Best Time For Social Sharing? It Depends!

Best Time For Social Sharing? It Depends!

According to many, there are ABSOLUTELY to-the-minute, one second later equals failure, BESTEST OF THE BEST times to share on a social media platform!!!

I’ve had it. Enough already! To quote Popeye …

That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more.

What’s got me on this tear?

The publish and promotion of social media articles and infographics “sharing” the best time to post for maximum reach, reaction, engagement and more.

There are SOOOOOO many reasons these articles and infographics grind my gears, but I don’t really have the time to write a novel and don’t think you’re game to read tens of thousands of words on the subject. So, I’m sharing just a few!

Let’s Talk About Time Zones!

So, let’s think about this. Let’s say we’re told that 9:23 AM is the BEST time to post to Twitter (I’m just making this up, of course).

But is that 9:23 AM Eastern? Central? Mountain? Pacific? And that’s only spanning the time zones that cover the continental United States. What about daylight-saving time?

You get my drift, right? I’ve never seen an article or infographic detail the differences in “best time” social media sharing based on audiences that span multiple time zones. Most people running a digital business find themselves with a following that spans countries, if not the globe.

9:23 AM for me, in my EST space, is 6:23 AM for my family and friends AND peers in California (PST). While many of them are early risers like me, there’s no guarantee that they’re sitting ready and waiting to see what I’ve posted as the sun rises on their day.

Wow, That’s A Wide Window …

The most recent “best time” share, the one that prompted this article, shared lots of best time information for the big social media platforms. It detailed the “best” times to post to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Linkedin.

Then, and this is what I found ludicrous and laughable, the author turned his back on those “best” times and touted a smart posting window that stretched from 9 AM to 7 PM. What?

The 'best time' to post to social media channels spans ten hours? Well thanks for the info, Captain Obvious.Click To Tweet

A ten hour window is pretty wide. You wouldn’t accept that from a service provider. Imagine if you were getting cable TV installed and you were told the installer would arrive between 9 AM and 7 PM. No bueno!

It’s not one bit different when you’re lead to believe you’re going to get the golden goose and finally know the absolute bestest single time to post a scintillating social share for your audience. Even less bueno!

Let’s Look At Lifespan!

The lifespan of a single social media post depends on so many factors. The platform. The size of your audience. The speed and breadth of that audience’s feeds. The time of day your audience is active. The popularity of any hashtags used. The addition of a visual prompt. The value or vibe of the post itself.

The lifespan of a tweet is different than the lifespan of a photo shared to Instagram. The likelihood of you seeing a specific Facebook post is different than the likelihood of you seeing a specific pinned image or Linkedin post.

And, digging a little deeper, you can’t easily compare the lifespan of one tweet, post or share with another. Did they have the same hashtag? A photo? Was it a conversation starter like a question or a link out to your content?

The Scariest, But Most Honest Answer To Social Media Timing Questions …

It Depends!

That response might sound wishy-washy and passive aggressive in other applications, but when it comes to the “best” time to share on social media in order to “best” impact reach and engagement, it is the BEST answer.

Because the best time for my audience might not be the best time for your audience. Even within my own circle of influence, the best time for my audience in June might be vastly different from the best time in January.

It’s all about putting in the time and effort to craft the kinds of social media shares and posts that suit the needs of those you’re trying to reach. Then you gotta monitor your most important metrics to see what works and what doesn’t. And you’ve gotta do that over and over and over again.

Social media marketing isn’t a set it and forget it kind of endeavor. The practice, the strategies, the tactics evolve over time. As do the “best” times to reach your audience.

I can get on board with a one-size-fits-all scarf. It makes sense. But there’s nothing sensible about a one-size (or time) fits-all solution for social media marketing.

That Stock Photo? It Doesn't Have To Suck!

That Stock Photo? It Doesn’t Have To Suck!

I often see something about stock photos in one of my social media feeds. It’s usually one of two things:

  1. Lamenting the levels of stock photo suckitude
  2. Sharing links to gather up “the best” freebie stock

With that in mind, it seemed about time to dig a little deeper into this topic.

Stock Photos? They Don’t Have To Suck!

Let me let you in on a little secret. I use stock photos regularly. Not so secret, actually. I’ve always fessed up to this. I don’t have the time, or the inclination – if I’m being honest, right now to head out daily to seek and shoot my own photos for my featured images and social media images, nor do my clients.

