This story starts off with a mistake: my own. I was working on a social media consultation for a client and during my analysis I noticed a lot of her posts weren’t getting many views. My advice to her was to change up the times of her posts to try and broaden her audience and I gave her a list of the best times to post to social media (according to my research).
Long story short: the project failed. Her views went down as did her engagement rates. I couldn’t figure out why her posts had gotten more attention. Obviously we were both unhappy with the results so I suggested she go back to doing what she was doing. Wouldn’t you know, her numbers went right back up again.
See, what I failed to take into consideration is that not all audiences are alike. The lifestyle, the income and the social status of your audience has to be taken into consideration when you decide what you’re going to post and when. Just because statistically speaking a lot of people look at Instagram before going to bed doesn’t mean that your specific audience engages in the same habit. In this particular instance, my client’s audience consisted of mostly of mothers who checked their Instagram while their kids were at school- that’s almost a 12-hour difference. Lesson learned: what applies to one audience doesn’t necessarily apply to the other.
Another factor I failed to take into consideration was that I was working on a previously established social media brand, which meant the audience was already used to reading posts at a certain time. Not sticking to a defined schedule meant people were missing out on what she was posting. In one case, the absence of posts at a certain time gave a reader the false impression the account was no longer active. (Huge fail.)
It may seem like an insignificant detail, but having a set posting schedule for your social marketing based on your audience’s media consumption habits actually does make a difference in your engagement rates. Not only that, it’s a reflection of your brand- it projects consistency, inspires confidence and reassures consumers, particularly if you have a pre-existing audience.
Social media can sometimes feel like trying to dance when you don’t know all of the moves. But like with any dance routine, as long as you get the timing right, you’re already halfway on your way.
Running a small business is a challenge and it’s one that everyone seems to faced with these days as companies shrink, more employees take on side hustles, and more people work for themselves. As the owner of a small business, I’m always looking for ways to manage my professional life, which I write about here. I’ve also worked in several offices, so I share some of my workplace strategies here. Looking for ideas on how to market your business? I write about that too.
Do you have your own business? Tell us all about it and the ways you manage your professional life by commenting below or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.