Facebook will Eat You ALIVE!

Social Media Roadmap

Everywhere you turn online, you’ll find a blog posting about the “best times to post on Social Media.”

Every expert out there has a formula for when to post to have “maximum impact,” like social media is some sort of war game. For the social media marketing person, getting your message in front of your followers, when they are receptive to it, is a major concern. And rightly so, since screwing it up is $$$ out of their pockets.

But what about the average blogger, who just has a story to tell? Oh, and doesn’t have 5,000,000 followers all over the world.

  • Well, who are your followers?
  • Where do they live?
  • What do they do?
  • When are they active online?

Pretty easy, right.  Yeah, sure.

There are lots of options out there for figuring out when to post on Twitter. Most experts recommend posting several times a 24hr day, taking into effect that your message is not limited to one geographic area. There are websites out there that will evaluate your Twitter accounts and tell you when your followers are active, who is active, and when the best times are to reach them. FollowerWonk is one of these sites.
Social Media Posting Clock

Facebook

There isn’t anything similar for Facebook, though. On Facebook, you have to dig out the pencil and paper, and figure out the best times to post on your own. Post often enough to keep people engaged, but don’t post TOO often, or you’ll drive people away.

LOLcats live on Facebook. Grumpy Cat reigns supreme. Recipes, family photos, and memes will scroll your news feed faster than you ever thought possible.

Take a look at your FB news feed, spinning like a slot machine wheel, and see when your target audience is active online. Mid-day for stay-at-home types, and early/late evenings for people who work all day? And this is only during the week.

Belle Beth Cooper (@bellebcooper), over at the Buffer Blog, found that the most interaction was seen in the later part of the week, and weekend.  Sorta makes sense, when you think about it. The weekend is in sight!

Weekend postings on Facebook can be a bit elusive to pin down. The data shows that there is a spike in Facebook “Sharing” on Saturdays. But that may not hold true for you.  A lot depends on weekend schedules. Sports, family events, and yard work play a roll in messing up any sort of matrix for weekend postings.  Your target audience might not be there one weekend, but will be for the next two weekends. Or not at all. And your “Shares” may come later in the night than during the week.

So…?

I use Buffer to schedule most of my postings on Social Media. But I space them apart enough so that I can post topically current stuff in between the scheduled posts, and not overwhelm the average follower.
The folks over at the Buffer Blog have put a LOT of thought into posting schedules. For more insight into Facebook postings, check out this article from July, 2013. While it is targeted toward the Facebook Page user (normally businesses), the data holds true for the average user, also.

“While the best time to post is definitely important, there are some other things to keep in mind. I had a look at what kind of updates work best for Facebook pages to increase interaction and found 7 interesting statistics that you’ll probably find useful if you’re trying to make your page more engaging.”

They base their recommendations on statistics, science, and psychology. And with over a three million posts processed per week (on average), they have the statistical data to back it up.

Scheduling posts for Facebook was/is a challenge. But I spent a couple of weeks studying the posting habits of others, and set my schedule based on their usage.  I work nights, so I would set up my laptop beside me at work, and leave FB up to scroll.  After a couple of days, I had an idea of when my friends are active.  This might not work for a business page, though.
If I want something to be seen, I post it early in the evening, or right around lunchtime.  Or post the same thing at both times, but a day apart. (Wednesday noon and Thursday evening, for example.)

Make It Work, or adjust it until it does

OK, you set up scheduled post times for Facebook, but they don’t seem to be hitting the mark. Um, play with them? This is not “Set in Stone” scheduling.

Feel free to play with your posting times, and let me know if your personal experience differs from what the “recommended times” are.

Photos courtesy of ePublicist(CC)Buffer(Used with permission).

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