By Allan Maurer
Many social media marketers still post to Facebook and other social networks only during the workweek and East Coast working hours – which means they’re probably missing the best times to engage many users.
So says Matt Peters, co-founder and director of Pandemic Labs, a Boston-based firm that sells social media marketing and analytics services. Peters will present his “Science of Facebook engagement,” talk at three upcoming TechMedia events, Digital East in Herndon, VA, Oct. 2-3; The Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC, Nov. 6-8; and Dallas Digital Summit, Dec. 4-5.
Peters, a dynamic speaker, says his goal at conferences is to make sure that everyone who attends his sessions leaves with at least one way to improve Facebook engagement. “Everyone should be able to leave, go back to their company or agency, and make at least one change for the betterment of their engagement on Facebook,” he says.
Chances are, most may learn more than one way to boost their engagement on Facebook.
Peters says most marketers using Facebook now know that photo posts outperform other types by a significant margin, but they often still have lots to learn about the timing of posts.
Two changes that could boost your engagement numbers
In fact, he says, just two changes could increase monthly engagement numbers on Facebook for many marketers and companies.
First, he says, there is “the power of Saturday and Sunday.” While it’s no cosmic mystery as to why many social media community managers don’t work on weekends, those who schedule weekend posts “See massive engagement numbers,” says Peters.
Facebook use often actually increases during weekends. “People pull out a phone during football and check Facebook,” he says. He’ll talk more about the power of the weekend during his presentations.
A second trick is to avoid the “East Coast mentality.” That, he explains, “Is the tendency brands have to structure their postings based on the East Coast work day. So you don’t see a lot of posts going up at 11 p.m., midnight, or 1 a.m., but those are fantastic times to grab West Coast users.”
Just those two changes alone are likely to boost engagement numbers for many firms and marketers, Peters says.
Best work day to post?
Is there a work day that is best for posting?
“I used to be comfortable saying Friday, and if you cull through our database of half a million records, it will probably spit out Friday in terms of engagement, but I’m not comfortable saying that anymore.”
“We have noticed significant industry differences,” he explains. “In the retail space, for Macy’s, Penny’s, or TJ Max, Friday holds true. But in the world of hospitality and travel, it’s not so.”
Pandemic Labs, which Peters formed in 2007 with his partner Brennan White, is working a new product called Watchtower that is still in private beta testing. It will include much more sophisticated analytics.
Started in his parent’s basement
Peters, who originally planned to “Write novels and direct movies,” worked in the film and TV industry, primarily in the Southeast prior to forming Pandemic Labs. “It was a typical startup story,” he says. “We started in my parent’s basement and employed five people before we had a real office.”
The lean, boot-strapped firm now employs 14.
Its Watchtower product, which should move to public beta in several weeks, will offer companies and agencies packages of Facebook analytics. One package, for instance, will provide metrics on a firm’s own page and ten competitors and industry averages. It will retail for around $3,000 a month, although Peters emphasizes pricing is still under discussion.
Other, more complex packages will be custom designed and priced.
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