/// Find prime times for business’ social media updates
Ever wonder if your social media updates are actually reaching their intended audiences? You’re not alone. According to Yesmail, an industry leading provider of email marketing software, many of the major brands don’t know either.
Yesmail, whose clients include Coca-Cola, Hershey’s, Hewlett Packard and Panasonic, tracked and analyzed the social media engagements of 20 popular clothing retailers. The study, “Using Digital Market Intelligence to Drive Multi-Channel Success,” revealed that popular brands including Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess, H&M and Ann Taylor are missing the mark when it comes to engaging their customers using social media.
According to the study, Facebook updates, for instance, achieve the highest level of engagement on Tuesdays, yet it was ranked fourth in terms of the actual day when the major brands deployed their updates. The study found that most customers of the brands that were analyzed had the highest level of interaction between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. EST. Yet, most brands deployed their updates from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST.
On Twitter, most brands deployed their social media updates during regular work hours, even though the highest level of customer engagement for their target audience is 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. The study also found that the majority of Twitter updates took place on Fridays, although that was the least engaging day of the week among their target audience.
The Yesmail study also found revealing trends about content people interact with on social media. For example, consumers interact most often with video on Facebook, yet of the major brands analyzed in the study, only used it in 6.5 percent of the updates they deployed.
Another study, released by Bit.ly, a popular website that shortens Web links shared across social networks, analyzed the traffic on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. The study found that social interaction on Facebook wanes after 4 p.m., so posting anything in the afternoon won’t yield great results.
The Bit.ly study also found that on Twitter, the best time to post is in the afternoon, early in the week. Bit.ly recommends avoiding weekend posts, as traffic goes down substantially on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. But Friday evenings, while not an optimal time to post on other social networks, is an ideal time to post on Tumblr.
So what can you do to engage your particular audiences at just the right time? Here are four strategies that can help.
• Analyze your social media traffic. It’s important to understand who is engaging with your brand on social media and when you can best reach them. Use tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights and TweetReach to find out who is visiting you and when.
• Know when to turn your website visitors into fans or followers. When do people come to your company website the most? What pages do they click on most often? Tools like Google Analytics can help you find out. Once you know when you get the most traffic to your website make sure that links to your social networks are prominently featured on the homepage. This creates a mechanism to convert your website visitors into social media fans or followers and potentially into paying customers somewhere down the line.
• Find out when your customers open their emails. If you use email to send targeted messages to your potential and current customers, do you know when they’re opened and read? Try the free version of GoTrackNow, email tracking software.
• Shorten it. Use a URL shortening tool like Bit.ly and TinyUrl.com to track how many people clicked on the Web links you create and how they found your social media pages. For example, if your URL is Twitter.com/YourCompany and you use TinyUrl.com to shorten the link, you’re able to send it to people and track who is clicking on your links. This is invaluable information to help you gain insight into how to better craft your social media updates.