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Social media marketing for the working contractor (Part 4): Timing

When it comes to social media posting, ‘Timing is Everything’ (almost)


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November 1, 2017 by John Bleasby

In Part One through Part Three of this series, ‘Social media marketing for the working contractor’, we’ve had a close look at Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. These are three of most popular social media platforms that contractors should consider to get their message to consumers and prospects. But when to post? That is a critical question!

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”
In his famous opening line of A Tale of Two Cities more than 150 years ago, Charles Dickens might have been writing about the struggles and follies experienced by many business owners trying to get the most out of social media marketing. Each of the three platforms discussed in this series, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter,  have unique features,  content requirements, life spans, and popular times of the day. It’s important to get them all correct. Social media is extremely crowded. It’s easy to be scrolled past and never seen at all.

Knowing when your prospects on a hand-held device, a laptop or a desk top computer will impact when you post and to what social media platform.

The time of the day and the day of the week — it all matters
Remember that you are trying to reach your prospects, not your comrades in the business! Days matter as much as times. That’s because some platforms are used socially, meaning on people’s own time, while others are more business oriented (B2B).

Instagram is for off-peak hours
According to CoSchedule, an editorial calendar service for content marketing and social scheduling, the best days to post on Instagram are Monday and Thursday. The best times are 2am, between 8am and 9am, and at 5pm. This is because Instagram is more likely to be read during off-work hours. Curious about the 2am slot? Maybe because it lines posts up for first-thing-in-the-morning viewing. CoSchedule also suggest that videos on Instagram, something we pushed in part one of this series, will receive 34 per cent more interactions if posted at 9pm. That’s because people have a little more time — They’ve finished work, had their dinner, and maybe put the kids to bed. They can sit down, view a video and respond.

What times to avoid? Between 3pm and 4pm, according to CoSchedule. That’s home commuting time. Generally speaking, avoid the peak working hours with this very ‘social’ media platform.

What’s the best face time for Facebook?
It’s a jungle out there. Facebook is a very crowded space and everyone seems to be using it. Because it is  such a social space for your prospects. CoSchedule suggests Sunday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Note that these days are either weekends or when the weekend is in sight. People are happier! Ideal times are interesting, according to CoSchedule’s findings. Think  before 9am and between 1pm and 3pm. Sounds like people check in on Facebook just before they knuckle down to work and at the backend of their lunch time. It is also suggested that within those time frames, 1pm will get the most clicks, and 3pm the most shares.

Twitter time is business time
Putting aside the fact that Donald Trump often takes to Twitter at 3am, Twitter is more of a business hour thing. Messages are short, to the point, and can be easily missed given their life spans of an hour or less. However, think again about your prospects. They are consumers. B2B contacts might be better reached during the week, Wednesday in particular, but B2C (business-to-customer) connections are better on weekends. Best hours? CoSchedule suggests 12pm, and between 5pm and 6pm. That makes some sense since so many busy folks with regular working hours will check Twitter at lunch, or during their commute home (181 per cent more, in fact). The short Twitter messages are perfect for quick glances on portable devices.

Three platforms, three different approaches
In summation, keep in mind the key differences between the three platforms we have highlighted. Instagram is a portable platform. You shoot your videos and post your text on a hand-held device, and they are viewed that way. As a result, while there are certain times that are somewhat better than others, viewing can take place anywhere on almost any day and at any time of the day.

Facebook is used on both mobile and desk top devices. Think about who you are trying to reach, where they might be when they want to read your contractor message —home or office— and build your posting schedule around that.

So many social media platforms to choose from! Developing a strategy that works for your company may require the advice of a professional

Twitter? It’s different as already mentioned. That makes it more challenging. Consider the fact that repetition of your messages maybe required, that viewing time per Tweet is short, and that the medium is regarded as more of a news feed than as a source of educational information.

Putting it all together
If you are keen to ramp-up your social media presence and use the technology to best advantage, you probably are getting a little overwhelmed. Strategizing your approach, gathering the right content, scheduling the best times, and measuring your results; it means investing time and energy. Is there someone in your organization willing to do this in order to make the investment worthwhile? Or do you need an outside expert to help you develop and execute it all for you? In our final installment, we’ll talk about that with Marc Hill of Digital Giants, a leading on-line media agency and consultancy.

Have you read earlier installments of this series?

Part 1: Maximizing Instagram with videos
Part 2: Getting noticed on Facebook
Part 3: Twitter anyone? 

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