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If a Tree Falls on Facebook: Timing Your Social Media for Effective Engagement

If a Tree Falls on Facebook: Timing Your Social Media for Effective Engagement
    fallen tree by slimmer_jimmer on flickr

    For many, social media is something we dip in and out of throughout the course of a day; a quick five minutes on Facebook here, a couple of tweets there, a blog post whenever we can spare the time.

    Though for those of us looking to use social media as a marketing tool, it’s worth thinking about exactly when you post that all-important blog or share your most valuable links on Twitter.

    By looking at exactly when your getting the most responses from your social media output, you’ll be able to develop a much more effective strategy by saving your messages for times when they’re likely to be seen by the most people.

    If a tree falls on Facebook…

    If you’re managing social media on behalf of the company you work for example, this might mean taking time outside the normal 9-5 office hours to manage your social media platforms.

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    When your followers are also busy with 9-5 jobs and thus not actively engaging with social media, isn’t it better to find a time when they are engaged, and reaching out to them at that time instead?

    There’s an old saying which could equally apply to social media:

    If a tree falls in a forest and there’s nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?

    Likewise, if a post goes out on Facebook and there’s nobody around to see it, does it make an impact?

    The research

    Experts, gurus and their ilk have invested some time and effort into experimenting with the most effective times to distribute content and engage with audiences.

    Most of that research reaches the simple consensus that the two most effective times to use social media for marketing purposes are noon and early evening.

    This writer would also argue based on personal experience that early mornings between 7-9am can also produce effective results.

    When you think about it, this makes sense.

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    People are scanning their Twitter feeds for interesting news over a morning coffee before they knuckle down to work, reading blog posts during their lunch break or catching up with friends on Facebook once they’re home from the office.

    By making sure you’re distributing your most valuable content and talking to your followers at these times, you’re likely to achieve better results than you would at times when there’s nobody around.

    Joining in discussions

    It isn’t just the time of day that plays a part in your social media success; looking at days, weeks, or popular events when people are talking about your subject area can also yield positive results.

    Drawing on personal experience again, when tasked with raising the profile of a local sports event via Twitter, this writer found the most success engaging with sports fans when the local soccer team were playing their biggest games.

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    Similarly, promoting an upcoming concert via Twitter when the star artist was the subject of a TV feature also had a bigger impact than at other times.

    What’s your game plan?

    Don’t just take my word for this; it may well be that your audience is most active at a completely different time than any mentioned above.

    The key is to take a look at your own social media use and draw up a game plan.

    Use your analytics tools to find out when you’re generating the most traffic, monitor when discussions are at the highest and use tools such as Tweetwhen.com, which analyzes your last 1000 tweets to determine what days and times you get the most retweets.

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    Maybe you could draw up a list of events, such as the soccer games I mentioned earlier, when discussions in your field are likely to be at their highest, and experiment with the effectiveness of getting involved.

    Put some effort into working out when your social media is most effective and ensure that when your tree falls in that big social media forest, there are people around to hear it.

    More by this author

    Chris Skoyles

    Coach, and trainee counsellor specializing in mental health and addiction.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

    You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

    1. Connecting them with each other

    Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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    It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

    2. Connect with their emotions

    Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

    For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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    3. Keep going back to the beginning

    Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

    On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

    4. Link to your audience’s motivation

    After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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    Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

    5. Entertain them

    While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

    Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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    6. Appeal to loyalty

    Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

    In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

    7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

    Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

    Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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