Social currency is an exceedingly important metric when it comes to promoting your brand. Your likes, followers, pins, and posts all say a lot about your success, and the more engagement on your social platforms, the more likely you are to pull in clients. But how do you maximize engagement and get the most people to see your content? While there is no perfect answer, there are a few things you can do to optimize your social media strategy.
Timing Is Everything
Understanding when to utilize each of your social channels is vital to propelling you and your business to the next level. People use different social platforms at different times of the day and are more active during different parts of the week. Making sure your content gets in front of the most eyes relies on making sure you post when the most people are checking each different social site.
Instagram was built around photography, and if you are on just one social media platform, make it Instagram. People go on Instagram to look at photos and when they find a good photograph, they are likely to like or comment on them. You don’t have to fight with competing content like articles, quizzes, and games like on other social platforms. The simple way to get more likes is to post good content when the most users are scrolling through.
While there is no statistically optimal day for posting on Instagram, digital marketing company TrackMaven suggests posting at the tail ends of the workday when users are most likely on their phones. Their report showed more users interacting with content during off-work hours during the regular work week.
Each user is different, and drilling into your own analytics can help you learn even more about when to post. Use tools like IconoSquare, Smmpoint, and Latergramme to know more about when your account is most active and help shape your Instagram strategy.
Think of how you use Facebook. Unless you’re blocking invites from Farmville, you’re probably on Facebook to kill time. The closer it is to the end of the workday, the more people are on Facebook. This is your chance to strike.
Whether you have a Page for your photography business or are just posting to your own personal timeline, the best times to post is between 1–4 p.m., spiking around 3 p.m. Additionally, the closer you are to Saturday the better, with more engagement happening during the second half of the week as people daydream about the weekend.
Facebook has an algorithm and not every one of your friends or followers will see all of your content. While very few people actually know what goes into Facebook’s algorithm, it’s a safe bet that the more engaging your content and the more people engage with your page, the more likely your posts will show up on their timeline. Lucky for you, photos also help generate higher engagement with 53 percent more likes and 104 percent more comments. So make sure your photography looks good.
Twitter might not be your first thought when it comes to promoting your photography, but your content has some of the highest potential to grab the most eyes due to how open Twitter is. One retweet and your photos can show up on hundreds of new users’ feeds. It’s harder to get people to share on Facebook, and Instagram doesn’t even support a share feature. So posting to Twitter in addition to your other social platforms could be beneficial.
People check up on Twitter during their down time throughout the day with users 181 percent more likely to be on Twitter during their commute and scrolling at lunchtime. The optimal times to post are 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. during the week, with 5 p.m. being the optimal time for potential retweets.
Be careful with Twitter. Instagram and Facebook do not always play nice when pushing content from their own respective apps. As is true with almost all social media sites, photos drive more engagement and Twitter currently only posts a link to a photo when you post from Instagram. It’s better to post a photo separately to Twitter so your work shows up in your followers' feed.
Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are not the only games in town. Photographers also post content on many other social networks including Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+, and each come with a different set of optimal posting times.
Pinterest is for weekenders. Most people scrolling through Pinterest’s seemingly endless supply of recipes, DIY projects, and wedding dresses do so Saturday morning. The worst time to post: during the work week. Make sure your pins include your information so people who repin your photos can find you.
Tumblr is for all-nighters. Many photographers use Tumblr’s more open platform for portfolios of their work. The best time to upload new content is between 7–10 p.m. Users spend, on average, more time on Tumblr than they do on Facebook!
Finally, Google+. There are some diehard users out there so don’t cast it aside. Google uses Google+ in their SEO so posting some of your photos to your Google+ account could be advantageous. But unlike Tumblr, Google+ is most active in the mornings around 9 a.m.
Get Organized and Simplify Your Life
With all these different times to post photos to the internet, it can easily become a full-time job. If you’re going to take your social media presence seriously, it’s important to have a plan. Use tools like HootSuite and Buffer to schedule your posts to different sites. Dig into the analytical data on your followers with information from the platforms themselves like with Facebook Page Insights. Understanding your followers only helps you engage with them more and share content with them that you know they will like.
Having a clear workflow can save you a lot of time. Know what social platforms you want to be on and keep it consistent. Users like when people they follow post and share at a relatively similar time each day. That doesn’t mean you need to post something new each day, but you don’t want to surprise them with erratic behavior. We like to know what to expect. We are creatures of habit after all.
Do you have a social media strategy? How do you plan when to post your photos online? What are some of your best practices when it comes to posting?