Saturday, December 15, 2012

2013 Perfecting Your Social Media Timing.

The precise moment I pulled up to the gas pump this morning, my car chimed and the "Need Fuel" icon light came on. I thought about how great it would be if I could achieve similar perfect timing with my social media to maximize results and reach. To have posts, emails, texts, them appear precisely at the moment they are needed or desired.

One of the first things I learned about being a social media professional was that before you spend time on the metrics of perfect timing, it's better to spend more time tweeting and Facebook posting more often. The number one reason social media campaigns fail in my opinion is because businesses get discouraged by a lack of results and stop posting. Or they run out of ideas. Or they just don't keep up with a regular schedule.

Instead, first think about your intent. Why do you want your posts to be read? What are your expected results? Is it just to be retweeted or reposted? That's good for the ego but doesn't much help the bottom line.  Is it to drive sales or drive visitors to another site?

Don't worry about repeating yourself particularly when you are just getting started with your social media.  Like learning tennis, don't worry about hitting winners or even hitting the ball over the net. Concentrate on form.  No one follower will ever read all your tweets so they don't have to all be gems.

Perfect timing for your social media will vary industry to industry. Sometimes the first week of the month will garner the most attention other industries it's the last. Once you've got a better idea on why and what, the when will become easier to determine.  I can tell you that certain days to post are better than others. For blogging, Monday sees the most posts while Friday seems to be the day when most are read. Studies show the best time to Tweet and/or post on Facebook is between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Yet most of the readers who will retweet this article will likely do so first thing in the morning. We all tend to believe that real news happens when we were sleeping. Lesson? Vary times and track when you see the best results. Then stick to a schedule.

But even when you think you've got it all figured out, social media success really comes down to luck of the draw. That next customer may read all my tweets in the afternoon but the one that catches their eye might be the one they read while waiting for my appointment at the dentist tomorrow morning. So in other words don't worry about how fast your going and lose site that you're in fact, running on empty.

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