What strategy are you using when you sit down to schedule your twitter posts for the week? If you’re like most people you probably either base your post times on an infographic you found on Pinterest or even ‘a feeling’ on what likely works best. But in reality your posting schedule should be viewed a science. Something meticulous based on a foundation of raw data and hard evidence.
But therein lies another issue. What metrics should we be looking at when arranging our posting schedule? You might be tempted to find an ‘ideal time of the day’ where your instagram seems to be getting more likes, but I can tell you now it’s not that simple. Luckily our friends at Spredfast have compiled a comprehensive report including a new metric every marketer needs to be aware of: Social Half-Life.
The Social Half-Life of Twitter and Instagram
In their in-depth analysis, Spredfast analyzed over 100 brands on Twitter and Instagram. They tracked engagement over 5-minute intervals in a 24 hour period revealing the exact drop on and off rates of their followers. What resulted was a clear image of each brand’s Social Half-Life helping define their necessary times and amount of posting in the future. Overall they found that Instagram had an average median engagement at 57 minutes while Twitter was ideal around 30.
To find your own Social Half-Life it’ll take a bit of manual work. We’ll use Twitter for this example. It’s simply a matter of making your post live and then collecting your interaction totals at regular intervals. Do this for a couple hours until the interactions taper off completely. Applying this process to multiple channels will paint a clear picture as to when users stop seeing your post and are ready for more of your (hopefully) awesome content.
Now once you have a few posts analyzed you can use the information to find the ideal amount of posts you should be making on a daily basis. For example, if you notice your median engagement coming 70 minutes after posting on Instagram you should ideally wait about 140 minutes until posting again.
Using Your Social Half-Life as a KPI
Social Half-Life can act as an indicator of content quality helping you set the standard to when your content should be performing ideally giving you a key metric for tracking performance. Usually we track performance as ‘total amount of engagement’, but there’s a lot more to a ‘like’ than meets the eye. Social Half-Life informs you as to when your post should be performing ideally giving us a more clear impression on the content quality.
When it comes to paid promotions, Half-Life can inform you as to when it’s necessary to bring cash into the equation. For example, if you just posted on Instagram and your engagement is still not up to where you want it to be even during your predetermined Half-Life, you’ll know it’s time to throw a few bucks in to give your content the advantage it needs.
You can learn the social Half-Life for multiple industries right now by downloading the FREE Spredfast Social Report Volume 2. It features an incredibly detailed breakdown of Social Half-Life across industries while even providing some examples of how major brands are using this key metric to their advantage.
While Spredfast is a sponsor for this post, all opinions are true and our own.