The Best Time to Post on Top Social Networks
A common question that we get asked again and again is What is the best and worst times to post on each social network? The answer is, in practice, it depends on a number of factors that are specific to your audience and their situation. However …
You Have to Start Somewhere
If you are just getting started and don’t yet have the experience or historical data, then you have to start somewhere. That is what we are providing in this post.
The table below shows, on average, what are the best and worst times to post on each of the top social channels to get the maximum post exposure (i.e. reach) with the best opportunity for engagement.
1 pm – 3 pm
3 am – 7 am
1 pm – 4 pm
8 pm – 8 am
1 pm – 3 pm
8 pm – 9 am
2 pm – 4 pm
5 pm – 7 pm
8 pm – 1 am
9 am – 11 am
6 pm – 8 am
7 am – 9 am
10 pm – 6 am
5 pm – 6 pm
How to Optimize Posts for your Blog, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, Vine and Tumblr
Now that we have a starting point on the when to post by social channel, lets take a look at some experienced-based best practices on how to post on blogs and the top social networks.
Blogs and Social Networks Each Have Their Own Posting Nuances
Experienced online marketers know much the subtle nuances of each channel matter and can be used as levers to gain maximum reach and engagement for each post.
For instance, the use of hashtags (#) vary quite a bit between Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Tumblr. Used deliberately with knowledge, hashtags can enable marketers to reach an eager audience with laser precision. Used incorrectly, however, hashtags can kill engagement. Another example is how each platform handles images, both on the desktop and mobile. Understanding these nuances and how to leverage them to your benefit is covered in the balance of this post.
Beware the All-In-One Social Scheduling and Sharing Tools
This is one of the reasons that readers will want to be careful when using all-in-one social media sharing and scheduling tools to distribute the same post to multiple social channels at once. To ensure that the post will have maximum reach and engagement on each channel, it is important to optimize by channel.
For important posts, such as when posting and sharing your own content (as opposed to curated content), it usually makes sense to post these manually so that the nuances of each channel can be leveraged. On the flip side, have you seen hashtags that look great on Twitter stand out like a sore thumb on LinkedIn. Dooh!
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
The infographic below illustrates some great best practices by online channel..
The perfect blog post
The following figure describes the anatomy of the perfect blog post.
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One of the most import components of a blog post is its title. Titles are for blog posts what subject lines are for e-mail. Blog titles will be scanned by readers to determine level of interest in a reading the blog post. A catchy, engaging title is often the difference between someone just scanning the headline of your blog post versus reading the post itself.
Remember to include keywords near the beginning of the title and try to keep it to 65 characters or less. The page title is a strong on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization) signal to search engines, so placement of keywords here is beneficial to ranking for those keywords.
Make sure that any keywords are featured in the first sentence to grab people’s attention. The first paragraph of the perfect blog post draws readers in with key insights, promising to provide supporting detail. This draw readers in by giving them a feel for what they can expect from reading the blog post. Make sure that you address the “so what” aspect of your blog post to tell readers upfront why they should care.
Include at Least One Relevant Image
Adding an image or graphic to your post will make it more engaging and shareable. For many blogging platforms, such as WordPress, it is important to set an image as the featured image which shows up in the blog post summary on your blog homepage and often gets pulled in when sharing the blog post on social media.
A Word Count of 500-800 Words is Ideal
Try to keep your blog post between 500 to 800 words. The reason to generally target 500-800 word posts is that post within that length will be long enough to get your message across but not too long to lose readers attention.
This led the blog post helps with SEO as search engines like Google want to index content with some meat on the bones, as opposed to posts less than 500 words.
I recognize that this post violates that guidance at over 3000 words, but the goals was to make this post a truly valuable to serve as a reference to our readers and even our own staff to reference again and again. 🙂
Include a Call to Action
Summarize the blog post with a call to action. This may be a link to another related post within the blog or a 3rd party resource that the reader may enjoy. Asking open-ended questions and inviting readers to answer those questions in the comments is another great way to stimulate discussion.
If your blog post contains statistics, it’s often helpful to link to the and cite the source of that data. This citation approach provides readers with an avenue to get more information while establishing credibility for the author and their positions. You can also link to previous relevant posts that users who enjoyed this post might be interested in.
Make it Easy to Share on Social
Making it easy for readers to be able to share your blog posts will help drive targeted traffic from social channels to your website. Including social sharing icons in a floating configuration makes it easy for readers to share regardless of where they are within the blog post.
Lots of bloggers make the mistake of providing sharing social icons only at the top which assumes that readers will share the blog post prior to reading it. Including social icons at the end of a blog post makes more sense as the readers will be in a better position to judge whether or not they wish to share to their social networks, especially if they enjoyed enough to read the entire post.
Pro Tip: Consider using WordPress SEO by Yoast. This is a great plugin that makes does on page SEO analysis that is updated. The WordPress SEO by Yoast also makes on-page SEO recommendations based on SEO best practices for key fields such as the Title, Meta Description and more. With over 9 million downloads with a 4.7 out of 5 star rating, you need to download this free plugin to just keep up!
