Why timing is incredibly important for getting social media right

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Distributing content online is easier now than ever before. Anyone can start a blog in a few minutes, and then start sharing their opinions, stories and news via social networks to an audience of hundreds, if not thousands. An important element of content distribution online, which many overlook, is the element of timing.

“When exactly should I update my Facebook page?” and “when should I be tweeting to maximize engagement?” are questions which are often raised by online marketers and brand owners. Luckily, we have solid data to show us when exactly we should update our social networks and how frequently.

In order to take advantage of the element of timing when distributing content via social media networks, it is critical to have a good understanding of the global distribution of your fan base and their lifestyle habits, and to avoid neglecting any major segments. If you have fans in North America, and fans in South Africa, then you will need to alternate your posting times so as not to neglect any group.

Twitter

Optimal Frequency: 1 – 4 tweets an hour
Best days to tweet: Midweek and weekends
Best time to tweet: Noon and 6 pm

Facebook

Optimal Frequency: 1 post every two days
Best day to share on Facebook: Saturday
Best time to share on Facebook: Noon

Blogging

Optimal Frequency: As often as possible*
Best day to publish post: Monday
Best time to publish post: 11AM

There is a positive correlation between the number of posts and the number of unique visitors — but remember an important blogging rule: quality over quantity.

Tools to help you schedule your posts and tweets

Facebook scheduled posts

Facebook’s new scheduled posts feature makes it very easy to schedule numerous page updates over a period of a few days. I personally find the feature very useful and use it often for my startup’s Facebook page.

To schedule a post within Facebook:

  • Select the update type
  • Click the clock icon in the bottom right hand corner of the update box
  • Select a year, month, day and time
  • Click ‘schedule’

The image below shows an example:

facebook_scheduled post

Buffer

A great free tool for scheduling posts for Twitter and Facebook is Buffer. After adding the Buffer extension to your Chrome browser, scheduling tweets and posts is extremely easy. When you are on a page you would like to tweet or share on Facebook, you simply click the buffer extension and add it to your list. Within the web application you can set the times when each buffered update is sent.

Let us know your experiences with timing your updates in your social networks by commenting below.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bernard-Fisher/842700577 Bernard Fisher

    Really cool post. The timing question is not something that we really think about when updating our social channels, but when taking a closer look at this, it does make some sense. I just wish that Kim Kardashian would read this post and stop flooding my twitter with her useless comments every 5 minutes ;)

  • http://www.bmarkcentral.com Justin Butlion

    Thanks for the comment Bernard. Most treat social media marketing as something “you just do” but most don’t do it well. Elements like timing, understanding your market and many others are important if you want to do it right. Maybe Kim will come across this post and learn a thing or two:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/dina.baroutsos Dina Baroutsos

    What if I am more frequently on Facebook than on twitter? I’m in the wedding industry and images and photos are more popular than just tweets. Can I post more than once every 2 days?

  • http://www.bmarkcentral.com Justin Butlion

    Hi Dina and thanks for the great question. Posting more than once every 2 days is fine as long as it is not seen as spam by your fans. I would suggest not posting more than twice a day. Different groups of people might not mind seeing numerous posts from you in a short period, this is something you will need to try and gauge with your fans by asking them directly or running a poll. Good luck with your Facebook page.

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