This post is Day 17 of the 28 Day Blogging Breakthrough Challenge. You can chat about the challenge on social media using the hashtag #BloggingBreakthrough. Click here to view all of the challenge prompts.
Have you ever wondered if people are actually seeing what you post on social media?
Your latest blog post, that question you wanted answering, your exciting announcement - it’s great to tweet about them. But what happens if no one is actually seeing your updates?
Social media is one of the best ways to get yourself out there in front of your audience. You can build relationships, share your content and truly make a name for yourself. In 2016, there are even Instagram stars - that just shows you how powerful social media can be.
But I believe that you can’t just use your social channels as and when you want to. I used to use them like this - posting what I wanted, when I wanted. Becoming a serious blogger made me completely change my view.
I believe that social media can’t be used without some sort of strategy - a strategy that involves timing.
Lots of things come into play when it comes to posting to Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. And one of the biggest questions that always comes into play is, “when should I post my latest update?”
That’s what Day 17 in the #BloggingBreakthrough challenge is here to tell you.
So let’s start with the basics - I know you’re all savvy. I know you’ve got common sense. I know you know that 4am isn't going to be the best time to post a link to your latest blog post, because it’s likely that hardly anyone will read it.
Just as you know that lunchtime is a great time to tweet and Snapchat, because people are highly likely to be checking their social updates on their lunch break.
When I first started blogging, this is how I worked out my social schedule. I thought about the times that my audience were likely to be online, looked at some research, and picked my timings based on those things. Here are some facts that I found originally:
- Weekend posts on Facebook get more engagement
- During the week, it’s best to post to Facebook in the early afternoon
- You’ll get the best engagement on Twitter in the afternoon
- Instagram is always active
- Pinterest is the best referrer of traffic
- Never post a LinkedIn update during work hours
Looking at those facts for social media, it really narrows down the times when you can plan to post.
For instance, you definitely want to post something around lunchtime. Then there’s early morning and around 5pm as people are getting to and from work. And any time in the evening.
But you can get even more specific than that.
Before we dig even further, I just want to go through how you can use the general facts that I just listed for your social platforms right now.
Pick a Way and Stick to It
You don’t want to make this a chore for yourself. Social media is supposed to be fun. You might choose to use these general facts and create your schedule this way. You might decide to create your own times. Or, you might get a tool to do it for you. Whichever you choose, stick to it. This will make your approach, management and experience of social media a lot more positive.
I've tried this approach and it worked…for a while.
But I know what you’re thinking - what happens if you pick the wrong one?
If you feel confused, you could just pick various different times and mix them all together. Choose a couple of general times, choose some yourself and let a tool pick the rest. This might mean that you’re covering more bases and opening yourself up to a wider range of possibilities for targeting and interaction.
I've tried this approach too and obviously, it took a lot more of my time to manage. It meant an extra job on top of everything else I was doing and it was getting to the point when I was tired of it not working.
Find Something That Works for You
The best thing to do is experiment. Use your spreadsheet from Day 1 in this challenge and note down your followers and interactions over the next few months, making a note of your posting times too.
But the best thing I've done when it comes to social media is find a tool to do it for me.
For both Instagram and Twitter, I used two tools that analysed my followers on each of these platforms to see when my community was most active online.
The tools then gave me a list of times that they were most active. This allowed me to create my own customised social media schedule.
And it’s worked.
Over the past month, my Instagram following has grown by more than 100 people. I get over 30 likes on each image and I'm always guaranteed to get a comment. I know that a big part of this is by posting my images at optimal times.
My Twitter community has sky rocketed over the past two months, so much so, that I'm still in a complete daze about it. Like Instagram, I know that a big part of this is due to posting updates at times when my audience is online.
You know those updates we talked about at the start of this post? These tools can help you get your most important content seen at all the right times, in front of all the right people.
That’s your task for today.
Luckily for you, I wrote a whole post for you on how to create your own social media schedule back in August. It’s one of the most popular posts on this blog and with good reason - people that have followed this tutorial have seen big results.
Now, you can see results too and work towards getting that breakthrough with your blog.
- Click here to read through the post on creating your personal social media posting schedule.
- If you’re not going to do this task now, bookmark this page or download the worksheet for future reference.
- Otherwise, head to Followerwonk and log in with your Twitter account.
- Click analyse and put your username in one box. Make sure you pick “analyse their followers”.
- Go down to the graph and you’ll see when your audience is most active.
- Now, you can either pick how many times you want to schedule tweets per day (I pick 10) and automatically put these into your Buffer schedule.
- If you don’t have Buffer, you can either create an account or just note down your times.
Do this now and watch how much will change in just one week.
Go on - I dare you.
Remember, if you’ve got any questions, reach out to me on Twitter at @abranchofholly or leave a comment. And if you take any pictures of your progress be sure to use the #BloggingBreakthroughhashtag!
TO GETTING A BREAKTHROUGH WITH YOUR BLOG
Let's chat in the comments - how you do work out your social media schedule? Do you think you'll give this tutorial a go?