When you’re willing to make the time.
That’s it. Not very strategic, I know.
I’ve seen the “social media deadzones” post that keeps resurfacing on our LinkedIn feeds, and its companion article on the “best times to post.” There are thousands of articles out there on this topic. We care about this.
When’s the best time to go to the supermarket? Many would say either very early in the morning or overnight for 24-hour places, and I agree. Less crowds and more efficiency.
However, more often than not, I find myself squeezing down the aisles, at noon, on a Sunday, restocking for the week ahead.
Life is just that: needs versus time available to meet them.
You probably don’t NEED social media from a business standpoint to thrive in your chosen career. The majority of us aren’t striving, or will develop the skill set, for achieving social media stardom (and income). It is certainly a mechanism to advance and support your every goal, but if you don’t feel a pressing need, finding the TIME is a bigger challenge.
Ask the Right Questions
When I say: “when are you willing to participate?”...I mean it.
Find Your Own "Live" Zones
The following are a few more thoughts to help get over the illusion that you’re doing it wrong. The fact you are concerned is good enough for me.
Look past the deadzones
Yes, I know there’s data and patterns and what not that supports the optimal times to be posting content and engaging on social media. We should use the information available to us to drive decisions. I could also argue the opposite: do you want to try and compete with your messages in the most busy and noisy times?
I built the idea for DownWithSpitUp.com in a clear deadzone, between 2 a.m.-5 a.m., when I was most active online searching for tips and resources on infant reflux. I found others were very awake during these times (new parents, resources from other time zones), sharing information or support I needed then and there.
Call on your themes, hashtags, topics
I recommend that people focus on a handful of themes most important to them, and that they want to associate with their personal or business brand. If nothing else, it gives clarity and direction on who to follow, what to post and where to spend time, in what we all know is a massively cluttered environment. It also can help connect engagement on key topics to others immersed in your space, which again, looks past the deadzone times toward topical conversations.
Keep it close
I know for myself, and likely others, there’s a weird feeling when you put a thought or resource out there. You won’t know exactly who will see it or where it will go. There’s sometimes unneeded pressure on how it’s presented. Think of it more as if you were communicating with a smaller group and how you would frame the same message.
Automate with care
I’m not talking about the social celebrities and power users who’ve made fortunes through their online brand, and may have staff members to help. They could have posts going 24/7. If you’re new to the scene, or giving it another try, you’ll find a multitude of tools out there to schedule updates, post to multiple channels at the same time, etc. Used wisely these tools can help you save time, however I’d recommend keeping a close and regular monitoring of your activity in case others choose to engage (that is your ultimate goal).
Spend your time on the channels that are the most, well, You
While most can find some value in Linkedin from a business perspective, Twitter may be too big of stage to make sense to you, and Instagram too visual, or Pinterest too personal. There are top platforms to consider and global outlooks available for us to make informed decisions on where we spend our time. Focus on the channels that speak to you and deliver value, as you’ll be more willing to spend your time and lend your thoughts and energy.
Test and measure
What better way to gauge your prime times than to simply try out a number of different shifts, and overtime, monitor and recognize when you get the most engagement and value out of being on social media.
Here is where you determine your own “live zones” and learn to work your schedule and life around them.
Christina Capadona-Schmitz (@ChristinaCS & @DownWithSpitUp) leads marketing communications for Oswald Companies, a risk management and financial services company in Cleveland, Ohio. She is on the clock 24/7 with her parenting resource blog www.DownWithSpitUp.com, among other creative pursuits and community endeavors. Connect with her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/christinacapadonaschmitz.