The Perfect YouTube Post
Attention grabbing Video Title (headline)
In this example, the title is Creating and XML Sitemap in 5 Minutes. Much like the perfect blog post, the perfect YouTube post/video page on YouTube starts with a catchy title. The goal of the title is to get YouTube searchers excited enough to click through to watch your video. Make your video title is both attention grabbing and informative as to the subject and content of the video so that users who view are not disappointed based on the headlines promise being fulfilled.
A YouTube video title automatically defaults to the filename of the video that you’re uploading, so make sure you change it from the default so that you don’t end up with a video title like “100_0001.MOV“!
Describe your video further, including any keywords to help would-be viewers easily find your video. In this case the description expands on the title
Rick Noel, Internet Marketing Consultation for eBiz ROI, Inc. (http://www.eBizROI.com/) demonstrates how to create a Google XML sitemap in 5 minutes.
You can use the description field to add links to your social networks, website or blog. We do not recommend putting more than one link in the YouTube video description.
Call to action
Within the videos section, remember to let viewers know what you want them to do next. This is where you may want to add a link back to your to provide viewers website to a page with additional information. This can be particularly effective driving relevant traffic to position products or services from your website. A great call to action for YouTube videos is to ask viewers that found value to subscribe to your YouTube Channel.
Get your video in front of more potential viewers by adding tags using relevant keywords. This will help ensure your video is included in the relevant search results driving additional views and click-throughs.
The Perfect Facebook Post
In the Facebook Post Status Field
Keep things positive
On social media, it’s important to keep things positive as these type of post tend to garner most likes, shares in comments. Positive sentiment in Facebook posts breeds engagement and sharing. It will also help you inspire and excite your audience on Facebook.
The most appealing update posts are the ones that offer something to peak then keep the reader’s interest. It is important not to share too much so that the Facebook fans will want to click for more information.
Provide a link
Providing links in posts, especially to useful content, are shown to boost engagement on Facebook. When including a link in the Facebook post, make sure to use a link shortener such as bit.ly so that you can track click throughs from Facebook users. It is valuable to invest the time to read the content before sharing links to it on this to ensure it is high quality and relevant to your audience.
In the Facebook Post body Field
Posts with images get the highest amount engagement on Facebook. When including images, the optimal size for Facebook posts is 800 pixels (width) by 600 pixels (height).
Use simple imagery that will be easily displayed on mobile devices. This is especially important today where as many as 85% of your Facebook fans will be reviewing your post on a mobile device, and in particular, their smartphone.
Engaging with Fans in the Facebook Post Comments Field
Engage with users
Posts alone won’t grab attention, whereas Facebook posts with comments do. Engage with people and build relationships through conversational dialogue.
be sure to post comments at times when your audience is likely to likely to be engaged on your Facebook business page. This includes posting outside normal business hours, especially for a global audience. This will ensure more engagement from users, increasing the visibility of your Facebook post through enhanced reach.
The Perfect Tweet
— InStyle (@InStyle) April 10, 2014
Within the tweet, twitter users only have 140 characters to get their message across. Tweets, should have known more than 120 characters to encourage retweets. This is to leave room (i.e. Characters) that the person that is retweeting the message will be able to add content in their retweet. In tweet, be sure to consider the following aspects:
- Call to action: provide a clear call to action so that readers know what it is that you want them to do next.
- Utilize hashtags on keywords (i.e. #marketing) to enhance tweet discovery and reach connecting with users searching on that hashtags while emphasizing the tweet topic
- When utilizing hashtags, is best practices not use more than two hashtags proposed on Google+.
- Punctuation: don’t sacrifice grammar just because you have limited characters. Avoid abbreviations and all CAPs
- Format: use questions, facts and figures to engage users and drive retweets
- Mentions: Use mentions (e.g. @eBizROI) to to the influencers to engage with you and respond. It’s a great way to provide source attribution as well.
- Pro Tip – ReTweet relevant content for your audience (i.e.Twitter followers). Don’t
Universal resource locators (web address) – make sure to use a URL shortener lit bit.ly to optimize for reading tweets and tracking click-throughs Bonus tweet tip: Adding an image or video will make your twitter post more engaging by making those sweet standout in the twitter users tweet stream.
The Perfect Pinterest Pin
Creating the perfect Pinterest Pin is as much an art as it is a science. That being said, here are some experience-based techniques that Pinterest marketers us to get the most out of their investment in Pinterest.
No human faces
Images with no human faces get shared 23% more often than those with human faces. In fact images of food and fashion seem to do the best in terms of driving engagement through comments and sharing (re-pinning).
Using little background
Use a common background that doesn’t take up more than 40% of your image, otherwise users can see re-pins decrease by as much as 50%.
Images with dominant colors (red, dark green, pink) get three times the number of likes and re-pins.
Lots of red
Red or orange images get 2 times the likes and re-pins.
Light and color
Images with 50% color saturation get four times as many re-pins as those with 100% color saturation and 10 times as many re-pins is black and white images.
