How much time does your social media team put into understanding exactly when to post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms? Sales and marketing initiatives have to focus on the message itself, but the time of day something it is posted is critical. Research from the Harvard Business Review (HBR) suggests that by following the natural cycles of your audience, you can get more bang for your social media buck.
“Marketing needs to work side by side with the sales team to ensure that the message is written directly for the target audience. The company vision defines “why” we are building something purposefully together, but it also defines the direction of “who” our services should go after. Together we focus on that target audience and then send our message out at the right time for optimization. We like to call ourselves “data scientist”!” says Sharon Tsao, CMO, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.
Timing Can Instantly Boost Social Media ROI
According to HBR, organizations can enhance the ROI of social media posts by as much as eight percent when they focus on timing. By understanding the natural energy cycles of content consumers, social media managers can target messaging and type by the time in which an audience is most naturally receptive to it.
Most social media pros follow general best practices for posting content. For example, they know that people tend to be online in the morning before work (during breakfast, on their commutes, as they first settle in to the office), and many post messages between 7 and 9 am for that reason. They also know to space messages at least 30 minutes apart so as to not bombard their audience with content.
When HBR began measuring social media engagement, they found that this best practice was working, but most social media professionals didn’t really understand the reason why or the types of content that would be most engaging.
According to HBR, morning posts that made an emotional appeal tended to have higher click-through rates than posts later in the day. Interestingly, however, the ROI for posts that included “deep-think” content posted in the afternoon hours was much higher than other times of the day.
Based on their research, key takeaways include:
- Content posted in the morning does, in fact, generate higher engagement.
- Audiences who start their days at a “typical’ morning waking hour respond to content that connects with a high level of emotion.
- That same audience also responds best to “deep think” topics in the afternoon.
- Boosting posts is most effective when a target audience is experiencing what HBR calls “low-working memory.” This typically occurs mid-afternoon.
“Google Analytics can be a land mine and advanced training teaches us to enter with a specific question in order to move forward with the analytical answers. We have the technology to clearly understand what information our audience wants from us. We modify our workflows to speak to that audience for greater alignment and results!” says Marybel Discala, Marketing Project Manager, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.
It is also important to recognize that not all audiences fall into these general categories and there will be variations based on the unique makeup of a customer base and audience base. However, by comparing engagement to time-of-day and emotional appeal, businesses can tap into the unique rhythms of their audience and generate greater return on social media.
Are You Looking for Savvy Social Media Marketing Talent?
If you are looking for skilled social media marketing talent, the experts at CSS ProSearch are here to help. Whether you need to attract, retain or both, contact CSS to learn how we can help you achieve your goals.