Today's Hack: Find the Best Time for YOU to Publish Social Content
Tools Needed: Social Inbox, Social Analytics, Excel, Bulk Uploader, Scheduler
Optimize Your Company's Social Publishing Timing
As you probably know, HubSpot's social media publishing tool already gives you suggested publishing times based on our research. That's not a bad start, but the truth is your optimal publishing times are going to largely depend on the characteristics of your specific audience. To figure out what publishing times really work best for you, take the following steps.
Step One: In Social Media Publishing, export a list of your past social shares.
The "Export all" button is in the top left-hand corner of your Social Publishing tool. Once you click it, an excel download will start.
Step Two: In Excel, sort that spreadsheet by channel and number of clicks.
Make sure you sort by descending value. When you're done, your social posts will be in order of most to least clicked from top to bottom.
Step Three: Look for timing trends.
Look at the publish times for the posts with the highest number of clicks to see if there are any trends. In the example below, you can see there are a few times of day that saw more clicks than others. Interesting!
Do note that there are a lot of factors that go into whether a social share gets clicked or not, including the quality of the message itself. However, looking at the trends below it looks like 10am, 1pm, and 4pm seem to be good times to share for HubSpot.
Tip: Your data will be much stronger if you have a high volume of posts to analyze. If you haven't published many posts yet, schedule content for a few weeks at different times. In a month, you can export and analyze.
Step 4: Update your publishing times in the Social Publishing tool.
Along the left column of the social media publishing tool, you'll see a link for "Publishing Schedule." Click that link and choose the publishing times that appeared most often among your highly-clicked posts. Another option? Use the bulk uploader within social publishing to upload a week's worth of shares populated at those times.
Keep track of your social media metrics before and after the change to see if the new schedule worked to drive up clicks. Take a look at different channels to see if the timing for Facebook clicks differs from the timing for Twitter clicks at all. Finally, a hack like this is worth revisiting a couple of times a year to see if your audience behavior is changing at all.
Optimize Your Message
Now that we've optimized your send times for social media, let's take a look at a new feature that will help you optimize the content of those shares.
When composing a message in Social Inbox, you'll now notice a blue information dot in the right hand corner of your compose screen. That dot contains a message "nudge" that will explain a few best practices for composing your post. If you use the tip, Social Inbox will acknowledge it and it'll go away. Check out the animated scenario below:
The helpful hints include tips like, "Try using at least one hashtag for increased discoverability!" or "Try posting something that shows off your company's culture and personality." They are based on our research into what type of content does well on social media.
Much like the timing suggestions, you'll want to examine your own well-performing shares to see what works for your audience. If you don't have historical data though, it's a great idea to start off using the nudges we provide.
There's a whole world of experimentation you can do in social media to make it a more productive channel for your company. Timing and content are just the start. You can even group social shares into campaigns to compare, for example, funny tweets against informational ones. How you construct these experiments is up to you and the goals of your team.
I'd love to hear some other ideas for how you're testing your approach to social. What have you discovered?