Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
Today, it’s a well-known fact among dealers that a consistent presence on social media properties is vital to keeping their brand in front of consumers. It has also been found that some different types of content – text, images and video – perform better than others.
However, it’s still very difficult to know what the best TIME is to post content in order to maximize exposure. Consider this: A person charged with posting 19 pieces of content a day, planning to promote just 4 of them, has an overwhelming choice of 7 TRILLION different ways they can post that content.
A recent study by the University of Notre Dame analyzed posts from major media outlets and conducted interviews with social media managers in an attempt to discover how managers decide when to post and what type of content most impacts engagement. The study also aimed to discover how much brainpower the viewer uses when looking at the post, and what emotions it elicits.
The study found that following the average human wake-sleep cycle when posting content works best. This allows for the optimum activity of a normal person’s mind when viewing posts. It seems that humans are more engaged intellectually and/or emotionally shortly after waking. At this time their minds are fresh and less likely to be distracted. However, boosted posts (paid ads) tend to work better later in the afternoon.
In short, content that requires more thought and analysis, or that tends to elicit a strong emotional response, works best early in the day. At that time people have more focus available as their minds tend to be fresher. By mid-day many are distracted with work or other types of activities, so they choose not to engage with the content and scroll right past it because… well… they don’t want to think about it. Later in the evening, most regain some focus and are able to again pay attention to social media content – although not quite as well as in the morning.
Considering that organic reach on social media platforms continues to decrease, any edge a dealership can gain from their content and increase that reach is attractive. It’s fairly easy to figure out the type of content which best engages an audience (cough… video…). Video also extends reach organically. If you add in the best time of day to post that content, surely this then gives it an edge over the millions of pieces of competing content.
According to the Notre Dame study, while most social media managers are “winging it” as far as the best time of day to post content, many have a good pulse on their social media properties and are mostly correct. If they were to additionally consider which type of content elicits the best response, such as a thought-provoking question or article versus a funny piece of content, and at what time people are most likely to engage, social media managers could further improve their campaign results.
For those of you lacking the time needed to figure out posting times and analyze social media results in this fashion, there are a few inexpensive services that can assist. Services such as Sprout Social, Hootsuite or Buffer, not only provide your dealership with data, but can also automatically schedule content tailored to your audience.
Breaking through the noise on social media without spending a bunch of money is tough. And it’s only going to get more challenging.
A smarter approach to your social media content marketing strategy will pay dividends in return. Try improving results by studying who your audience is, as well as how they react to different types of posts and adjust your strategy accordingly. In addition, take the above bit of science into account and plan the best time of day to post that content. You should then be well on your way to successful social media efforts without spending any more money.