Did you miss earlier parts of this blog? Don’t worry!
Thanks for sticking with me all this month. I’m hope you’ve enjoyed reading these posts as much as I enjoy writing them. If you missed the previous parts of this 5 part blog, you can check out the earlier parts right here:
How to plan out the ‘When’ and ‘What’ of your Facebook posts.
So surely the secret to running the perfect Facebook page is just to find something you like and post it on your Facebook page whenever you like. Right?
Ha! We both wish it were that easy.
The one advantage of using Facebook is that it’s a social platform… it’s a live, ever-evolving and changing platform, and all those who use it are real people going about their daily lives. They have a routine which they live to and they are inviting you to be a part of it.
When planning out your Facebook posts, you ONLY have to remember these two simple things…
What’s the long laboured point I’m trying to make? It’s quite simple really… every time you post something on Facebook there are two key questions you need to ask yourself:
1) What time of day will you post on your Facebook page?
2) What exactly are you going to post and is your audience going to appreciate it?
Today I’m going to show you how to take these two simple rules, and create the perfect Facebook posting strategy by creating your very own Facebook Post Planner.
What time of day should you post on your Facebook page?
As mentioned earlier, your Facebook followers are real people with their own routine. As a result, the timing of your posts is vital.
True… everyone on Facebook has their own feed that gives them a roundup, but the timing of your post is a crucial part of what they see and when they see it.
Post too early, and your post will appear too low in their feed… post to late and they’ll completely miss it.
So when are the best times to post?
Generally speaking, below are what are considered the best times to post.
- First thing in the morning (5am – 7am):
This is the time when most people are checking in on Facebook, (some before even getting out of bed which is what I do!! lol). They could be having their morning coffee or on their way to work and looking to kill some time. Whether they’re checking into Facebook whilst still lying in bed, on the bus to work, or having a cheeky look once they land in the office, this is when the first Facebook peak for the day happens. So make sure you have a post up to meet that traffic.
- Lunchtime (12pm – 2pm):
Even the most committed of office workers tend to have a look at their Facebook feed during their lunch break. Sure they should be going for a walk or enjoying a nice lunch, but frankly, we like to see what’s happening in the world of Facebook. This is a great time to get in front of your fans with a Facebook post.
- The afternoon (3pm – 5pm):
By placing a post at this time, you will manage to get most people during the after work rush hour. This is the second highest peak during the day and you should take advantage of it.
- The goodnight post (8pm – 11pm):
Most research points to the reality that, for most people, Facebook is the first thing they check every morning, and the last thing they look at before they go to bed.After all… heaven forbid they miss that ‘like’ or comment that was sent to them at 4.30am! Make sure YOU are one of the last things they see before they go to sleep.
The above is a fairly typical “9 til 5” timing strategy. The point I’m trying to make is that you need to identify your fans’ typical daily patterns, and time your posts to coincide with when they check their Facebook accounts during the day. And it does vary from page to page so make sure you test and measure!
But what can you do if you’re not around to post during a set time? 🙁
Obviously you can’t guarantee you will be able to post 4 set times during the day, 7 days a week. That would be social suicide! And no matter how important your business is, you shouldn’t have to give up your free time just so you can schedule your posts.
How ironic would that be? Losing your social life due to a social network?
But don’t worry… there is a solution! Thankfully there are several third-party programs which allow you to schedule your posts in advance.
We use SproutSocial to plan our Facebook posts. Using it, you can sit down once a week or once a month, plan out all your Facebook posts for that period, then continue running other aspects of your business.
Just make sure you keep your schedule front of mind and you’re on hand though to reply or comment to any posts when they go live.
What exactly should you post? Variety is the spice of life!
If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know that your Facebook posts should:
- & Self Promote.
A lot of Facebook pages fall at the first hurdle because ALL of their posts focus on just one of the above. They may constantly push their own product, or only post one type of joke. Ultimately, to get the most out of Facebook, you need to offer a variety of posts so that you can show you’re more than just a one trick pony.
Here are some of the ideas you can post on Facebook:
Funny pictures, funny quotes, conversation starters and humorous videos can all be used to raise a smile on the face of your followers. In addition, they can be go viral, helping to spread your branding around the interweb.Take a look at this recent example of one of our funny posts that has absolutely nothing to do with our business. At the time of writing this blog, it’s had 29 Shares and almost 60 likes which is phenomenal! And it’s bloody funny too!
Inspirational articles, free tools, great online resources, useful advice etc. By giving your followers the tools they need, they will see you as an expert in your field who loves to give free help and advice.For example, if you were a bank looking to sell a mortgage, you might offer a mortgage calculator so people can see exactly how much they can get for their new home.
Free eBooks, free video courses, webinars and infographics can help you teach your followers the fundamentals they need to help solve their problems. After all, teach a man to fish and they will eat forever. Just make sure you don’t teach them so much that they don’t need you. 😉
- Self Promotion:
Obviously, no matter what you do, if you’re not selling your product or service, then what’s the point? You can promote yourself by talking about your product’s benefits, offering limited discounts, competitions, testimonials etc.The trick however is not to do it too much! Nobody likes a salesman. It’s better to Entertain, Empower and Educate before you hit them with the sales post, as they are more likely to buy.
A good rule of thumb is to use the 80/20 rule when it comes to posting promotional posts. E.g. If you’re scheduling 20 x posts per week onto your Facebook page, make 4 x of them promotional.
So NOW it’s time to create your Facebook Post Planner.
Now that I’ve shared with you the type of posts you should be making, and when, you need to create a timetable for your posts.
It’s so simple, all you need is a scrap of paper and a pen to scribble down when you’re going to publish the posts.
List the days and the four time periods in a grid, and then pin point exactly what you’re going to send and when.
Here’s one we prepared earlier for another Facebook page of ours… 😉
Now, we love you a lot but we can’t share ALL our secrets so we’ve blurred out the specific details but you can see that we’ve created a key for the different types of posts we publish. We have seven ‘types’ of posts e.g. a Motivational Quote, Funny Joke or Meme, a Conversation Starter, Blog post and so on.
So think about what ‘type’ of posts your audience loves, how you’re going to promote your services, and how you’re going to engage, then devise your post plan around your goals.
Just do yourself a favour… when you make your plan… STICK TO IT! The trick to Facebook is to publish consistently and often.
As a rule of thumb, if you have less than 500-1000 fans, perhaps post 1 to 2 times per day. If you have more than 1,000 then you can get away with 3-4 times per day, and even maybe more on weekends when engagement is high for most.
Check out part 4 of this blog, where I pull back the curtain on getting your images just right on Facebook.
To go to part 4 of my awesome ‘A Small Business Guide to Getting the Most Out of Facebook’, click on the link.