When Is The Best Time For A Travel Pro To Post On Social Media
by Joshua Harrell, CMO Travel Quest Network/WorldVia Travel Group @joshuaharrell
This week, one of our agents, Jeff, wrote me asking:
"What are the best three days of the week to post new content on Facebook?"
I want to share my response because this is something that I get asked quite a lot, and it applies to all social media, not just Facebook. So, I may elaborate a bit more here, Jeff.
Firstly, in my opinion, there is no best time to post that works for everyone because it depends on your audience and how they engage with social media.
- Once my mum retired two years ago, she discovered Facebook. She is on Facebook all the time, endlessly scrolling and commenting on everything. We're still working on having the phone on mute in the car, so I don't have to hear it beep every time she likes a post.
- On the other hand, I drop into Instagram when I wake up, while waiting for meetings to start, and before I go to bed. You'll see me on Facebook, but mainly to see what's going on in the Travel Quest Network Members' Only Facebook Group.
- My cousin, who has two young children, is on Facebook and Instagram, but after the kids have been fed, bathed, and gone to bed.
- My friend—a single, young professional who works from home (outside of the pandemic)—is on Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok what appears to be 24/7. She won't touch Facebook with a 10-foot pole.
As you can see, there are many personas within this tiny slice of the population. If this slice represented my spotlight audience, this information would give me insight into which social media channels I would use and how I would use them.
I say "spotlight audience" because they are the future or existing customers I want to target. Just like the spotlight on a stage spills over to the surrounding area with less intensity, I know that I will still reach people outside my target audience. For example, my "spillover audience" could be my supportive family and friends or people who don't quite fit the ideal customer. Sometimes, that extended audience will become clients or even evangelists. However, I want to consistently create content based on who is in the center of my spotlight.
My spotlight is like my GPS when I create content. I want to keep my spotlight on them so that they can feel it.
But back to the original question, when is the best time to post?
Some social media scheduling tools learn when your audience is most receptive and suggest your best times for engagement based on the past performance of your posts. However, there are no guarantees that following that recommended schedule will get you better engagement. This is because many factors go into why a post might perform well, e.g., you're in the photo, it's a fantastic promotion, or a puppy was the focal point. But generally, I have seen that these scheduling suggestions help businesses and individuals get better engagement with their content.
If you don't use a social scheduling tool, look back at your most engaging content (number of views, likes, comments). See what time you posted, as well as evaluate the content itself. Come up with a hypothesis and test it. Tune into your content in this way, and patterns will appear. Follow those patterns and keep tweaking.
If you are new to social media and don't have an audience, creating a schedule for yourself that holds you accountable for consistently publishing will help.
To get started, I would recommend the following regardless of the social channel:
For a leisure audience:
7 PM in your time zone, Monday-Thursday. Studies have shown that you get people after they have settled in for the evening.
Fridays are hit or miss, so I avoid them. But if I had to post on Friday, I would do it around lunchtime.
If you post on the weekend, I will post at 8/9 AM on either day. Some experts say that you have a better chance of catching people scrolling before whatever they are doing for the day.
For a business audience:
7 AM in your time zone, Monday-Friday. You can catch your audience while getting ready for work or on the train into the city.
Regardless of the audience, don't stress if you don't catch them right when you post. If they have engaged with your content before, the social channel will often make sure your content resurfaces when using the app.
As you post, see when people engage with those posts and alter the schedule to adjust to your spotlight.
The exceptions to these recommendations are:
A) When something is newsworthy or hot-off-the-presses. That always trumps following a schedule.
B) Doing live videos on any of the platforms falls out of the schedule too. Live video content works differently based on your audience and their lifestyle. I wouldn't feel confident recommending a time. I would recommend you go live and learn when the best time is for live interaction because that live interaction makes it more fun for you.
I did finally answer Jeff's question with:
"A good starting point would be Tuesday and Thursday at 7 PM with Saturday at 8 AM. You'd be posting consistently with a bit of space around each post. From there, you can learn what works best for your audience."
Social media shouldn't take over your world. You have a business to run. Two hours a week to audit past content, create new content, and schedule it to post throughout the week works for most people. Sunday seems to be the most common day for many business owners to work on their content for the week.
A few of our agents schedule their content a month out, which is impressive. That allows them to focus on it in one big chunk and get on with their work, knowing that their content is sorted.
The ultimate social media posting schedule has little to do with when and more to do with frequency and consistency. Of course, it is a commitment, but I have seen many experts who built large audiences organically through social media this way. These audiences are not just followers but paying customers. Again, I have seen proof that this works, but it is a commitment.
What's the ultimate social media posting schedule?
Post four times a day. Go live once a day. Every day.
If you aren't there, don't fret. Posting three times a week every week is a phenomenal start.
Having a schedule will help you consistently show up for your audience, and consistency is key to being known for anything in your network. And at the end of the day, you want to be known as their travel pro.