Time Matters: Make your Social Media Channels Count Whatever the Hour or Territory
Like great comedy, great social media postings are all about timing.
Like great comedy, great social media postings are all about timing. But what are the optimum times and how do you coordinate your postings across the world?
It’s tough enough to come up with relevant content for your social media channels. But once that perfectly tailored content has been created and is ready to deploy, there is another equally pressing question that needs to be addressed – when should you deploy it?
Research for best posting times vary – some swear by Burrito Time where your targeted audiences are predicted to have downtime. Others believe that more generalized times are just as efficient. For example:
1-4pm and 2-5pm weekdays.
and 5-6pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
The rule of thumb? Use the above as a social media guide only. It’s best to analyze your own data – you know your demographic better than anyone else – and analyze when your own posts have made maximum impact. The best person to undertake this research? Your social media manager – their insights into who is engaging with your social media content and when is vital for constantly evolving your social media strategy.
Whatever the time, avoid the dead zones – those times when no one is checking their social media channels. For example, the most surprising is LinkedIn – posting between 9am-5pm especially on Monday and Friday is a no-no.
But again, check your own analytics to ensure this is true for your customers.
Time Zone Conundrum
But how about posting times for different territories and countries?
After all, as the UK is getting out of bed, Australia is getting ready to leave work.
And posting your content carte blanche at the same time all over the world could mean missing the optimum window for social posting in a particular country – by the time your target audience is checking its social media outlets, your messaging could have already sunk without a trace.
Social media management software will allow you to schedule content for delivery, effortlessly allowing you to leave it to do the heavy-lifting while you head home for the night. But in a 24/7 world, it’s not the optimum solution – customers will post and expect feedback around the clock plus you may miss a brand-relevant story that’s starting to trend as you’re nodding off in bed.
A Helping Hand
Companies operating globally-focused social channels are increasingly turning to social media virtual assistants. Instead of hiring an expensive team to work throughout the night posting and responding to customers, VAs are being deployed on a territory-by-territory basis, taking hold of the reins in the country or region they are responsible for.
The net result? The company is able to offer always-on 24/7 social media channels to its customers.
And by using your centralized social media management software, everyone can stay informed about what is happening on the company’s social media networks wherever they are in the world, creating a joined-up, connected hub that is easily managed and monitored.
Outside of the Box
Smaller companies working on tighter budgets might consider identifying customers who are advocates and can act as ambassadors in their local region, monitoring customer feedback and posting to your social channels in their locale. While a more risky proposition in terms of trust, it’s a pragmatic solution for avoiding the cost of hiring a professional social media manager per territory until you are established.
It’s important to learn about each country you have social media channels in – what is acceptable, what tone or messaging they prefer, and which social media platform they engage with the most.
What is deemed acceptable in the US may not sit well with the Middle East. Again, employing a social media manager, virtual assistant or ‘ambassador’ from a particular territory is the way to go – they can help generate locale-focused copy based on your campaign’s messaging, ensuring it respects cultural sensibilities while also vetting issues such as word usage i.e. what means one thing in one country could mean something else entirely in another.
Offer a German a gift and they will call the police – ‘gift’ means ‘poison’ in German.
- Use accepted best times for posting on social media outlets as a starting point – but analyze your own data to uncover the optimum times for your own customers.
- Use social media management software to automatically post at times when your social media team will be in bed.
- Consider hiring social media managers or ambassadors to ensure your company is ‘open’ 24/7 in the social media space.
- Ensure your ‘voice’ is acceptable to all territories; what might work tonally in one country may not be acceptable in another.
- Avoid uniformity, look spontaneous – mix-up the times for posting to your social media channels.
- Watch out for specific words that might cause offence.
Are you a community manager who needs to get their social schedules in order or are you an innovator with market leading insights to share with your peers? Either way get involved in the European #TheSocialInfluencer LIVE DEBATE on Wednesday 24th September 2014 - click here to join in!