Whether you’re an entrepreneur or just an individual with a decent social media following, you may have questions when it comes to scheduling social media posts. After all, the landscape of social media is constantly changing, and it’s hard to keep up with all of the data and latest trends. However, once you know a few basic tricks, scheduling your social media posts becomes much, much easier.
Optimize Your Timing
Social media moves at a fast pace, which means timing is everything for engagement. Poorly-timed posts don’t end up in people’s feeds, which means your social media posts don’t get the engagement they need to thrive. Therefore, it’s important to know the best times to post on each platform and understand your audience enough to realize when they’re most active on each social media platform.
In general, the best times to post on each social media platform are as follows:
- Facebook: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday between 10:00am and 2:00pm EST
- Instagram: Monday through Friday between 12:00pm and 3:00pm EST
- Twitter: Wednesday between 10:00am and 4:00pm EST, Tuesday and Thursday between 10:00am and 12:00pm EST
- LinkedIn: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 10:00am and 1:00pm EST
- TikTok: Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday between 6:00am and 10:00am or 7:00pm and 11:00pm EST
While these generalizations can help you as you start out, the best way to time your posts for Facebook and Instagram is by looking at the analytics each platform provides. Both Facebook and Instagram provide audience insights as long as you have a business account, and these insights will show when your audience is the most active and which types of posts they engage with the most.
While Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok don’t provide this type of data currently, you can try posting at different times and track analytics yourself on each post to get similar information.
Maintain a Regular Posting Schedule
Unfortunately, the timing of your social media posts isn’t all that matters – the frequency of posts matters too. Since the content creation company CopyPress says social media posts only have a lifespan of, at most, 48 hours, you have to make sure you’re generating fresh, relevant content on a fairly regular basis to keep your engagement up. However, you also don’t want to post too frequently, as this can push people to unfollow you and lower your influence on each social media platform.
Just like the timing of posts, the frequency of posts can vary based on the platform and your audience. In general, though, most experts recommend posting on each social media platform at the following frequencies:
- Facebook: 1 or 2 times per day
- Instagram: 3 to 7 times per week (no more than twice daily)
- Twitter: 5 to 10 times per day
- LinkedIn: 1 to 3 times per day
- TikTok: 1 to 3 times per day
Keep Graphics and Visuals Appealing
Most of the time, images and other visuals are what really catches someone’s eye as they scroll through their social media feeds. In fact, most social media platforms claim posts with some sort of visual content are as much as three times more likely to gain attention and post engagement. Unfortunately, not just any image will do — you need to know how to make the most appealing visual content.
The Best Visuals for Social Media Posts
Even if you aren’t a graphic designer or photographer by trade, you can still make outstanding visuals or photographs for your social media posts. In general, the team at Hootsuite recommends you follow these tips when creating images for your social media posts:
- Make sure there’s a single focal point for your images
- Use the rule of thirds, not direct symmetry
- Choose complementary colors for graphics
- Consider taking pictures in settings with natural lighting
- Keep visuals simple and don’t add a lot of text
Additionally, many people respond well to visuals and videos that appear humanistic, as this helps people connect to the visual content, making it feel more relatable. Images with real people or customer-provided images work well for this, as do illustrations that are bright, upbeat, and relatable.
Also, creating consistent visuals that follow a predetermined color scheme and use brand-specific fonts can help you create visuals that your followers recognize as yours. This is especially important for Instagram, where visuals are presented side by side on your profile.
Sizing Visuals for Each Social Media Platform
While you can absolutely try to repurpose visuals on all of your social media platforms, not every platform renders images in the same way. Therefore, it’s important to know what size to save your images based on the platform you plan to use them on:
- Facebook: 1,200 x 630 pixels
- Instagram: 1080 x 1080 pixels (square images), or 1080 x 1920 pixels for stories
- Twitter: 1200 x 675 pixels for a single image, 700 x 800 pixels for two images
- LinkedIn: 1200 x 627 pixels
Use Proper Hashtags and Emojis
While visuals are a great way to boost engagement on your social media posts, they aren’t the only trick you can use. In fact, many experts say hashtags, emojis, and other enhancements work well too.
