How to schedule social media posts
In order to be successful and stand out from competitors when publishing social media content, brands need to create unique themes, but also trial different posting times to discover when content achieves the greatest response and reach. However, it is not always possible for a staff member to manually post so automatic scheduling assistants can be of great value in the evenings and at weekends. Here is an overview of how to effectively schedule social media posts on a daily basis.
Create a content calendar
Creating a daily, or weekly, content calendar can be a highly efficient way of planning themes for content and times for distribution across different social networking sites. To develop a comprehensive plan, brands can draw on a variety of resources ranging from unique visual assets, third-party articles and competition posts.
Once themes are determined, calendars can be used to establish when content should be published. For example, a brand may post first thing in the morning, at lunchtime and then in the evening. Brands may even wish to schedule posts to go out after office hours, if they find that is when their audience is most primed for engagement.
A recent guide by social-sharing service Buffer cited statistics that showed engagement rates on Facebook are 18 per cent higher on Thursdays and Fridays and 32 per cent higher at the weekends. Similarly on Twitter, it was found that engagement for brands is 17 per cent higher at the weekends. Of course, this depends on the type of industry and content a brand is distributing as well as the social media activity patterns of a brand’s audience. One week a brand may find a photo post performs well, on another they may discover a third-party article gains the most engagement. The only way to get a clear picture is to monitor performance over time and act on the insights that are provided.
Use community management to monitor the best posting times
Tracking social interactions on a regular basis can further reflect the best times for publishing content. For example, if tweets sent out first thing in the morning are not receiving many favourites, retweets or comments, then it may be worthwhile to test posting an hour later in the day, and again, and again until sufficient intelligence is obtained.
These insights can then be used to help with scheduling content in the future, as brands can plan to publish more posts on particularly successful themes during times that have proven to be the most active for that type of post.
Implementing community management can also be used by brands to respond to audience members and build a rapport. For example, someone may comment on how much they like a particular product, and the brand can then respond by asking which feature is their favourite. This may then result in an ongoing conversation between brand and consumer which will likely further enforce brand loyalty.
Use scheduling tools when unable to post manually
When social posting can’t be done manually, tools such as Buffer, HootSuite and TweetDeck make scheduling content simple, and ensure a brand’s social timing remains consistent. Each tool enables a brand to line up content to be posted at specific times. Buffer and HootSuite are even compatible with bulk scheduling, so a brand can set up posting times for a whole week if desired.
For time-sensitive content, brands can set the exact times they want to distribute, but for less timely items they can rely on the tools to schedule posts at times when the most interaction and engagement is believed to occur. Scheduling content in advance can certainly benefit brands if they research, test and plan posts to optimise distribution according to their objectives.
By using content calendars, community management and scheduling tools, brands can organise their content effectively, balance themes according to response, take advantage of optimal posting times and continue to successfully reach their target market.