Archives for February 2016

When it comes to posting on social media, timing is everything

By Kate Lee | 02/22/2016 | 10:54 PM

When you are posting on social media could be as important as what you’re posting.

Timing is everything, and that statement especially holds true when it comes to posting content to social media. If you are sending out your message and nobody is there to see it, you are that proverbial tree falling in the forest; you did not make a sound. Your post had little to no impact.

So, even if you are putting in the time and effort to craft informative blog posts, tweets with just the right message, or Facebook posts that inspire more than just page likes, you still are not getting the most exposure you can out of social media.

Data that delivers results

According to research by social media scientist Dan Zarrella, when you are posting your content can be almost as important as what you are posting. Luckily, there is an ample amount of analytical data out there regarding optimal times to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.

For example, looking at broad-based Twitter engagement, research suggests that users go up by 30 percent on weekends, speculatively because more people are on their computers, smartphones, and tablets during their free time. On weekdays, this peaks at 4 p.m. EST, perhaps as people check into social media as the workday begins to wind down and they are seeking a diversion.

Some studies suggest that Twitter use often peaks slightly earlier, between 1 and 3 p.m. on weekdays, and this might be attributed to people who take an extended lunch break.

LinkedIn studies show that the optimum times to post content are Tuesday through to Thursday during normal work hours. Also noted: Tuesday 10 to 11 a.m. is known to get the most clicks and shares.

When it comes to Facebook, another marketing study suggests that there is quite a wide range of variables, and it is really based upon your audience. But, in general, the best time to post on Facebook is 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Other popular times include 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and lunchtime (12 to 1 p.m.) on weekends.

There are poor times to post on Facebook, too, such as weekends before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m., according to SurePayroll’s research.

Research supports that B2B content generally performs 16% better during typical business hours, while B2C content performs 17% better on weekends.

Your (personal) optimal posting time

But, the problem with these suggestions is that they are just statistical generalizations of when might be the optimal time for posting content. What you need is analytics that are specific to your particular followers. Your audience maybe a different demographic than those represented in these studies, and when they are reading, sharing, or retweeting may actually surprise you.

You can access personalized data regarding the social media habits of your readers and followers through analytic programs like Google Analytics and sites like Tweriod. There are a wealth of available free tools, which provide valuable insight regarding your audience.

Here are a few to consider:

  • Tweriod is a free Twitter tool that helps you know the best time to tweet. The free analysis will analyze up to 1000 of your followers. Tweriod is not part of Twitter but rather is something you may access to better understand your followers’ schedules and interests, like what they have retweeted.
  • Followerwonk can help you to individuate your potential Twitter audience by learning not only who follows your competitors, but who commonly retweets their content. You can also look at your own personal audience and discover what content they like, share, and maybe even link to from other posts, as well as when they are most active on social media.
  • Facebook Insights tells you the best times and days to post content by accessing your page’s insights in the posts sections. In the graph section for “When Your Fans Are Online,” you can see the days and times when your fans are using Facebook. This data is constantly updated.
  • Google Analytics provides insights, analytics, and data regarding your website, and it lets you do more than measure sales and conversions. It also gives insights into how visitors find and use your site, what they are clicking on, and how to keep them coming back.

Many people still play a guessing game when it comes to deciding the best time to post their content for the most impact. But, studies suggest the average life of a tweet is only about 18 minutes. So, if you tweet something during an inactive period for your Twitter audience, you are probably wasting your time.

Posting the right content, at the right time, can make the difference between getting valuable comments, shares, and clicks on your links, and it can provide a myriad of valuable new leads.

The majority of companies using content marketing should stop—now

By Kate Lee | 02/01/2016 | 8:57 AM

Content marketing DC Velocity

In an article published in Harvard Business Review Greg Satell put forth that “content is crap.” As a writer and as the person who runs the content division of consulting firm Fronetics Strategic Advisors, Satell’s article caught my eye.

Here’s the thing—I read Satell’s article and have to say that he is spot on. Satell nailed it.

When it comes to leveraging content to drive profitable customer action, you need to make sure that you are not creating content just to have something out there. Rather, you need to make sure that everything that is written, produced, published, curated, and distributed is valuable to your customers and to your prospective customers. Every piece of content should provide your customers and prospects with information that is relevant, helpful, and engaging. Every piece of content should also be thought of as an opportunity to establish and foster trustful and ongoing relationships with customers and prospects.

Unfortunately, I have found that the majority of companies don’t think about content in this way. Rather, they think about churning out poorly written blog posts, writing about topics that are not relevant to their customers, or writing everything as a sales pitch, and therefore turning customers and prospects away.

Satell offers that “marketers need to shift their mental models and think more like publishers.” I not only agree, but would also go one step further. Marketers need to align their efforts with the strategic and business objectives of their companies.

The majority of companies, B2B and B2C, use content marketing. However, as Satell notes, the majority find their efforts to be ineffective. Drilling down, the lack of success is not surprising.

Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute found that only 38% of B2B companies that use content marketing report their efforts to be effective. Here’s the thing: only 38% of companies report that they have a documented content strategy and only 42% report that they closely follow their strategy. When it comes to B2C companies, the picture is very similar. Just 27% of B2C companies report that they have a content marketing strategy and just 34% report that they closely follow their strategy.

Would you operate your business without: 1) creating a strategy, 2) documenting the strategy, and 3) following the strategy? No, you wouldn’t. It is; therefore, not surprising that the majority of companies who use content marketing fail.

To be successful in content marketing it is critical to avoid the mistakes outlined by Satell, as well as to create a strategy that is aligned with your company’s business objectives, document the strategy, and follow the strategy closely.

I’ve previously argued that the majority of companies using content marketing should stop their efforts immediately. For the majority of companies using content marketing, their content is crap. However, this doesn’t need to be the case. Satell writes that we need to “treat our editorial mission as seriously as we do that of your brands.” I would agree. For those companies who are willing to embrace this, it is likely that their content marketing efforts will prove fruitful. For those companies who don’t, my suggestion would be to just walk away.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Elizabeth Hines

Elizabeth Hines

Elizabeth is a content strategist with 12+ years of experience in content development, branding, marketing, and communications. As the creative/editorial director at Fronetics, she oversees all efforts related to content and creative assets, including strategy design and brand development.

She has written extensively about supply chain and logistics, and has developed content strategies across a number of verticals, including the B2B space. Prior to joining Fronetics, Elizabeth worked at Boston University, Prospectiv, and Cengage Learning.


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