Social media cheat sheet: Best times to post content on each platform

social media, inbound marketing, Rochester NYThe end goal of leveraging social media for your brand is getting the audience to be so delighted, they take action. Depending on the goals of your brand, the action may vary. Whether you want to drive traffic to your site, provoke meaningful discussion, or “just” build awareness – here is the quick list of the best times to post on several different social media platforms.

Facebook: According to a great KISSMetrics infographic on the best times/days to post, Saturday at noon is the best for sharing. There’s also a slight spike in sharing around 7PM. Frequency of posts: one post every other day is the “sweet spot.”

Pinterest: I’ve mentioned before that the Google Hummingbird update loves “T” shaped authorities– which means that they favor authorities who have knowledge in a wide range of topics but deep, critical understanding in a few. Pinterest packs a huge punch for brands – and is becoming quite the marketing tool so you’ll want to make sure you’re posting at the best times to get the most exposure- reports vary, but a trusted resource (HubSpot, naturally) tells us that Saturday mornings dominate for when to post content. EXCEPT- if your brand is in the fashion or retail vertical – you’re gonna want to post on Friday afternoons around 3PM.

Twitter: I am seeing conflicting information from two of my go-to resources for all things inbound marketing and social media- so I’ll try to simplify it for you:

  • HubSpot data says: Mondays-Thurs 1-3 PM. Worst times? Any day after 8PM and Fridays after 3PM.
  • KISSMetrics data says: Best time to get re-tweeted is 5PM. Most click-throughs (CTR) – Wednesdays/Weekends at noon or 6PM, at a frequency of 1-4 Tweets per hour. (Spoiler: you could be cranking out up to a 350% CTR for your brand at that frequency!)
  • Kristin’s data says: From my own personal experience I’ve found that different segments of my audience are online later at night. The more “scientific” crowd is on well after 8PM, Twitter parties abound on topics from #MH370 research to some of my mom friends who work during the day and jump on after the kids are in bed. Sometimes I get better engagement at this time. I can say for sure though that I always get good CTR and re-tweets around the sweet spots that both HubSpot and KISSMetrics mentioned. So in short, get to know your audience. Different segments like different means of engagement- my re-tweets come from fellow marketing professionals, good conversation comes later at night. It varies.

LinkedIn: I’ve always found LinkedIn to be especially awesome on Tuesdays at 10AM. Coincidentally, this is also the best time for me to send out any email marketing campaigns. Here’s my theory on why this time is so great- Mondays are catch-up day. On Tuesday mornings, people have time to catch up on less urgent work matters like reading emails, or reading professional articles and networking on LinkedIn. Right after lunch is also a pretty decent time. Tuesday has always been good to me. If any of you have other great times, let me know in the comments.

Google+: This is another platform you do NOT want to be skipping out on. The Google Hummingbird will sing for your brand if you get as involved in Google+ as you can. HubSpot data says Wednesdays at 9AM are prime-time for Google+ posts. KISSMetrics data says you need to do some a/b testing to figure out which posts do well and it’s mostly dependent on your niche and time zone. Interesting tidbit: according to KISSMetrics, nearly 50% of the U.S. population lives in the Eastern time zone. Combine Eastern and Central time zones and you’ve got a little over 80% of the U.S. population. Just something to take into consideration. Try out this awesome app: Timing+ to see what your Google+ “sweet spot” is. Yes, it’s awesome, and you can thank me later.

So there you have it. A not-so-brief quick list of the best times to share, post, and engage on some of the most powerful social media platforms. Hopefully, you run with this information and see a great boost to your brand. What have you found to be most effective as far as timing and sharing? Let me know in the comments! The more information the better!

Want more traffic, engagement, and inbound links to your blog? The science is in!

 

Blogging Infographic from KISSMetrics on the best times to post
Credit: Kissmetrics

In short, it comes down to your goals.  You can post during “high activity hours” which means you’ll get more traffic, and possibly more engagement, but then you’ll get your post buried by others because everyone has the same thought “hey let’s post during the day!”  You could post at night because your blog will get better placement, but it will get less traffic.