Shocker! I’m often complimented on my branded images, even though the base image came from a stock photo site.

Guess what? Some of your other favorite bloggers and designers? They use stock photos, too!

Your brand imagery – even if you need to use stock photos, can be bang-a-langin’, if you just put a little time, effort and energy into ensuring you make the most of the best that stock photography has to offer.

And I’m not going to leave you hanging. I’m going to share some ways to select better stock images and bump up their impact!

Choosing BETTER stock photos? Dig a little deeper than the first page of search results, ding-dang-it!Click To Tweet

Search Smarter & Harder!

Want to know why you often see the same stock photo over and over AND over? Because the people who search for stock images are, for the most part, lazy.

They type in a simple search, like sunset, and then they choose the very first image that shows up in the search. Sort of stymies creativity and exclusivity, huh?

Want to select better stock photos? Spend a little more time and smarts on the search.

Spend more time! Go through more than the first few rows of images. Sometimes that stellar stock photo is back on page six!

Smarten that search! Consider your search term. Say you started out with sunset, but you’re not finding exactly what you want. Consider adding to the search. How about beach sunset? Or lake sunset? Not wanting the water? Consider mountain sunset.

Investing a little extra time, or smartening up rather generic search terms can go a long way when it comes to choosing and using better stock photos.

Pay For Them!

If you pony up a little cash, chances are better that you’ll get a better image.

You don’t have to break the bank. You can purchase stock photos for $1 to $10, which, depending on how often you need to use them, I find quite affordable.

I buy about 50% of the stock photos I use. When my smart searching doesn’t turn up anything smashingly suitable on my chosen free sites, I pull out the credit card and prepare to pay.

While a large population of stock photo users are lazy, there’s an equally large part of the population that’s cheap. Meaning they don’t want to part with a dime. Pair that with lackadaisical searching and you see why there are so many repeats!

Aside: And when I say purchase photos, I mean something that actually works with your brand and business. NOT some “stylized” photo of “your” desk sprinkled with sparkly glitter, opened lipstick (how freaking unsanitary – especially if your cats, office assistants, traipse across it all day), and perfectly balanced thumbtacks (just waiting to embed themselves into your palm or foot – once the aforementioned cats knocks them down).

If it wasn’t immediately obvious. I’m not a fan of this prevailing pretty imagery passion.

Make ‘Em Your Own!

Many stock photo sites allow you to do whatever you want to the images, while some have more strict guidelines regarding use and attribution. It’s important that you read and completely understand the site’s terms of service, and, if necessary, each photographer’s terms of use.

If you’re sure that you’re allowed to edit and alter that stock photo, what’s stopping you? Why would you slap it up on your site without giving it a branded personal stamp?

I have templates (more than one, I’m kind of template happy) for each type of image I create. Be it for my blog posts, Instagram, Pinterest, what have you. With the use of a subtle patterned image overlay, a wash of color, some strategically placed text and the addition of my logo, you know it’s a Mallie design immediately upon viewing.

But how do I do this? Don’t worry, I’m going to be sharing some tutorials soon.

You can do this with free tools like Canva, to a limited degree, or you can decide to invest in your business and your brand and pony up the bank to take it to the next level (that’s my suggestion, BTW).

Show Off Your Awesome Stock Photo Creations!

With a little time, care and effort – and possibly a few bucks, you can create stunning graphics for your blog and social media accounts, even if you use stock photos.

Stop using and abusing the same old sad stock photos and you’ll stand out from the crowd!

If You Publish, Make It Easy To Pass It On

If You Publish, Make It Easy To Pass It On

Whether it’s your blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, tutorials or your site’s images, if you want your content marketing shared you have to make it EASY!

This morning I clicked a Twitter link to a great read on making the best connection with your audience while speaking. It was well-written, incredibly topical and a great fit for my social media followers and peers.

What it wasn’t? It was NOT easy to share. As in NO social sharing buttons on the site whatsoever. Though the article also touted the digital marketing skill set of the author. Seriously?!?! #SMH

Your blog post value rapidly diminishes in my eyes, and the eyes of anyone who calls him/herself a content marketer, when you make it appear you never want anyone else to set eyes on the flipping thing!

Content Marketing = Publish + Promote!

Guess what guys and gals? While it’s very important to create killer content, if that’s all you’re doing, you’re missing out on rather a lot of the content marketing machine.

It’s not Field of Dreams! If you publish … there’s no guarantee the hordes will come.

