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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 10, 2019

    5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

    5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

    Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

    Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

    But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

    Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

    But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

    Journal writing.

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    Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

    Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

    Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

    1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

    By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

    Consider this:

    Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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    But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

    The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

    2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

    If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

    How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

    Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

    You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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    3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

    As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

    Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

    All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

    4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

    Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

    Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

    The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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    5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

    The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

    It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

    Kickstart Journaling

    How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

    Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

    Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

    Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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