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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

    Writer, coach, and trainee counsellor specialising in mental health and addiction.

    13 Ideas on How to Help Depression That Just Won’t Go Away How Relaxing Music for Kids Can Help ADHD (+ Music Recommendations) 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) What Does Anxiety Feel Like? (Types and Symptoms of the Invisible Killer) Anxiety vs Depression: What’s the Difference and How to Deal with Them?

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    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

    The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

    In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

    Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

    1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

    What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

    Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

    2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

    Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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    How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

    Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

    Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

    3. Get comfortable with discomfort

    One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

    Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

    4. See failure as a teacher

    Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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    Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

    Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

    10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

    5. Take baby steps

    Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

    Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

    Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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    The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

    6. Hang out with risk takers

    There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

    Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

    7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

    Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

    Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

    8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

    What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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    9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

    Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

    If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

    10. Focus on the fun

    Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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