I will keep this really short so you can get back to your blogging mission: Most people read blogs in the morning* with the highest traffic being on Mondays at 11am.  If you want comments/engagement?  Saturday is your best bet- specifically, 9am.  So much for sleeping in!

If you want inbound links and shares?  Blogs get the most inbound links/shares on Mondays and Thursdays around 7am.  Interestingly, but not shockingly- if you post more than once a day you’re more likely to get more inbound links and unique views.  The last piece of data is funny (and true) – the more posts per day, the more monthly unique views your blog will have.

If you post 30x per day (good luck with that!) then you could get up to 1.8 million unique views per month. Unfortunately, you’ll probably not be doing much else other than typing.

*Men vs Women blog reading behavior: a higher percentage of men read blogs at night, so if you’re target is men, I’d do some posting at night.  A/B testing should be helpful, play around with different posting times and find your blog posting sweet spot!

For a larger view of the infographic, it’s clicky to the Kissmetrics page.

Now my question to you all is this: what patterns have you noticed with your blogs- traffic, engagement, and shares?

Why is Site Structure Important?

Site structure is very important not only for search engines, but also for your audience.  Since how you rank in a search ultimately will help your potential audience find you, the question can be answered very simply.  The importance of site structure- and a good site structure- provides (yes, I’ll say it again)- the gold standard of customer service.

In providing access to organized information that is easy to find within your site, you are making it easier for the audience to get what they need.

Some keys for structuring your site well:

  1. Sit down and put together a list of services/products you provide.  Ask yourself whether some of the services/products fit into different categories.  Make sure each type of product or service you want to display on your site is described in detail.  Remember, the more content, the better.
  2. Determine who your audience is- and determine what each type of audience would be looking for.  One client I’ve worked with for years- they manufacture custom solutions for companies in the medical device industry, as well as companies in the food packaging industry.  Although the base technology is the same, they want to showcase the solutions they are capable of providing by vertical so it is very easy to access the necessary information for the potential customer.    
  3. Organize the pages within your site to meet what the audience is looking for.  You can do this in a variety of ways- you can organize by type of product, type of service, business verticals.

Structure is very important.  I have seen a lot of websites with tons of great content, but no real structure to it- a landing page and then access to lots of different pages.  It appears to be a mish-mash of content.  Organization is good- for the user (most important) and secondly, for search engines.  Search engines index your pages based on a number of things.  They want the most credible and informational pages at the top of their results.  One of those ranking criteria is based on how organized your site is- how easy the information is to access.

Can your site’s structure improve?  What have you found going through this process?  I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

Facebook giveaways? Definitely cool. IF done the right way.

I have seen a thousand posts on my FB feed for giveaways.  Some of them are really cool! Since I am basically the unluckiest person in the history of winning things, I wasn’t shocked to see (when I tried to enter one) that I didn’t win.

What I was shocked to see (after a little browsing around various FB merchant pages- mostly created by the moms-gone-crafty types- hey momtrepeneurs are great- free market yadayada)  was how these businesses operated their giveaways blatantly breaking Facebook Pages TOS.

You know the type of giveaway I am talking about the ” like this, comment, and share for a chance to win (insert cool merchandise)”.

I reviewed my TOS to make sure I wasn’t missing anything and lo-and-behold: there it was.

So all of these giveaways that violate the TOS could potentially get their FB page shut down.  And for small businesses who use their page as a means of taking orders for product, this could mean a HUGE dent in sales.

It’s a huge risk.  FB is always changing their TOS, but when it comes to your bread and butter, not wise to tempt the hand of fate. Make sure you visit the TOS pages frequently so you don’t inadvertently violate them (and then get banned/deleted).

