Category Archives for "Social Media & Communication"

When’s The Best Time To Post On Social Media?

Any solid marketing strategy nowadays includes social media, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is adept at using these platforms. One of the more challenging parts of including social media in your marketing plan is knowing what times to post – the answer is certainly not whenever you want to or can.

Hubspot explained that ideal posting schedules depend on a few different factors, which include the platform, target audience, target region, the content of the post and its goals. While these specifications can influence your social media strategy, there is some data on when and how often you should post on certain sites. Fast Company went as far as saying there’s a certain science behind the right social media approach, and that following those parameters can almost certainly help you achieve your marketing goals.

“There’s a certain science behind the right social media approach.”

Based on data compiled by SurePayroll in a handy infographic, Facebook’s highest average click through occurs between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The site’s peak is on Wednesdays at 3 p.m, which SurePayroll called the “afternoon slump” – a time when people take a break from work to check their phones.

Neil Patel, columnist and founder of Crazy Egg, a site that shows businesses where its audiences are clicking, also praised the afternoon as the best time to post. According to Patel, 1 p.m. posts get the most shares, while 3 p.m. posts get the most clicks.

SurePayroll’s data showed that the worst time for Facebook posts is on weekends, before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m. – when users are presumably either asleep or out doing better things than browsing the web. However, Catriona Pollard, an author on PR and social media strategies, wrote for the Huffington Post that activity on the site increases just before the weekend, going up by 10 percent on Fridays.

For more insight to help you assess the best times to post, Facebook gathers the information for you based on your fan activity. In the posts section, you can regularly check up on the data in “When Your Fans Are Online.”

According to the SurePayroll infographic, the best times to post on Twitter are Monday through Thursday, between 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The site’s peak time is Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It’s no coincidence that these times are close to lunchtime, when people are on a break checking their Twitter feeds. Commute times are also ideal for posting. Pollard pointed out that Twitter users are much more active on the site on their way to work, making posts at 12 p.m. or between 5 and 6 p.m. She also said that posts by business-to-business organizations should focus on Monday through Friday, while business-to-consumer organizations should target weekends and Wednesdays.

To boost your chances of engagement even further, tweets with images result in higher percentage of clicks, visits, retweets, favorites, conversion rates and leads. Pollard also explained that tweets have a much shorter shelf life than other social media posts, requiring a higher posting frequency – the publication recommends around four tweets a day to maintain exposure on a feed. As a time saver, try using a tool that can schedule your tweets. You can compose them in the morning and let them post on their own throughout the day.

Beyond the basics, know when your target audience is online and adjust your posting schedule accordingly.

LinkedIn is an extremely useful resource for B2B marketing. According to Patel’s infographic, 93 percent of B2B marketers rate LinkedIn as their top source of social media lead generation. Based on the site’s purpose and audience, it makes senses that LinkedIn’s peak times are during work hours on weekdays.

SurePayroll’s data showed that the best times to post on the site are Tuesday through Thursday at noon or between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Understandably, Fridays are a slow day for LinkedIn, when professionals are winding down from the week and straying away from work-related content.

SurePayoll also indicated that the number of mobile LinkedIn users are increasing – going from 38 percent in October 2013 to 41 percent in the 2014 survey. Unlike Twitter, Pollard said to avoid scheduling LinkedIn posts – it can give your audience the impression that you’re not really active on LinkedIn. Instead, make the effort to post once a day and ensure that the tone fits the site. Since your target reader will be looking for more professional content, it shouldn’t read as casually as a Facebook post or tweet.

Overall, the best rule of thumb to follow is to tailor your content and positing schedule to the platform you’re using. Each site serves a distinct purpose within the social media landscape, so believing that a post for one could be equally effective on another is a rookie mistake. Make sure you’re factoring in your audience, their goals and the times that they visit these websites with each post you make. It’s not an exact science, but treating your social media strategy like one can help.


Why List Segmentation is a Must for Email Marketing

Email segmentation is a must for a successful online marketing strategy. Have you ever gotten an email from a business that was completely irrelevant and thus extremely aggravating? If you said “no,” you’re either extremely lucky or you’re doing business with a brand that has a great marketing department behind it. If you said “yes,” then you know exactly why list segmentation is a must for a successful marketing strategy.

To get a clearer idea of what we mean, say you signed up for a health club’s email list and indicated that you are interested in swimming and weight training on the sign-up form. You’d think that you would receive emails geared toward your stated interests, but if that health club didn’t segment its e-mail list, you might receive emails about anything from youth programs to yoga.

What kind of impact could email segmentation have on our hypothetical health clubs’ ability to nurture leads, convert them and ultimately retain them as paying customers? Let’s start by looking at some key statistics that attest to the benefits of email segmentation.


The Numbers Behind Email Segmentation
Email segmentation is an easy enough concept to get your mind around: Instead of treating your email list like one undifferentiated mass, you separate your leads into different segments based on certain criteria (demographics, place in the sales cycle, geographic location, etc.) and then tailor your emails to each specific segment. This makes it possible to bring a higher degree of personalization to every email you send and fosters a stronger connection between you and your customers.

This isn’t just another overhyped marketing tactic – it’s a tried and true technique and the numbers prove it. According to research from Lyris, 39 percent of marketers who segmented their email lists saw higher open rates, 28 percent were able to lower their unsubscribe rates and 24 percent improved deliverability and revenue.

x_0_0_0_14123236_800Segmenting your email list will help you give your readers a more personalized experience.

More recent research from MailChimp, a popular email marketing service, turned up similar results. MailChimp measured the results of segmented campaigns run through its platform from all over the world and compared them to those of non-segmented campaigns. The results?

  • The open rate for segmented campaigns was 14.47 percent higher than non-segmented campaigns.
  • Segmented campaigns received 58.89 percent more clicks than non-segmented campaigns.
  • Unique opens were 10.55 percent higher in segmented campaigns.
  • Unsubscribes were 7.88 percent lower for segmented emails than for unsegmented email blasts.

These statistics serve as proof to something that makes sense on an intuitive level: People respond more favorably to something that was clearly written with their interests and needs in mind rather than something that was obviously mass produced.

“Segmented campaigns received 58.89% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns.”

How Should You Segment Your Email List?
There’s no right or wrong way to segment your email list, but there are some ways that are more helpful than others. One thing to be aware of from the start, however, is that if you try to segment your subscribers by too many criteria, you’ll end up with an unwieldy mass of segments that will take up too much of your time to maintain.

One of the most effective segmentation strategies is to differentiate your contacts based on their level of interest in your business. Where are they in your lead nurturing cycle? Someone who has signed up for your list could be characterized as a Lead, someone who is interested enough in your business to have downloaded some of your content.

Alternatively, someone who has downloaded several pieces of content could be segmented into your Sales Qualified Leads category, and should be ready to receive more product-focused emails based on what they’ve downloaded. People who have bought from you can be segmented as Customers and repeat buyers could be considered Fans or Evangelists.

To do this, you can set up form fields on your sign-up page that let subscribers identify their key interests, demographic profile, job title, industry and so on. Going back to our health club example, the club could have checkboxes on the sign-up form that allow them to indicate if they’re interested in swimming, group classes, weight training or other activities. From there, it’s possible to segment an email list based on those choices and ensure each subscriber only sees what is relevant to his or her interests.

By sending content and offers that are relevant to each segment based on where they are in the buying cycle, you’re more likely to engage them and get them to interact with you. If you stick with this best practice, your audience will see your name in their list of unread emails and it will be one of the first they open because they are expecting to get interesting and relevant content.