The Best Times to Post on Social Media
Social media has become a vital part of how we communicate, view the world and even do business, today even more so than in a pre-pandemic world. Companies and audiences have moved to a digital realm. Research shows that the amount of time people spend online has increased dramatically due to various factors, including global lock-downs, more affordable smartphones, internet accessibility, and reliable network coverage. Today, 53%, effectively half of the worldwide population, uses social media, and businesses and brand can use this to their advantage.
Social media has become essential, and being present on these platforms is just as important as having
a business website.
Today there is between 2.3 and 2.7 billion Facebook users every month, with Instagram closely following with 1 billion people who use this platform. Because clients roam these platforms, it is a critical place for businesses to target and reach desired audiences. Both platforms fall in the top five social media sites globally. These platforms are a much faster, cheaper, and effective method to reach clients as opposed to traditional media since there are no limiting factors such as location and country, as well as the following advantages:
- Building brand awareness
- Humanising brands
- Helps brands stay in the mind of users
- Increases traffic to the website
- Boosts sales
- Offers customer engagement
- Customer service and support
- To be able to monitor online conversations, customers and what competitors are doing
When investigating each social media platform individually and identifying what they offer businesses
and brands, we saw the following:
From the first Instagram post of a dog in 2010, Instagram has grown massively by offering many new features that allow for marketing and selling through the application. More than 200 million users visit at least one business profile daily. Statistics also show that 81% of users use Instagram to research brands, while 58% of users stating that more interest was generated when seeing brands on Instagram stories.
Facebook is also known as "the largest nation on earth" based on its user count. This mega social network is free of charge with the option of paid advertisements that are still considerably more affordable than traditional media, with the potential of targeted reach opportunities. Targeting consumers means you can reach specific clients through location, demographics and user interests. Facebook allows for data and insight gathering regarding an audience, increasing web traffic, and identifying competitors.
The question of when the best time to post on social media is as old as social media itself and provokes the thought of "will all my research, brainstorming, creating, editing and perfecting the campaign be worth all the work and is it ready for the world to see?" This question cannot be answered, as there is no right time to post, and there is no "one fits all" strategy for reaching your desired audience.
Every brand is unique. Every brand needs to know how their audience behaves to understand what will work best for their company. They need to acknowledge that information and data are vital in understanding when their desired audience is online and what interests them and what they engage with. Using several data analytic tools, we can achieve this.
There are various tools available to do these analyses, including Hootsuite, Google Analytics, SproutSocial, and Later. It has been shown that posting at the correct times are, in fact, necessary for reach and engagement but can also be focused on more, opposed to making informed decisions on data analytics about desired audiences and who follows your business better to deliver a personalised message to a unique audience. To successfully find what works for you and your audience, research, data analytics, and experimentation needs to be conducted.
There isn't a universal time that fits everyone perfectly or a general best time. The answers lay in your desired audiences and consumers because businesses need to know when they are active on social media, what they engage with the most and what content they enjoy - this will result in determining when the best time will be to reach them and will also allow for a more personalised approach that will, in the long run, gain customer loyalty, brand awareness, web traffic and purchases through making use of essential data and insights to better deliver on social media.