Vertically oriented images perform better than horizontally oriented images. The optimal aspect ratios are 2:3 and 4:5 (width:height).
The Perfect Google+ Post
Google+ posts offer many opportunities to engage with other Google+ users. In fact, Google+ is one of our favorite social networks, in part, because of how it relates Google authorship in influencing the personalized search results.
Tag People, brands and companies One of my favorite techniques in driving engagement Google+ is to share articles that are relevant my circles in communities on Google+. Whenever sharing those articles, whenever possible, I use the mention (+/@name) should tag the article’s author as well as the online publication hosting share article. Tag People, brands and companies as applicable. This will result in the receiving a notification and potentially engage with that post.
Provide information, but don’t give away the farm The most appealing updates are ones that offer useful and actionable information to help the reader accomplish the desired task. Make sure not to give away all of the value, leaving users trying to click in order to receive more information.
Provide a link to a relevant article or online resource if you’re going to provide a link, make sure to use a link shortening service like bit.ly so that you can see how many people clicked through on Google+.
#Hashtags increase your posts reach on Google+ by using relevant hashtags (i.e. #Inforgraphic). Remember that Google+ will automatically add a hashtag for key/trending topics. When utilizing hashtags, is best practices not use more than two hashtags proposed on Google+.
Trending topics get involved in conversations in the ‘hot topics’ area to show that your brand is keeping up real-time events. This will also increase your brand visibility across the Google+ network.
Use images Using full-size images (600 pixels wide by 800 pixels high) in your Google+ posts will make your will standout on other Google+ user’s news feed as well as your profile page when among compared tiny images and link thumbnails. Interact with commentators Google+, for some brands, and certain industries, doesn’t have the most active users/followers. When you get comments from Google+ users, make sure to extend the conversation.
Find communities by relevant communities, engage and contribute in those communities (in a non-spammy way) and you will see an increase in engagement as users join communities in order to find other like-minded users with similar interests. The community that is that shared interest that all users have.
The Perfect Instagram Post
Editing Use 3rd party apps, such as Camera+ and Snapseed, to enhance your photos. Once you get used to editing your photos, your feet will have a consistent look and feel.
Rules of thirds
Putting the subject of the photo in only two thirds of the screen makes it more attractive eye.
Use relevant photo captions to grab the attention of other Instagram users. Include questions to drive responses in the comments.
There’s always some random hashtags that come around once a week. It is good to be aware of these hashtags and use them to generate additional reach for your Instagram posts. This is definitely more of an art or science in terms of knowing which hashtags use one. In general there’s no harm in experiment hashtags to see what works best for your audience.
Send a note to people who like and/or commented on your Instagram posts to drive two-way conversations. However, it’s important to keep the comments a conversational level while avoiding any kind of pushy sales rhetoric.
The Perfect Vine Post
Be aware of the popular hashtags in on Vine such as loop and how-to to gain the most engagement. As is often start with using hashtags to discover Vine.
Find your find your voice on Vine
People who have stood Vine are those those that have established their own style and nailed it. Think about your passion will indeed use to portray within 6 seconds.
The Infinite loop
Master the infinite loop which is a video that seamlessly goes on forever. To achieve this effect, your final scene needs to mirror your opening scene.
Invest in a tripod. A Vine video with the shaky camera can be annoying and will distract from the fact that you were going for.
Don’t rush in creating your Vines. Even though you only have 6 seconds to play with, take your time and execute professionally without trying to cram too much into that 6 second window. Remember, you can’t edit Vine clips.
possibly the hardest element of control within your Vine video is the background noise at the location where you’re shooting. The goal is to try to keep a steady hand and minimize the background noise where you’re shooting.
The Perfect Tumblr Post
Know your post types
It’s important to know your post types when posting on Tumblr. There are seven types of posts on Tumblr including text, photo, quote, link, comments, music, video. Make sure your post type is selected based on the type of the one you want to share.
not only will you be aware of the latest viral post in what others with similar interests are talking about, it will also encourage others to follow you back.
Know your Tumblr speak
it’s helpful to be aware vocabulary used by other Tumblr users. You should be in the middle of a conversation show that you have no idea that CRYING doesn’t necessarily mean someone upset
Choose an Appropriate Tumblr Theme
a professional looking Tumblr is a successful Tumblr. There are plenty of free Tumblr themes to choose from your first setting up your Tumblr site. Usually the simpler the theme, the nicer it looks.
Tumblr uses hashtags like twitter Facebook and Google+. Make sure to use them so that your post and easily discovered by others interested the topic (i.e. #marketing for Tumblr users interested in marketing).
Like and re-blog
this will ensure that you are more visible within Tumblr. Tumblr is a very interactive platform for the high level of user engagement. Make sure to show share some love on Tumblr to be successful. Remember to always re-blog and never steal posts as this is poor netiquette.
Since this blog post is well over the 500-800 word count recommendation, its way past time to wrap it up. That said, would love to hear all the best practices from your perfect posts that we have missed. Please share with us and others in the comments.