Hashtag Use in Social Media Posts
Hashtags help your target audience find your content because they make it easier for people to search based on their interests. However, hashtags have become so popular on nearly every social media platform, so you need to find a balance when using them.
When using hashtags, it’s important to use the most specific, but easy-to-read, hashtags that you can. This makes sure your true target audience locates your content and ensures your content doesn’t get lost in a sea of social media posts that include the same hashtags. Hashtags should also go in the body of your caption, since this helps people searching by hashtags on various platforms.
Since overusing hashtags can also lead to reduced engagement, it’s best to stick to the following number of hashtags for social media posts on each platform:
- Facebook: 2 hashtags max
- Instagram: 9 or less hashtags
- Twitter: 2 hashtags max
- LinkedIn: no more than 5 hashtags
- TikTok: 4 to 6 hashtags
Using Emojis in Social Media Posts
Believe it or not, emojis are becoming more and more popular in social media posts. These little graphics have become universal symbols that many of us use on a daily basis in our digital communications. In fact, nearly one-fourth of all social media posts now contain at least one emoji in the text.
There are many reasons for this, but it’s mainly because emojis are universal and fun and often help add a touch of humanism into what would otherwise simply be a wall of text. What’s more, studies show that emojis actually boost social media engagement by as much as 50 percent!
However, most experts recommend using no more than four emojis per post, and others caution against using emojis too much, as it can create additional barriers for your followers who may use text-to-speech devices to browse social media due to visual impairments.
Keep Content Balanced
When planning your social media posts, it’s important to note that there are actually four different types of content that most people and brands commonly share. These are:
- engaging posts
- educational content
- promotional posts
- curated content
While you want to share a fair amount of content that compels your followers to engage through likes, shares, and comments, you also want to provide a variety of content so that your followers don’t get bored. This is why balancing each type of content mentioned above is important for social media marketing.
Unfortunately, there’s no perfect algorithm in terms of content sharing. However, many people follow a general guideline of prioritizing engaging content and filling that in with a decent mix of educational, curated, and promotional content. Obviously, you want to be strategic about how much curated content and how much promotional content you share, so these should be the least frequent, but should still be included in at least 10 percent of your posts.
Diversifying Content on Each Platform
In addition to diversifying the types of content you share in general, you want to make sure you aren’t simply copy + pasting the same posts on all of the social media platforms you use. In fact, many experts suggest against this since each platform serves its own purpose.
For example, Instagram is specifically designed to share photos and stories, whereas Facebook can be a great place for short videos and content with gifs or memes. Meanwhile, Twitter is a great place to share blog posts, news, and other small tidbits, and LinkedIn is great for more professional content. While you can absolutely repurpose some content on each social media platform, you definitely want to focus on the types of posts that do well on each platform to maximize your engagement.
Automate Publishing but Remember to Interact
While you can’t automate every aspect of your social media accounts, many people use software to automate their social media posts so that they don’t have to remember to post at specific times or log in and out of multiple social media accounts back to back. To do this, you simply need to create or select your content ahead of time, then use an automated social media posting software to do the job for you.
Some online applications, like Loomly and Later, let you schedule posts for every social media platform (including TikTok) in one universal place. However, some platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, also let you schedule posts directly within their platforms. At the end of the day, what route to go really depends on how many different social media posts you’re scheduling per day and how many platforms you’re using. Furthermore, most experts say that scheduling your posts doesn’t impact your reach or engagement any more than natively posting content yourself.
Remember to jump back in and engage with your followers!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I start marketing myself on social media?
Regardless of the type of business you own, you should always think about your goals and your target audience before you begin marketing yourself on social media. This will help you determine which platforms and what kind of content will be the best to post.
2. How often should I publish social media posts?
While you should publish at least one post per day on every social media platform you use, the amount of posts you should make on each platform depends on your audience, your average engagement, and several other factors.
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