06 Aug Scheduling Social Media: How To Predict What Your Audience Wants In Advance
When you’re running a business, social media becomes stressful. You find yourself paying more attention to the numbers and wrecking your brains for content and things to post.
After all, you’re using social media to market your brand, build a captive audience and turn them into loyal customers—not just to chronicle your daily life experiences!
That’s why most businesses schedule and plan their social media posts in advance. But how do they know what their audience wants to see one day, one week, even one month before the date of posting?
Is it possible to predict what your audience wants to see? Here are some tricks to help you out.
Use Content Ratios
The good news for you and your business is that humans are predictable creatures. There are specific types of content people like to see. Happy feel-good posts, aesthetic pictures, sensational news and updates…
And most importantly, a variety of content from other accounts.
Social media is social for a reason. People want to hear a myriad of voices, not just yours. It’s a platform for individuals to interact with the world. That’s why posting only original content is often not a holistic enough social media strategy.
Many social media experts have experimented and come up with different content ratios that work for them. You can try some of these out or come up with your own.
Kevan Lee from Buffer suggests a 4-1-1 rule—share 4 educational and entertaining posts from others for every 1 soft promotion and 1 hard sell post.
TA McCann from Gist.com uses a 5-3-2 rule—5 pieces of content from others, 3 original content, 2 personal updates.
There’s also the rule of thirds by Sam Milbrath from Hootsuite—1/3 posts come from your own content, 1/3 from content/ideas shared by others, 1/3 based on personal interactions that build your brand (answering questions, sharing insider facts, behind the scenes etc).
Use A Scheduling Tool
Planning and scheduling social media posts in advance sounds like it’ll make your brand very robotic and unappealing to audiences, but it actually frees you up to be most spontaneous about your social media updates!
Well, let’s say next month, your brand is launching a new product and then you’ll be running an end-of-month sale. This means you already know you need to hype up your new product, release teasers slowly before making a final reveal. You’ll always have to announce your end-of-month sale.
Let’s also say that your brand’s identity is to inspire and encourage the youth to pursue their dreams. So you’ve already thought about posting quotes and personal stories from inspiring young people.
Using a scheduling tool allows you to prepare for these posts you know you’ll definitely need and have them all ready to go beforehand. This means no last minute rushing to get a post up and more breathing room to interact with your audience, observe their reactions and search for related content to share with your followers.
And if one day in the middle of that month you get a very good idea, you can always make space for your spontaneous post and tweak your schedule so it fits!
Be Strategic About Timing
Another way you can predict what your audience wants is to think about the time when you post.
If you’re planning to post food shots, before mealtime is a good idea, since that’s when your audience will be feeling hungry. Makeup and beauty posts do well after working hours and on weekends. A corporate business can aim to post in the mornings or during working hours since that’s when updates are most in demand.
Bear in mind the dormant times of your followers; when do they sleep, when are they not on social media? Because social media posts have such a short lifespan, you don’t want to post when no one’s looking and have them miss your updates entirely!
Generally speaking, Singaporeans are most active on social media at 12nn to 1pm and from 7pm to 10pm on weekdays and 2pm onwards on the weekends.
But do some primary research and observe your demographic’s response to your posts to get a better understanding of when they are most active (this works for what kind of content they prefer too). Make sure to tweak your social media strategy accordingly after that!
Interact With Your Followers
As mentioned before, social media is meant to be social! Don’t treat it like a one-way street where you do the talking and they do the listening.
Like and comment when your followers post content related to your brand topic. Share it with the rest of your audience.
Coming up with a social media schedule and pre-timing your posts is all a build up for this crucial and important step. This is the best way to predict what your audience wants to see!
With an automated system in place, you should have more time to engage with your followers, dig a little bit deeper into related content on social media in order to identify possible trends and growing interest.
Most importantly, socialising with your followers is the best way to befriend them and encourage them to interact and respond enthusiastically to whatever you post!
If you still find social media marketing baffling, learn more about our social media marketing services here!