Are You A Small Business On Social Media?  Here’s The Best Times To Post on Each Platform To Maximise Results

More than half of the world now uses social media, according to the July 2020 Global Statshot by DataReportal. That’s 4.57 billion people. In the UK alone, there were 45 million active social media users in 2020, which is approximately 66% of the UK population.

A Social Media community

Social media as a means to communicate and increase connectivity with friends and loved ones has seen an increase in older demographics signing up to the platforms, and the push to support local economies by buying from smaller, independent retailers and sellers means social media is prime for small business in 2020.  Regardless of what sector your business operates in, there’s a high likelihood you’ll find new customers on social media.

A Business Tool

But as a small business, your resources are stretched, your budgets are tight, and your employees are all busy doing what they do best. How can you make sure you maximise on opportunities from social media without it becoming a drain on resources?  Small businesses using social media need to create a simple but effective social media strategy, use the right tools, and plan ahead to get better results.

Great, but what is a social media strategy?

Let’s not overcomplicate things. A strategy can be very simple and very short. It’s a summary of what you want to achieve on social media. It’s your social media objectives. Having a social media strategy will help to inform which platforms you use, who you target, what you post about, when you post, etc. All these things will form your social media plan. Generally, the more specific your plan is, the more effective it will be.

Commitment

For example, your social media strategy should include a commitment to providing your audience with value and information, as well as posts that are community focused, rather than just pumping out sales-type content all the time.  Posts that read like sales pitches rarely perform well on social media and will not encourage your audience to engage with your business.

Plan

With so many platforms to choose from, it can be tempting to try and have a presence on them all, but research consistently finds the businesses that perform best on social media invest their time and effort in the platforms where they’re most likely to reach and engage with their target audience. Research your target market and find out where their attention is, then double down on those platforms.

Research & Prepare

If you aren’t sure what your content should look like, scope out your competition and research some of the bigger brands to see what they’re posting. You’ll get plenty of ideas and inspiration by looking at what works for them, and what doesn’t.  If you really want to be organised, save time, and be prepared – create a social media plan or a content calendar so you know what you’re going to post ahead of time.   Being prepared takes some of the pressure off, gives you the freedom to post relevant and agile content around your planned posts and will help ensure you stick to the number one rule of social media – posting consistently.

The Best of Times

According to Sprout Social, the best times to post on social media platforms are:

•    Facebook: Wednesday at 11am or between 1 and 2pm. Generally, posts perform well Tuesday through Thursday from 8am to 3pm.

•    Instagram: Wednesday at 11am, and Friday between 10 and 11am. Generally, posts perform well Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm.

•    Twitter: Wednesday and Friday at 9am. Generally, posts perform well Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm.

•    LinkedIn: Wednesday from 8am to 10am, Wednesday at 12pm, Thursday at 9am and from 1 to 2pm, and Friday at 9am. Generally, posts perform well Tuesday through Friday from 8am to 2pm.

There will always be anomalies – posts that perform exceptionally well at other times, and there are no hard and fast rules as varied target audiences across a range of platforms will respond a little differently. By experimenting (and monitoring your results) you’ll get to know what works best for your audience. So, you’ve got your social media strategy sorted and you’re armed with a social media plan for at least six months in advance. You’re killing it!

Improvement Strategies

Getting images or videos ready for social media and writing your posts can be time-consuming, and actually finding the time to get on the platforms to publish posts throughout the day can be tricky, as it’s so easy for other important things to crop up unexpectedly and throw you off course.  Before you know it, it’s been a few days and you haven’t found the time to post any of the content you had planned.

One Single Source of Truth

With dashboards like ZYM, you can plan, schedule, publish, promote, monitor, and measure your social media posts across multiple platforms all in one place.  By scheduling your posts in advance, you’ll not have to worry about getting online on the right day, at the right time, to publish your content.