Social Media Guide: How often, what to post, and when.

Think of Social posting as a quick, targeted, daily snapshot of your most exciting you.

Social media can be a confusing labyrinth to navigate. There are tons of platforms to use, lots of different advice and not a lot of consistency in executions. Different brands have different posts, and it can often be confusing to figure out what level of engagement and activity is right for you. The reason for the difference in brand activity though speaks to a larger trend: There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to social media platforms. Brands have different narratives which means their content and engagement will likely differ.

There is, however, one commonality that underpins their strategies: immediacy. The main imperative for businesses today is to start using social media today and use it right. Without a clear plan in place for what to post, when to post and how often to post, businesses will suffer. It’s about capitalizing on the gamification element of social media by grabbing attention right then and there. Remember, attention is fleeting on these platforms, so you want to make your moment on the feed count.

Let’s start with the basic questions:

How often should I post?

To reiterate, platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook will need different strategies and posting schedules because their algorithms are different. While most rely on chronologically ordered posting, platforms like Instagram tend to shift and may only show brands with higher engagement. So really, there needs to be a tailored approach towards designing a content schedule. Current research suggests that you need to post at least once a day for a bare minimum level of engagement. For example, platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn usually need 1 post per day, but Instagram requires more.

When should I post?

Once you have established the frequency, the next step is identifying key times to post. Start with a basic content schedule across all three platforms, and monitor as you go. You’ll find that engagement patterns are different across platforms (i.e. Facebook and Instagram may spike over popular lunch break times and commute times) whereas LinkedIn will vary. Tweak your schedule as you observe patterns and follow trends.

For example, research demonstrates that the best time to post to Instagram is between 9 AM – 11 AM EST. While that might stand as an initial time frame, use that as a ballpark figure rather than exact. That timing may work for certain audiences, but not for others. The key is to figure out the best time to post by doing a steady analysis of engagement. You might find that your activity spikes in the mornings and evenings when people are commuting, which means you can time your posts to coincide with that. Or you might find that you have an audience that’s tuned in around the afternoon, and you can play around with features such as stories and going live to keep people interested by doing behind the scenes type posts.

What should I post?

The last point above segues into this: what should you post? While there is no right or wrong answer to this, whatever you decide needs some level of consistency for it to really stick with audiences. So when doing your content schedule, here are some questions to guide the process:

  • Am I providing information or advice
  • What are my customer’s pain points
  • What do my customer’s like about the brand
  • When are my customers more likely to shop

Each of these can lead you down a content path and you can use these to design a schedule. You can balance between a mix of advice and information (i.e. fireside chats, weekly product updates) etc as one type of content.

You can help mitigate customer pain points by inviting people to send questions and feedback, answering customer questions or doing some form of FAQ or demonstration. And similarly, you can also post product testimonials, customer reviews, and other interesting interactions.

And lastly, once you figure out when your customers are more likely to shop and explore products, you can time posts about promotions and sales to hit during those times. Mapping out a month or two and deciding on content early on can help in managing it while also giving you flexibility as needed. Use features like stories and Instagram live for a more spontaneous (and less-planned) feel.

When it comes to social media, don’t be afraid to seek out help. Creating enough original content to post several times a day to find and retain the right audiences can be draining. Start small, and work your way up to posting frequency so you can better gauge the resources it takes to maintain that level of social media presence. If you find yourself losing momentum, look for external ideas and resources to help you sustain that growth.

Stuck on crafting the right social media strategy? The California Office can help you create powerful social content that resonates with your audience while building a compelling brand story. To learn more, contact us today.