How knowing when your audience accesses blogs and social media is paramount in ensuring that your blog posts have the maximum reach and impact. Do you know the best time to post?
An effective company blog
For many years now, companies from small and medium sized enterprises, local companies to massive global concerns have been blogging. Posting a variety of interesting, fun and informative articles on their website on a frequent and consistent basis can see a website crawl from the bottom slot to the top spot. With the right content, it can maintain this position.
However, to maintain an effective company blog is THE most time-intensive activity you can do. Which is why there is a thriving ‘sub’ sector ghost writers, bloggers and creators of content that post articles on websites of companies across the world.
The first part of the equation
If you ARE blogging, this is great news! Studies by the Content Marketing Institute show that 72% of business to customers (B2C) business are blogging, as are 76% of business who sell to other businesses (B2B). These studies also show that established and start-up business are using increasingly sophisticated websites and social media to reach people, from webinars to podcasts, video to guest posting on other websites.
Research has shown, time and time again that customers love an informative blog post…
IF they can FIND it.
But, there seems to be other challenges that lurk in the shadows… which of these can you relate to?
- Lack of time for creating and posting blogs or articles
- Producing the right kind of content that engages customers and your audience
- Producing and posting enough content
- Finding the right person to create the content
And so, it is easy to see that from the starting point of any blog – the idea – to putting pen to paper, proof reading it and posting it, is a huge investment of time, effort, energy and in some cases, money.
But, there is one part of this equation that is missing – maximising the reach of your blog post.
Generating ideas, writing the posts, posting them etc. all takes valuable time and, as a result, many companies are honest enough to say that the quality quite often drops in the face of so many adverse conditions.
And when you have expended huge amounts of time and energy (and maybe a decent slice of your marketing budget too), you need these blog posts to work as hard as they possibly can for you. Simply creating a link and tweeting it, updating your status, pinning it etc. is not enough.
Get the statistics
www.trackmaven.com collect, analyse and number crunch all kinds of data that is useful for ‘digital marketers’. Before you think this is a separate section of society, they are basically referring to YOU! Any company, established or start up, large, small, micro or medium sized who posts content online for others to access, to inform them and to amuse them is a ‘digital marketer’.
So you have invested up-front.
The blogs are written.
They are posted on your website.
WHEN do you use social media to advertise them? WHEN is the optimum time to post them so that they work their socks off for your business? WHEN is the time that your customers or audience will engage with them?
Track Mavern generated some fabulous analysis that holds valuable lessons for us all.
Many business owners work odd, unsocial hours and our customers may not necessarily buy online from a company during the hours of 9 to 5. The internet may be slowly changing this but, overall, we still run our physical lives – the school run, the shopping, everything else in fact – on a 9 to 5 basis.
It is a routine, a habit that is ingrained in the majority of us from a very early age, from days that were pre-Internet and when there were 4 channels on mainstream TV, all of which stopped broadcasting on a daily basis at 10pm, that the majority of tasks needing to be accomplished in any given day happens between 9 and 5.
What their research found was that during the week, Monday to Friday, give or take a few exceptions in blogging and posting frequency, the majority of posts were made between the hours of 9 and 5… and yet, customers – that is, social media users – were accessing websites, social media platforms etc. in the evening.
In other words, what is happening is that businesses are posting articles and blogs at times that suit them, but they are ‘missing’ their audience as they are not searching online or ‘surfin’ the web’ until later in the evening.
5 minutes in Internet Land is a long time, just like they say a week is a long time in politics. Your delicious posts may be simply missing your key or intended audience as once it is published, by the time they log on 2 hours later, the online landscape is awash with posts and articles.
The whole point of this articles is about showing you how – or at least, making you aware of how – social shares of your blog posts can be maximised.
We have talked in previous posts about social signals; there are conflicting views about how effective, if at all, these social signals are to a website but, if they are not that important, why does every company, from the smallest local, microbrewery to the largest global conglomerate covet these social shares, likes etc.?
If nothing else they are psychologically important; someone is liking your work. Like an artist who needs praise and critiquing of their work, your blog posts are your shop window on the web. And when people like your work, you radiate a soft, but radiant glow of success.
And so, in a nutshell, what are the findings…?
Avoid the highly competitive online sharing and posting times of mid-week and during the week day, 9 to 5 posting slot. Instead, look to post…
- At the weekend – Saturday was the optimum day for shares across social media of all kinds of blog posts
- Leisure time – in Greenwich Mean Time, it was found that social shares of posts increased steadily between 6pm and midnight
- European time – it was also found that shares increased between 4 and 6am GMT, as is the time European businesses tend to be awake and functioning, clearly an important statistic if your company is looking for a global or European reach.
What the research did show was the Internet landscape is rarely quiet; even the early hours shows significant likes and shares across a range of platforms. Using an online scheduling app can also help hit these high spots for maximum reach and www.bufferapp.com have also published a range of statistics and data on when is the best time to post on Facebook and across Twitter.
(*SPOILER ALERT: according to their research, the optimum day to post on Facebook is Thursday – early afternoon, just after lunch if you really want to pin point the best time – followed by Sunday and then Friday…)