Posts on a web site blog or social media page may be online permanently, but they will not stay relevant for very long. Online posts have a half-life, which is defined by marketers as the point where the post has received half of all the attention that it will receive on the company page, social network, or feed that it is placed on. After a post reaches its half-life users may continue to interact with these posts, just not as much as they did before the end of the half-life window.
To maximize the efficiency of your company’s online posts, stay conscious of post life and some other important points:
Different Sites Have Different Post Lives
Bitly’s blog says that the half-life of a link on Facebook is 3.2 hours, while on Twitter it is 2.8 hours. You must be aware of how the differences in social networks and other web sites will impact how many people see your post so that you can maximize views. Twitter and Facebook, for example, are often used to provide quick updates, while Pinterest and YouTube are sites designed for users that are interested in browsing around. For this reason, it is no surprise that the half-life of a post on YouTube is 7.4 hours, more than double that of Facebook and Twitter.
Be Aware Of Posting Time
Roughly 80% of Americans live in the Eastern and Central Time Zones combined. Keep this statistic in mind when you make your posts and think about your target audience: for example, it is probably not wise to post updates at 8 or 9PM if you are based in California, as a large portion of your target audience across the rest of the country might already be asleep. The Maximize Social Business blog advises businesses to avoid posting updates at the start of a business day, or “on the hour” at any time during the day, two times when many other news and media outlets will be releasing stories to their own fans and followers. Other suggestions for post timing include:
- Fridays have more social media engagement than any other day of the week. However, Thursday afternoons are also excellent if you want a single post to be seen.
- For the most engagement, look to post on a Saturday. Orbital Alliance says that the twelve-hour window between 11am and 11pm on Saturday are ideal to receive comments, likes, and retweets.
- Consider researching social media trends in your specific industry if you want to truly determine when the best time to post is.
Moderation Is Key
A good guiding principle for frequency when it comes to online posts and updates is to never make a post before the half-life of a post on the same network or medium has expired. Posting too often means you run the risk of being unfollowed by your targets on social networks, but posting too little means that you have a smaller chance of being seen by the right people. In some cases you can post the same update more than once. However, to succeed with these “second chance” posts make sure that you wait some time before re-posting and post the repeated status or update at a different time than the original one.
Social media and blog posts can be tough to understand, especially for business owners new to digital marketing. When properly implemented, however, these networks can increase customer engagement and improve brand visibility. Stay aware of the lifespan of your posts to maximize the ROI your company receives from the web.
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Know of any tips that have maximized the life of social media posts? Share your comments below.