Building a Social Media Content Strategy, Social Sharing Platforms, Scheduling, and Best Times to Share

Which Platform and When… Blogging, Tweeting, video, social media or? You may be wondering, which would be better for my business – blogging, social bookmarking, video or a social media? A darned good question, particularly as all have a purpose, a time, a place, as well as their own advantages and disadvantages. So, which is best? There’s no simple answer here, however, keep in mind that any option you select will require time {lots of it}, patience, and a commitment. 

geo jobe social media

I’ve been creating content, sharing, and socializing for well over a decade now. Below I share some getting started tips for any company developing a content strategy, additionally, you’ll find tips for selecting content sharing platforms, how and when to post, and tips for scheduling. Hopefully, this helps you get started with your content strategy.

Blogging

Blogging is essentially a medium for informal conversation for writing and sharing interesting content about your business, industry, or niche. Ideally, a commitment to blogging means you want to be established as an “expert” with your audience and also encourage conversation. Blogging is easy; there’s some really nice, simple, free tools available to you (think WordPress or Tumblr) and is a great opportunity to build a loyal following. The downside, prepare for a commitment and focus on regular posting of unique and interesting content. Note, many companies now extend their blogging strategy to include regular article posts on LinkedIn and Medium (a good idea!) and I also elect to publish on a niche community at Esri GeoNet.

Microblogging

Think blogging but “micro”, yes, short, simple blog posts. Everyone is doing it and typically the preferred platform is Twitter. Yes, Twitter is essentially a micro-blogging platform. It offers an immediate way to communicate and interact with your audience. Microblogging is quick, simple, and effective, however, it requires a regular commitment. Being regular is important and offers an opportunity to build brand loyalty and even drive traffic to your website or blog. On the downside, you’ll need to focus on engagement. Sadly, many simply broadcast and forget about the dialog. Twitter is a favorite and we are also quite active there. Find our company accounts @geojobegis and @geojobeuav (you can find my account @gletham)

Social media focus via a community like Facebook

This is a tough one. Facebook isn’t for everyone. Ideally, the purpose is to build a community around your brand. The focus is engagement but the downside is that if you expect to generate business via fb forget about it. You need to be engaged and active… think of it as networking and focus on building relationships and not on selling. People love to hate Facebook and likely for good reasons! Facebook seems to change almost daily. Functionality comes and goes and it feels like you never really know what to expect. Ideally, you want to involve your entire team, this can help drive more engagement. Facebook ads and promotions will get your content in front of more people and the upside here is that you can target your ads to a specific audience while also integrating and running your ads on Instagram which is owned by Facebook .  Post once a day and consider visuals, a video is extremely engaging and popular! You can follow us http://facebook.com/geojobe and we’d be glad to watch your facebook page grow – go ahead and mention or tag us in a post!

facebook tipsGEO Jobe facebook

Social Bookmarking

You might ask yourself, huh?? This has been around for some time now and still lives on – think Reddit and StumbleUpon and. This medium is for sharing links and pointers and it can be very effective. The upside is that this is a quick way to churn traffic and is also a useful way to bookmark really cool stuff. The downside is the focus on self-promotion and competition with a massive community – to succeed you need to be creative and dedicated. Don’t dismiss this as an option!

Multi-media – This is essentially a social focus on media like videos and photos – HUGE! The platforms here are YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Slideshare, and Pinterest. Multi-media sharing is very engaging and interactive and these posts are more likely to be shared than anything else that you’ll ever post online. The big plus is the ability to generate a call to action and you can share a ton of information in a small clip or image. The downside, you’ll need some talent, some good tools for media creation, and loads of time and budget.  If you can only focus on one area discussed here this is it!

Our GEO Jobe UAV services Instagram shares UAV tech tips and images from project work
Our GEO Jobe UAV services Instagram shares UAV tech tips and images from project work

When to Post?

Now that you have a favorite platform you need to consider, when is the best time to share? AddThis has shared an interesting post that reveals some of the best times for social sharing over the Holiday Season – Tips for best day and time to post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest are provided.

People are sharing to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn mostly in the mornings, but are generally more likely to click on content within these services in the afternoon beginning at 3PM. Pinterest users both share and click content as they unwind at night, starting at 8PM. See more in the best times to post on social media.

PostPlanner, for scheduling and planning, has shared a good resource on when to post. They noted that CoSchedule compiled quite a bit of research on this topic. You can find it at What 10 Studies Say about the Best Times to Post on Social Media.

In a nutshell, they determined that if the majority of your audience is in the United States — post in the Eastern time zone. If the majority of your audience isn’t in the United States, determine where they are. After you determine the location — post at these optimal times in that time zone:

Facebook

  • Saturday and Sunday at 12–1 p.m.
  • Thursday and Friday at 1–4 p.m.
  • Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Twitter

  • Wednesday at noon and 5–6 p.m.
  • Monday–Friday at 12–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Experiment with 2–3 a.m., 6–7 a.m. and 9–10 p.m.

LinkedIn

  • Tuesday at 10–11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7:30–8:30 a.m., 12 p.m. and 5–6 p.m.

Google+

  • Wednesday at 9 a.m.
  • Weekdays at 9–11 a.m.

Pinterest

  • Saturdays at 8–11 p.m.
  • Any day 2–4 a.m. and 2–4 p.m.
  • Fridays at 3 p.m.

Instagram

  • Monday and Thursday at any time other than 3–4 p.m

Videos

  • Any day at 9 p.m.–8 a.m.
  • Experiment with 2 a.m., 5 p.m. and Wednesday at 7 p.m.

It’s also worth noting that CoSchedule found that people are extra happy on Fridays.

Scheduling & Automation

Once you decide on how and when you want to post updates you might want to consider a platform to assist with scheduling. Luckily, there are a number of well-designed apps that keep you on schedule and support you in your social media endeavors:

  • HootSuite offers customers three types of plans: free, pro and enterprise. The free plan covers three social profiles, schedules one message at a time and provides you with data on your followers.
  • Buffer is a free app that assists with your post schedule for a variety of social media outlets, including Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • Social Oomph enables you to schedule tweets, track keywords, save and reuse drafts, and view mentions and retweets
  • Tweetdeck – This simple social web service enables users to easily manage multiple twitter accounts, manage numerous streams of followers, mentions, direct messages and more.
  • Co-Schedule – Create a predefined social sharing plan to reuse again and again, so you can focus on creating exceptional content, not manually filling in your social queue. Co-schedule (image below) re-uses your best posts and uses Best Time scheduling intelligence to promote your messages.

co-schedule

There’s no correct answer here and no one quick solution or blueprint for every organization. Regardless of which option you select for your brand or business, keep in mind that blogging and social media for your business will take time and a commitment. Most important, be regular, be true to yourself and have fun! Oh, and be sure to follow us for regular updates and tricks!  Find us on Twitter & Instagram @geojobegis or see all our social media activity HERE.

GEO Jobe Social Media

gletham

GEOspatial Evangelist & CMO

Geographer, GIS professional, writer, and fan of all things mobile.