If someone besides your spouse, besides your mother, comes across your killer content, wouldn’t it be wise to make it easy for them to share it far and wide?!?!

Content Wants To Be Shared, So Make It Easy Ding-Dang It!Click To Tweet

Your Content Isn’t Easy To Share If:

  1. You have NO sharing buttons whatsoever!
  2. People have to log-in to a third party app in order to share.
  3. Your video has no synopsis to hint at what it’s actually about.
  4. Your Twitter handle isn’t automatically populated when people click your Twitter sharing button.
  5. Your gorgeous pin-worthy image has NO description.
  6. Your visuals are tiny and poorly designed.
  7. Your type is so small no one wants to pull out their reading glasses to see if the words or worthy of sharing.
  8. Your oh-so-clickable title has NOTHING to do with the actual meat of your publish.

I could go on and on, and I probably have in the past!

Why Publish Then Make It Impossible To Promote?Click To Tweet

I’m Keeping This Short, Sweet & Share Ready!

Content marketing involves a whole lot more than the creation of the content you intend to market. Clicking publish and sitting around hoping someone finds it is simply creating content, sans the marketing that rounds out the activity.

Don’t expect your readers to do the heavy lifting when it comes to the marketing of your carefully crafted content. If it’s that good, a few readers might go the extra mile to ensure the word is spread. But if your reader’s in a rush or having a hectic day, they might not be so ready to exert the extra effort.

So do it right and make sharing easy! It will make your content marketing efforts easier in the long run!

Better Blogging: Size DOES Matter!

Better Blogging: Size DOES Matter!

That title could come across as rather click-baity, but I promise that the words about to fill your screen actually hold true to the promise in the title. I am, indeed, stating that size matters when it comes to your better blogging efforts. If you want your best blogging efforts read and shared, you need to consider size. Type size, that is …

Type Size Matters!

I’m 47 years old and my eyesight is still pretty dialed-in. That being said, I far too often find myself squinting on many a site that hasn’t jumped into the twenty-teens when it comes to type size and web design.

Tiny type and dense paragraphs aren’t likely to prompt repeat reads or social sharing. And don’t get me started on tiny type in a gray so light there’s no contrast with the white background. That’s another blog post entirely.

Legibility & Better Blogging:

There’s a difference between legible and readable.

(of handwriting or print) clear enough to read.
“the original typescript is scarcely legible”
synonyms: readable, easy to read, easily deciphered, clear, plain, neat, decipherable, intelligible
“large, legible handwriting”

We generally think of legible when it comes to handwriting. Consider the stereotypical doctor’s handwriting. Having worked my way through college as a pharmacy tech, I can vouch firsthand that many a doctor delivered prescriptions in almost impossible to decipher handwriting.

But legibility plays an issue when we’re perusing a blog for shareworthy content.

If I can’t SEE the content without squinting, because it’s too light, too small, or is delivered with a grungy typeface, we’ve got a legibility issue.

Hey Blogger! I'll never know if your content is readable if it's not legible!Click To Tweet

Legible + Readable = Killer Content!

Only if your content is legible will many a social sharer take the time to suss out whether it’s readable and, thus, ripe for social sharing!

Almost every content marketing expert under the sun has published a list of better blogging musts. I can certainly summarize here with a list of my own …

  1. Headers to highlight important sub-topics within the post …
  2. Shorter paragraphs …
  3. Proper word choice, ditching the geek speak and jargon
  4. Careful and calculated use of images and graphics to hone in on the point …
  5. Etc.

But let it be shouted down from the rooftops, no one’s going to critique the length of your sentences and paragraphs when they’re bemoaning the 10 point type in front of their tired and watering eyes!

10 point type?!?!?! I, for one, won't be sharing anything that requires me to squint! Click To Tweet

Bump Up The Volume AND Type Size!

The days of default 12 (or even worse, 10) point type should NOT be looked back to longingly. There’s nothing nostalgic about inducing nausea and migraines amongst your readers.

This site’s default type size, making use of all the loveliness that a carefully selected Google Font has to offer? 18, baby! And my type color default is BLACK on a white background.

When you make it legible, you give your readers the chance to decide whether your content is readable. And when it’s legible and readable, it’s more often deemed shareable! And isn’t that what better blogging is all about?

Why are you holding out? Bump up the volume and better your blogging by bumping up the type size. TODAY!Click To Tweet