Ever since social media began to mature and the business world started to recognise its value in terms of marketing and connecting with customers, a key question has been on everyone’s mind: when’s the best time to post?
These days, analytics has grown up to suit social to some extent and this has meant that we can now see when we’re likely to get the most interactions. This has led many to put forward the idea that the weekend is the best time. After all, it’s when people tend to be at home and have the available leisure time to spend on social media.
The above image shows when fans are online and as you can see, it’s actually pretty consistent across each day of the week. Times varied, with visitors to this page, a fan community for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, peaking at around 9pm in the evening.
Checking another page’s insights, the data came back as being very similar too. So does this mean that it’s a myth that you’re likely to reach more people if you’re active on social at the weekend?
It’s All About the Mentions
Not according to mention.com, which in the past two years detected over one billion mentions for 200,000 SMBs worldwide. It found that Thursdays tend to be the day of the week where brands get the most mentions and when it came to weekends, Saturday and Sunday see the least mentions on social media and the web in general.
So does this mean that it’s pointless posting on the weekend? Not necessarily. Consumers tend to connect with brands online in order to ask questions and interact about products and services. Medium also found in its research that the vast majority of online mentions for brands were neutral. This further cements the theory that social media is used by the consumer for research purposes rather than really connecting with a brand on a more personal level or to make a complaint.
As you can see, 76% of all mentions were neutral, whilst 18% were positive and a mere 6% were negative.
This is further broken down by days and how many mentions, on average, are generated.
This is generally because most brands and small businesses don’t have any clear plan or strategy for the weekend and so less mentions are generated. With this in mind, whilst people may be spending more or less the same amount of time on social on weekdays and weekends, posting at weekends could mean that your brand is the one that gets noticed. This is because at the weekend, there’s less noise, which is why there are also less mentions.
Twitter Dominates Social Mentions
When it comes to mentions, Twitter is by far the pack leader with 67% of all mentions being generated by the site. For the small business marketer, this means that in order to get noticed on Twitter it’s necessary to have a clear strategy in place and ideally, that should include the weekends.
However, it’s not all about tweets, Mention recommends that businesses create clear strategies for a number of platforms and ensure that the brand message is strong and consistent across them all. Images, for example, can be used to convey a brand message instantly and so should be developed and be used across all social media accounts.
Ideally, brands should also attempt to catch the eye of those influencers who can spread their message to a wide audience. However, it’s also important to note that: “any customer can be a brand ambassador,” no matter how small their audience. In fact, according to Medium, 91% of all online mentions come from people with less than 500 followers. With this in mind, it pays to remember the little guy – after all, he’s more likely to be the one buying your products.
Bear in mind too that only 8% of your followers will have more than 500 followers of their own and it’s easy to see why only targeting the influencers shouldn’t be a strategy that you utilise alone.
Creating a Buyer Persona
A good exercise to help you to properly target the followers who may become your brand ambassador and give you more mentions is to create a buyer persona. You need to know who your customers are, when they are likely to interact with you and why they buy your products, read your content or use your services.
Of course, this is something that really should be done at the start of a business’ life, but it never does any harm to repeat the process and further fine-tune your ideal buyer.
- Age range
If it helps find a photo and use it to help you envisage your buyer. Remember though, your buyer is not who you want them to be, it’s the real people in the real world buying your product.
Interaction is Key
One mistake that many, many brands make online is lack of interaction. Whilst many of us use scheduling software to make our lives easier, this is quite recognisable to the consumer. With this in mind, you should mix it up with genuine interaction in order to achieve the best results.
Remember the key term here – social – that means getting out there and thanking people personally for retweets, mentions and follows. It means taking the time out to retweet their stuff, as long as it fits your brand and is good quality. There’s no substitution for this personal touch and what’s more people appreciate it and will become an advocate of your brand and in turn an ambassador.
So alter your strategy. Get online at the weekend sometimes and ensure that you interact with your followers. You may be very surprised at the warm reception that you get because despite the cynical view that seems to propagate around the net that people are highly negative about brands, Mention’s research debunks this. People are nice and if you’re good to them, they will repay the favour.