Part 4: When – 5 Ws Social Media Strategy

social media strategy In part four, we’re going to talk about the when in your social media strategy. As a brief recap, part one talked about figuring out who your influencers are and in part two we talked about where they (and your customers) hang out on line. It was chalk full of juicy charts. In part three we covered what you’ll do with them now that you’ve identified them and are communicating with them. Now, we need to talk about when you will communicate with them and how often. Your social media strategy not only takes into account your tone and voice, but also frequency. How often will you engage and post on each specific network? Your strategy for each social network will be different. For example, on Twitter you may tweet 20 times per day, but on Facebook your strategy may be to only post once a day. (In an earlier post this year I gave recommendations on how often you should post based on the social network). But in addition to frequency, you also need to determine if you’ll post on the weekends.  Will you engage with clients after hours? Or will you be a nine to five company? Will you have guidelines that determine how soon you should respond to brand mentions? As you go through the steps in parts one and two, you’ll be able to determine whether your constituents are on these social networks on the weekends, in the evenings or during work hours which will help you determine you content strategy and your response strategy. There are a lot of studies published on when the best time is to post content to certain social networks. To that I say: bologna. Many of those studies are done with anecdotal data or analyzing a small fraction of data or measuring data that is across industries and that’s not relevant. You should be looking at and analyzing the competition and other people in your industry. I’ve seen this happen dozens of times with clients where one client might be a nonprofit and the best time and day for them to post on Facebook is on Wednesday afternoons. But then the next nonprofit client looked at their data and realized that their constituents aren’t really online on Wednesdays and that Thursday or Friday evenings are better. So, honestly, you need to look at your own analytics/insights for each network and listen for a while to determine when they are online.  Then you can gauge when your overall posting and content strategy. For Twitter, I really enjoy Dan Zarella’s data analysis. He probably comes the closest to analyzing a boat load of data at once, especially for Twitter. But I still have problems with it because there are 554M registered Twitter users, with only 115M monthly active users who generate 58M tweets per day.  ( So when someone analyzes 50K Twitter accounts, well, that’s a really small percentage of which to base your social media strategy. Yet social media marketers love this stuff and will tweet it to death. Unless it’s your industry that’s being analyzed, the data won’t be all that useful to you. What do you think? Agree or disagree? 

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.