WARNING: This is not your average post on this topic. “Kara, when’s the best time to post on social media?” Oh for a dollar for every time I’m asked that question. (Perhaps I should set up a paypal.me) I get it, you want to make sure your message is in front of your clients at the right time. Your time is precious and you want to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck. You spend enough time online and you want to spend more time on/with xyz. So when IS the best time to post on social media, Kara?!
You should know me by now! There is no simple and standard answer to this. In fact, you should know that I hate that kind of stuff. It’s not me! There is no one size fits all when it comes to attracting a customer. Otherwise, we’d all be successful and we’d be saturated and to be honest we’d be looking for a different/better way.
So, how do you work out the best time to post on social media for YOUR client and YOUR business. Note: I put your client FIRST!
There are three things you need to consider when working this out. And don’t freak out, I will share some shortcuts.
Why are your clients on social media? This is key to what you will post and when.
I often say that people use social media to be educated, entertained, or inspired. This is a why. It is the basis of the types of content you need to post.
People also use social media to fill their boredom. So this could be while the ads are on. It could be during soccer or dance practice. (Mums & Dads, you are entitled to be bored and mindlessly take time out for you and scroll through social media)
People check their social media to find out what they have missed since they were last online, be that overnight, since lunchtime etc.
People use social media to escape just for a bit and to connect to a world outside their own.
Thing is, they have a finite amount of time to do these and depending on how relaxed they are and the amount of time they have, determines how long they spend and how invested they are in what they see.
How do people use social media? Outside of what it gives them there is the consideration of what they are looking on.
Mobile devices are the most common way for people to access social media. The only exception to this is the over-60s. Australia has one of the highest rates of mobile phone ownership, we are some of the earliest adopters of technology, and as an island nation we can feel isolated. It’s no wonder that most of us check our social media on our phones!
So why does this matter? You then need to consider how big something is to download so it doesn’t chew up all our data. You also need to consider what it would look like on a mobile vs a computer.
Loading up videos? Do you add captioning for hearing impaired or for those who watch videos in be while their partner sleeps. You might laugh, but you’d be surprised just how many do this and don’t want to use headphones.
If you are talking to a 25-35 year old, then they will be checking their social media many times through the day. They will check when they get up, they will check at lunch, they will check at night.
Mothers of small children will check at nap times and when they are up feeding through the night.
Parents of school-aged kids will check while they are waiting to pick their kids up from school, during sport/after school activities.
Most of us will check during the ads of our favourite TV show each night.
Some people check the first thing of a morning before they get out of bed.
So when do you should you post on social media?
Different times match with how much attention you will receive. The more time someone has to invest on social media, the more they will spend, the longer you can hold them, and the more likely they are to do what you need them to do.
You need to consider who it is you are wanting to influence. An office worker on their lunch break generally has less time at 1pm than a parent who has just put Little Jenny down for their afternoon nap. Someone on their 7am train ride to work has more time than someone just opening their eyes and scrolling through for a catch up. The one time most of us come together is the 8-9pm ad break check, with the exception of it being a finale of our favourite show!
So, you are going to have to understand how your client uses social media and post accordingly. You can find that in your user insights, which are available on your social media account. Look at the largest demographic for you, look at when they are online, and consider these with what I’ve written above.
Bonus tip on when the best time to post on social media ACTUALLY is
Many business owners will tell me that they don’t have a lot of followers or most of them are friends and/or family. If that’s the case for you, I suggest you look at these reports into social media use. It’s a balanced survey of Australian users (we are likely to be similar world wide) and breaks down useage by age and platform. It will tell you which platform your ideal user is on and what time they use it.
The other thing is that your platform metrics will show you when your audiences are most active online. Use that as a guide.
Try, test, analyse, and try again. Over time you will learn how and when your followers best receive your message. And if you’re looking for further direction for your platforms, I offer this as part of my consultation services.