media editorial calendars. These calendars can also be referred to when analyzing your performance, to see where best practice leads to peaks in content visibility and engagement, as well as to identify areas where improvement is needed.
Post at the right time of the day
Once you know which days you’ll be posting to each network, you’ll need to find the best times to share your content on each Social Media channel. Don’t simply pick a few times to share content each day. It’s worth testing different times a day to give your Social Media schedule enough flexibility to achieve best possible results. Use trial and error, and check engagement stats to find the best times to share from your own accounts.
Once you have been posting for a few days or weeks, go back and analyse which times generally generated the most engagement. Besides this, Facebook Analytics itself provides useful insights as to which days and times your audiences are mostly active and engaging with your content. Keep a close eye on this when you are experimenting.
Recent research by Hubspot suggests that the best times to send out tweets for B2B organisations is during office hours, more specifically weekdays from 12PM – 3PM and 5PM. For B2C on the other hand, the best days to post are Wednesdays and the weekends, when clickthrough rate is highest. While B2B content performs 16% better during business hours, B2C content performs 17% better on weekends.
But again here it’s worth testing and experimenting to see what works best. Include both dates and times that you will be sending out each content post, this will help you when you are analysing results to see which days and times provide the most potential for maximum audience reach and engagement.
Reshare your content more than once
Some business create great content, and then lose out on loads of potential traffic because they only share it right after it’s published, and only one time on each Social Media channel.
Sharing your content more than once can generate no less than 31.5 times more traffic all within your first day of publishing (Source: coschedule.com). Take even more advantage by spreading out your Social Media sharing to re-publish content throughout the week, month and year after the original publish date of your content piece.
Consider taking the following steps to share your content several times across your Social Media channels:
- Schedule Social Media posts to announce new content right at the moment of publication
- Share your post again a few hours later. A study by Moz suggests that a tweet’s average lifespan is 18 minutes, so sharing it again, even on the same day, can provide great potential for increased visibility of your shared content
- Schedule a few more Social Media posts for the next day to get audiences engaged around your content while it is still fresh
- Continue to get the word out over the following week to reach and engage people who missed your content before
- Continue to include posts in your calendar over the course of at least one month, especially on Twitter. On Facebook, perhaps a little less frequent as the performance of a repetition on Facebook decreases much faster than on Twitter.
Work with monthly Social Media Marketing plans
Social Media editorial calendars should include the dates you intend to publish Social Media posts, the particular channels that these posts will appear on, and the website sources that will be linked to for audiences to access further details or take an action (buy your products, sign up to your newsletter, read your blog, etc.).
Editorial calendars are recommended to be produced on a monthly basis, and should be fully integrated with your business’ overall marketing activities, seasonalities and any planned events that your business will engage in.
Besides the ‘planned’ content that can be included in these calendars, use monitoring tools such as Hootsuite, Google Alerts or TalkWalker to discover ‘real time’ and reactive content, as it happens. Trends in your industry can be highly valuable for your business to tap into on Social Media and build up your expertise and visibility across online channels.
Make use Social Media scheduling tools
Although it is not obvious for real-time content, PR pieces or the latest company news, for most of your content scheduling can be a great tool to help you manage your social media accounts more effectively.
Whereas both Facebook and Twitter allow you to schedule content right in their interface – LinkedIn, Instagram and Google Plus do not provide this possibility but you can make use of external Social Media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite and Hubspot to effectively schedule these content posts in advance. For Instagram scheduling, consider paid tools such as Hopper, onlypult.com or crowdfireapp.com (you can request a free trial to test out these tools and see if they work for you as required).
Get started today!
Time to get started. Begin by writing your monthly Editorial Calendar which will include all your planned Social Media content for the upcoming month. To get optimal engagement and visibility, remember to reshare your content across your various Social Media channels, over longer time periods and don’t forget to mix up copy.
How do you plan your Social Media schedule? Do you use Social Media Marketing plans? Which Social Media scheduling tools do you use more effectively manage your content publishing? Leave your feedback in the comments section below.