Practical Ecommerce

Social Media: What, When, and Where to Post

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.

As a small business owner, I know how difficult it is to plan exactly where and when to post my social media content. Not only do I want people to see my posts, but also share, like, and comment on them — and click on the links contained in them. Without interaction, social media marketing will do me — or anyone else — little good.

Some questions I ask include:

  • What social networks should I focus on for my industry?
  • Should I participate in just one or many?
  • How often should I post?
  • What times should I post, to ensure my audience sees and interacts with them?

Uprise, an online social marketing insights company, recently published a study, which found that certain industries receive more interaction when using one social network over another. Other reports — from MainStreetHost, SumAll, and Buffer — found that certain posting times work better than others.

Below, I provide details on what social networks produced the most interactions for a particular industry, according to Uprise, and list recommendations for what types of content to post, when to post, and how often.

Twitter

Twitter has 302 million monthly active users who send 500 million tweets per day — 80 percent of whom use their mobile devices to do so.

The industries that receive the most social shares on Twitter are:

  • Business;
  • Entrepreneurship;
  • Fashion;
  • Marketing;
  • Social Media;
  • Sports;
  • Technology.
Twitter provided the most shares for technology. (Source: Uprise)

Twitter yields the most shares for technology.
(Source: Uprise)

Use these tips to increase engagement

  • Shorten links to save space;
  • Keep status updates to less than 140 characters. This leaves room for someone to add comments when retweeting your message;
  • Add an image or a video to increase engagement;
  • Share content from other users, not just your own.

Recommended posting times and frequency:

  • The best times to post are between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.;
  • The worst times are between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m.;
  • Post between three and 30 times per day.

Facebook

Facebook boasts 936 million active users a day, nearly 800 million of whom interact using mobile devices.

Industries that receive the most interaction include:

  • Automotive;
  • Education;
  • Finance;
  • Travel.
Facebook rewards the finance industry with the most shares. (Source: Uprise)

Facebook rewards the finance industry with the most shares. (Source: Uprise)

Using Facebook, the top publishers in each of these industries saw high share rates. Twitter was the second best social network for all of these industries.

Follow these tips to increase shares:

  • When adding links, use bit.ly so that you can measure click-through rates;
  • Being positive increases engagement and sharing;
  • Images within posts get the highest amount of interaction;
  • When writing your post, offer something valuable or interesting;
  • Interact with those who leave comments.

Recommended posting times and frequency:

  • The best times to post are between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.;
  • The worst times are between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.;
  • Publish no more than ten posts a week.

Pinterest

Pinterest was the top social network for the following industries:

  • Baking;
  • Beauty;
  • Cooking;
  • Design.
Bakers receive the most shares from Pinterest. (Source: Uprise)

Bakers receive the most shares from Pinterest. (Source: Uprise)

Many top brands saw the most growth when they posted multiple times per day.

Twitter was the second highest social network for baking and beauty while the cooking and design industries found success with Facebook as the second largest source of shares.

Helpful posting tips:

  • Use portrait images, as these tend to perform better than landscape;
  • Use dominant colors (e.g., red, blue, orange);
  • Write a description that describes the image;
  • Do not use hashtags in your descriptions.

Posting times and frequency:

  • The best times to post pins are between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., and 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.;
  • The worst times are 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.;
  • Pin at least five times a day.

LinkedIn

The Uprise study did not list LinkedIn as one of the social networks that rated high in terms of shares. The site did fare well, however, as the second best spot for the business, entrepreneurship, marketing, and social media categories.

Follow these posting tips:

  • Write for your audience;
  • Include no more than 50 characters in your status update;
  • Be concise and to the point;
  • Provide a link to your content.

Recommended posting times and frequency:

  • Post once per weekday. This equates to 20 posts per month, which, according to LinkedIn, lets you reach 60 percent of your audience;
  • The best times to post are from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.;
  • The worst times are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Google Plus

Google Plus had the highest share count for the photography industry and the second highest for the travel industry.

Suggested posting tips:

  • Engage your audience with questions;
  • Add relevant hashtags, to increase reach;
  • Use full-sized images;
  • Tag brands and people, to encourage them to engage with your post.

Recommended posting times and frequency:

  • The best times to post are between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.;
  • Times to avoid are between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.;
  • Post no more than two times per day;
  • Wednesdays tend to see the most engagement.

Instagram

While Instagram was not part of the Uprise study, here are a few recommendations.

Posting tips:

  • Placing the subject in only two-thirds of the screen makes the image more attractive to users;
  • Hashtags are important on Instagram, so use them to describe your image;
  • Captions should be relevant to your picture;
  • Interact with those who like or comment on your photo.

Posting times and frequency recommendations:

  • The best times are between 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.;
  • There were no times that stood out as being the worst times to post;
  • Post two to three updates per day.

Key Takeaways

Utilize all the leading social networks. Knowing where the most active followers are for your industry can provide you with a good starting point. Conducting your own studies will give you the best measure of performance for your particular business.

Kristine Wirth

Kristine Wirth

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Comments ( 2 )

  1. Grow SEO August 5, 2015 Reply

    Great tips! Social media marketing is vital to stay in touch with your audience these days. Managing multiple accounts on various platforms can be time consuming but with the knowledge of the right times to post and even the help of a software to syndicate to all platforms can reduce the time it takes to engage with your customers greatly.

  2. Diana August 18, 2015 Reply

    I found the info on this post extremely useful. I am currently using Pinterest and Twitter to promote my business; I use Facebook scarcely. Due to spamming, I once was threatened by Facebook to suspend my account because I requested to be friends with a few people that denied my request.

    I actually get pretty different traffic using Twitter and Pinterest; but I wish I could use Facebook to my advantage as well.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Diana