You’ve read the articles. You’ve seen the infographics. You’ve heard the stories of a magical golden hour where your content will effortlessly rise to the top of the Facebook News Feed and smash through all engagement targets.
There’s some truth in this, of course. People do tend to check Facebook when they’re commuting or having lunch, and naturally, everything should be tied back to the timezone(s) of your audience. However, before you go ahead and schedule your posts for the the next couple of weeks at the same weirdly specific time, take a moment to reflect on how the heyday of organic reach on Facebook passed us by long, long ago.
The reality is we’re all subject to a higher power — The Algorithm.
The Algorithm doesn’t care about trivial things like ‘time’, despite how important it feels to us mere mortals (at least, it doesn’t care as much; as all good Algorithm-fearing marketers know, it can move in mysterious ways). Far more important to The Algorithm, and therefore to you, is engagement.
The Algorithm takes into account the affinities of individual users. Instead of being served up your content because they happen to be online at the right moment, your posts are more likely to be seen by those who interact with your brand regularly and are therefore more likely to be interested in it. Posts could show up a whole day later in the feeds of people who have shown interest in your brand. As soon as people stop engaging, your posts’ chances of being seen starts to decay, but nevertheless still has a chance of being seen by your super-fans.
You can still give your content every chance to succeed by posting it at certain times. However, these times need to be optimal for your audience and the only way to figure out these times is to test, test, test.
That means not relying on the kind of universal averages that you’ll get from reading articles and infographics. The only way to figure out these times is to test. Post content at varied times, measure everything, and hone in on what works.
Read more: Social media delivers long term brand value
At Digivizer, we’ve found that even in the same time zone, the optimal posting time is dramatically different for different audiences. What works for night-owl gamers doesn’t work for teachers and professionals in the education sector.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to communicating with diverse audiences.
If you spend too much time consuming the content that’s marketed to you about content marketing, you could be forgiven for thinking success in social media can be boiled down to some kind of infallible, scientific recipe. This is simply not the case.
The best marketers set themselves up for long term success by constantly experimenting, testing and learning from their own audience.
If you’d like more insights from Digivizer, create your free trial account today.