Small business owners are always trying to strike the right balance between the time they spend marketing their products and services and the time they spend actually running their business. Because of this ongoing struggle, they're often hesitant to jump into social media, having heard that maintaining a social presence on multiple networks can be pretty time consuming.
As with all things, social media management is what you make of it, and having the right knowledge and tools at your disposal can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the amount of time social media marketing occupies. One of the first steps toward making social media less intimidating is to know when, and how often you actually need to post to engage your audience. For the purpose of this article, we look at Facebook and Twitter, since we find they're most popular with people starting out.
So, how can you maximize your engagement on social media with a minimal investment of time? Let's dig in.
1. Decide how often you're going to post
A 2014 article on FastCompany highlights some relevant findings from SocialBakers and Track Social. While this research can provide a great starting point, you should always monitor your own individual results and analytics to see if this wisdom holds true for you - especially as social networks are always tweaking their algorithms.
Twitter: According to SocialBakers, three tweets per day seems to be the best choice for optimal engagement per tweet, while Track Social puts the number at 4-5 tweets. Shoot for 5 tweets per day.
Facebook: SocialBakers found that the most successful brands post, on average, just once per day on Facebook. However, bear in mind that they can do this because big brands have a better chance of appearing in a user's News Feed than small brands - what we should really take away from that is that having your post seen on Facebookonce per day is optimal. While engagement rate does drop off after the first post is seen, it doesn't drop off so much that you should be discouraged from posting more often. In order to be seen once per day, smaller brands should probably post around 5 times per day on Facebook.
2. Figure out what time to post
The question of what time to post on Facebook and Twitter will ultimately depend on your own analytics, and your goals. The best time to obtain clicks may be different from the best time to get comments or retweets. However, since we all have to start somewhere, let's look at some guidelines from QuickSprout featured on AdWeek.
- Posts at 12pm and 6pm get the best click rate
- Posts at 5pm get the most retweets
- Posts at 1pm get the most shares
- Posts at 3pm get the most clicks
3. Save time by scheduling in advance
Now that you know you need to put around 8 times per day - at specific times - for the best engagement on social media, you might be saying to yourself: "wait, am I supposed to stop what I'm doing 8 times each day to post something to Facebook or Twitter?" Absolutely not - especially now that social media management platforms like Pagemodo have mobile apps. Pagemodo (which is a part of Webs) has offered post scheduling through its desktop experience for a while now, and last week they took their offering mobile.
With the Pagemodo App for iOS, you can create and schedule custom posts within the app, or (and this is my personal favorite part) share directly from Safari and other apps while you discover new content. If you commute on a train like I do, this means you can fill up your schedule posts queue for the day or week before you even get to the office. Here's a quick preview of what that looks like:
While reading content in Safari, you tap the "Share" icon at the bottom, choose the Pagemodo extension, view and edit your post in the Pagemodo app, select the time you'd like to post, and then view your queue of scheduled posts to confirm what your followers will see throughout the day.
The Pagemodo App is free, and it live-syncs with your existing Pagemodo account if you have one. Download it from the App Store to get started.
Hopefully this post has helped make social media management seem a little more feasible for your small business. If you have any questions, or have some experience to share, let us know in the comments.
This post originally appeared on the Webs blog.