They say timing is everything and that certainly holds true when it comes to broadcasting your message online. The best, most useful and potentially-viral content you’ve ever drafted will either ride the waves to mass sharing or sink like a rock, based on when you hit the post button. Let’s take a quick look at the primary social and digital communication platforms one-by-one:
Still the unchallenged leader with most demographics, including the all-important B2C path, which is why it’s first and foremost in our social media recommendations to our senior living clients. If you only use one social platform – and that’s just fine – Facebook should be the one.
Due to the often-overwhelming number of posts your audience receives on a daily basis, your best strategy is to post during periods they’re online the most and therefore more closely reviewing their news feeds. Social media software provider, Buddy Media summed it up nicely when they reported “the less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook!” That translates to… Thursday and Friday. But weekends shouldn’t be overlooked either (you can use Buffer or other post-scheduling apps to schedule posts for future dates/times).
Times to post are debatable. Keep an eye on your own results for shares/likes/comments, but if you want a guideline, definitely post when your audience is awake and at work (hopefully those are simultaneous!). We’ve seen good results posting around or shortly after lunch, so the 1PM – 3PM range is a great time as well.
For purely social or B2B posts, data suggests all days are relatively equal. However, for B2C posts – and that should be most of your reading this – weekends prove to be the most active time to engage Twitter users. Retweets tend to peek around or after dinner, so 5PM – 7PM is an ideal time to Tweet about that new fine dining program or upcoming outing.
Like enjoying scrambled eggs and bacon, you can blog any time of the day, but morning just works best. A whopping 70-75% of regular blog readers report they dive into their favorite blogs in the morning. You might be thinking why does it matter when they read my blog if they’re likely to read the most recent post regardless? Good question and we’ll look to two reasons behind themorning posting strategy.
First, many blog readers amalgamate their favorite blogs via an RSS-fed reader. In other words, they might be reading your blog posts, but not necessarily on your blog. Your blog is most likely broadcasting all posts via what’s called an “RSS feed.” The techier blog readers load RSS feeds from multiple blogs into a single “reader.” In that case, your entries are mixed with others and the newest material will be displayed first. That means posting right before or while your audience is online will result in more views.
The other reason behind morning posts is the perception of “fresh content.” The unfortunate moniker “yesterday’s news” is negative for a reason – news must be timely to be relevant. Though to a lesser degree, the same holds true for blog posts. Readers want assurance they’re staying on the cutting edge of news, trends and content in general. By posting in the morning, those coveted morning readers will view your content as up-to-date.
In our view, mass email marketing is still the holy grail of digital communication in the senior living marketplace. No other delivery format allows you to control content as thoroughly, engage as personally and elicit as much response. Like the others, there are data-driven, scientifically-based guidelines that will aid in the open/read/click/respond rates of your carefully-developed pieces.
Following extensive research, Dan Zerrella from Hubspot defined select time frames as most appropriate for select types of material. Dan found:
- 10PM-6AM – The DEAD ZONE. Email isn’t opened and simply joins other overnight emails in the rapid-fire delete exercise we all take each morning.
- 6AM-10-AM – The ideal time for consumer-based marketing emails. A great time for senior living communities to reach out to prospects.
- 10AM-Noon – Busy time. The day is really getting rolling and recipients don’t have time for unsolicited email from you.
- Noon-2PM – Lunch time and casual readers are prone to online news, magazines and other interest-based diversions.
- 2PM-3PM – Lunch is done, it’s back to hitting those deadlines and again that means ignoring your email.
- 3PM-5PM – Dan found that more serious topics, like financial and property-related pieces do well during this time frame. For CCRCs, this could be a good time to discuss Lifecare with prospects.
- 5PM-7PM – A key time for B2B communications with influential readers who are beginning to slow down for the day.
- 7PM-10PM – A second prime time for consumer-based promotions, when viewers are often on their tablets and smart phones and open to distraction.
If you’re communicating the right ideas with the right people, with frequency, you’ll most likely achieve your social and other digital communication goals. Fine-tuning your posting/distribution times will give you an increased edge that will truly enhance the results of your program.