One of the first things people ask once they have content to share on social media, is “when should I post this?” There’s no shortage of studies and charts showing the optimal times to post – heck, we even spent some time here explaining how to find out the best post times for your specific content.
But timing isn’t everything, and for a more effective social approach, content managers need to look at a few other variables to decide how to best engage their communities.
Best times can lie to you
One of the biggest problems with best post times is that they don’t take into account what’s being posted. If I post some lame status update that no one cares about, it won’t get any interaction regardless of what time it is.
The goal should always be to write compelling content that people want to interact with, and then optimize it by posting it at the best possible time, in the best possible format.
You can learn from post types
One easy way to filter your content is to look at the type of posts you’re serving up. This is easiest on Facebook, where Insights literally tell you what kinds of posts you’ve offered (status updates, photos, links, etc.). On Twitter, you can use analytics and segment out manually by whatever types you like (e.g. links, plain text, retweets, @ replies).
You can learn more from content types
An even better way to look at your social offerings is to break down each of your posts by content type. This takes a little more heavy lifting because it requires you to grab a bunch of data and manually categorize it. For example, for Curator’s page, we might break up content types into categories like industry news, client news and company culture.
Once we’ve put one of those labels on each of our posts, we can start to analyze which ones people responded to most. We can also filter best-post times to look at certain content types. This allows us to see if our best-times data is biased at certain times by content that would perform better at any time.
Remember: Good content comes first
Optimizing your posts to reach a greater audience is important, but posting good content should always come first.