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How to Determine the Best Time to Post on Social Media

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In order to effectively connect with your audience on social media, you need to understand how your audience uses social media and what they expect from your posts. Once you’ve decided what to post, you next need to determine the best time to post. The fact is, the best times to post on social media are the times when your audience is online and engaged. It can be difficult, however, to determine when those times are without extensive trial and error—and good analytics.

While there is no perfect time to post, numerous studies have been conducted that can serve as a guide to the best time to post for your audience. Here are three strategies to help you determine the best time to post on social media:

Gather Data

One of the best ways to determine when to post is to gather data, something your CRM should allow you to do with ease. Each social media platform has a built-in analytics tool that allows you to gather data from that particular platform. When you analyze the data, you gain an understanding of your audience and the type of content your audience prefers. These insights offer a wealth of data from when your followers (also known as “fans”) are online, how many views each post received, and the reach and engagement for each post.

The best time to post will vary on each social media platform. For example, according to a study by Buffer, overall engagement rates on Facebook are 18 percent higher on Thursdays and Fridays and 32 percent higher over the weekend. Engagement consists of clicks, shares, and comments. Scheduling posts toward the end of the week is a good place to start. Also, most platforms have peak times of engagement early in the day and again toward the end of the day. By analyzing the data for your posts, you will know if you’ll receive more engagement by posting at 9:00 a.m. or at 5:00 p.m.

Determine Timeliness of Posts

Some content works best on social media when it’s timely and relevant. For example, you should post breaking news immediately. This could include real-time updates on fundraising campaigns or upcoming events you’re planning. You won’t want to wait to post these items.

Consider Your Time Zone

Over 80 percent of the population in the U.S. lives in the Eastern and Central time zones. This means that posting when people in those time zones will see it would be most beneficial and garner the best engagement. If you are in the Mountain or Pacific time zones, you want to post early enough that people on the East Coast will see it. Otherwise, your post will be lost overnight in a sea of other posts.

Donor tracking software like StudioEnterprise with Advanced CRM can help you gather the data about your donors that can give you insights into the best time to post. According to NonprofitSource, 55 percent of people who engage with nonprofits on social media end up taking some sort of action. Fifty-nine percent of those people donate money, while 53 percent volunteer. Helping your donors and supporters see your social media posts can have enormous benefits for your ministry by helping you to achieve your mission.

To receive the most interest and engagement, use the data-gathering tools available on each social media platform. Determine the timeliness of your posts and consider your time zone before posting. When you use these strategies, you can increase your donors’ engagement and strengthen donor loyalty. You’ll be one step closer to fulfilling your ministry’s mission.

Contact DonorDirect to learn how effective reporting will allow you to learn more about your donors than ever before. Click here for a demo!