Maybe I am wrong, but it seems awfully cheap to be giving away stuff for a measly like or share.  At least get yours audience to interact and create cool ideas with you- that’s what a couple of my favorite clients are doing right now and it’s working so much better than the cheesy giveaways that some brands promote.

 

People will give you their customer loyalty if you attach them to your brand in a meaningful way. Ask them to help you name a product, that is an endearing way to engage your audience.  When consumers like, they buy.

While you may not see your likes shoot up to 80,000 in one day- or even one decade- you can bet your fans are loyal and they go the distance with you.   These are the fans that will engage because they are interested, not bc of a freebie. Quality over quantity.

And by the way- who even cares about likes? I want to see a real discussion going on- whether it be debating fabric colors, customer service related, or a real dialogue that shows the brand is outstanding. Likes can be easily purchased as we have seen lately. It takes a lot more time to put thought and effort into a comment and that is what you ultimately see with quality brands.  That is what you want to strive for with your own brand.

Success is not overnight.  And if it is, you’re doin it wrong!  Slow and steady wins the race!

What is your take on these giveaways?

Inbound Marketing, phpBB3, customer service

Adventures in phpBB3 Land…..

Well, we’ve finally done it. We’ve added a new trick- administrating and moderating phpBB3 forums! Many of you probably are not familiar with what phpBB3 is let alone what php is. “Php” stands for “hypertext preprocessor” which is a very widely used open source scripting language for message board forums. Php was not created strictly for these forums, it is used to write web applications. It just so happens that php is easily embedded into HTML- so that is why it works so well for these message board style forums.  The “BB” part of PhpBB3 stands for “bulletin board.”

At any rate- we’ve had fun administrating and moderating this forum.  It’s a bit complicated at first- setting it up, moderating user groups, moderating the new users that sign up- it can get kind of crazy, but we’ve learned a few things.

  1. Having a phpBB3 forum for your business is pretty cool- not only will your customers come in to chat and ask questions, so will the other like-minded businesses in your industry.
  2. You can set up different areas of the forum that are accessible to different user groups- such as if you have sensitive information in one area that only customers should see, you can make it so that only users from the “customer” user group have access to it.  Similarly if you want to apply a “waiting period” to certain users to make sure they are not spamming your board, you can do it this way also.
  3. Having your employees take part in this adds extra credibility.  I find that since we’ve been working on this most recent bulletin board forum, it really gives the “faculty” a chance to shine- and show that they really know what they are talking about.
  4. It also helps with SEO!  Our SEO guy (Jim Gubiotti) who I interview in the new article coming out later this week, gave us this idea- so not only is it good for your customers, and partners, it adds to the “relevant content” that Google searches for to index pages.  Although there are many things that help with your search engine optimization- this is by far one of the best ways to optimize your site and truly make it a “hub”.

Lets get back to the basics: According to Brian Halligan from Hubspot, Inbound marketing is “where you help yourself ‘get found’ by people already learning about and shopping in your industry.”  It’s sort of like being able to predict what someone is looking for and strategically placing yourself in their path as if to say “hey! you’re looking for me!  let me make it easier and just walk up to you and introduce myself!”  This is also why it has steadily become the gold standard of customer service.  It becomes so much easier for the would-be customer to find the outstanding service they are looking for, saving them time, and consequentially, money.  It becomes so easy for the potential clients to rely on Google because they do rank search results according to credibility.  And although there are many white-hat SEO “tricks” you can use to increase your rank in the search results, the best way, by far- is to create remarkable content.

So… by using a bulletin board forum for people who are your clients, potential clients, and industry partners- it gives you a lot of credibility especially since you open up the door for people to ask your company, staff, and clients questions about the goods/services provided.  It shows you are being totally transparent as a business (this is a good thing), it shows you are the master of your craft, and it shows that you not only care about business, but care about enlightening your industry. It makes people like your business for participating in a meaningful way, and everyone knows that one of the most basic principles in selling things:  people will buy from you if they like you!

If you need more information on how phpBB3 style forums can help your business, feel free to contact me anytime with questions.