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Issue: 66 - Jun 15, 2014
Stay out of a Social Media Posting Pattern
By: Martha D. Jack
old eConverse Social Media Consulting Inc

Over the past few years writing for ImproMed, I feel like I've covered some of the big questions in social media, such as the who, what, where, why of social media, but this month I wanted to cover the when.  

I often describe social media as an ever-flowing river of information, which you need to know how to utilize effectively to connect with your desired audience. A huge part of that is being active on social media at the same days of the week and times of day as your audience.  When social media is something that you’re fitting into your already busy schedule, it can be very easy to develop posting patterns, which doesn’t necessarily coincide with your audiences’ usage patterns.

First, have a look at your current posting patterns. A free tool like tweetstats.com can look at your Twitter usage and easily tell you what days of the week or times of day you typically post. Looking at my Twitter content, I tend to be more active through the middle of the week and the middle of the day. For Facebook, on your clinic’s Facebook page go to “insights” and then “posts” and it will tell you information such as when the people who like your page are online, and you can decipher when and what kind of posts are most popular. For a Facebook page I deal with, I know that when most people are online is 9 p.m. EST, so that’s when I concentrate most of my posts.

Once you’ve gone on this fact-finding mission, think about who your audience is. What does their day look like? What do they use social media for? If your audience is other veterinarians, you know that it’s likely they are working on the weekend, so may be consuming some content then. If you work with large animals, farmers are notorious early-risers, so your prime posting time may skew earlier than normal. If you have lots of clients doing shift work, it’s entirely possible that your “prime time” may be in the middle of the night and they are completely missing the posts you put up during business hours.

Overall, here are the overall best and worst times to post on various social media sites:

Facebook:

Best: Weekdays 6 – 8 am, 2-5 pm

Worst: Weekends, 10 pm – 4 am

Twitter:

Best: Weekends, 1 – 3pm

Worst: Weekdays 8 pm – 8 am

Pinterest:

Best: Saturday mornings, weekdays 2-4 and 8 – 11 pm

Worst: 5 – 7 pm, 1 – 7 am

Blog:

Best: Monday, Friday and Saturday at 11 am

Worst: 11pm – 8 am

* numbers from fannit.com http://socialmediatoday.com/pamdyer/2240271/when-post-facebook-twitter-google-linkedin-and-pinterest?utm_source=smt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&inf_contact_key=96d4a4866f6f0b98346dc4ba57f2c74ad065be5ed052e80468c973a14414fce5

Of course, your audience may be entirely different than these overall numbers. Listen to what the platforms are telling you and experiment. By testing at different times, on different days, you’ll stay out of a posting pattern and get the most from your social media presence.