Healthcare Social Media: Optimize for Better Results
Noticing that your posts on your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media outlets sometimes don't do as well as they normally do? Then, the next day you post something else and get tons of comments and activity stirring up again? This might be a case of your posts becoming lost at a time when posts don't perform well, while others are hitting that perfect moment when the most people are online and checking their social media networks. This is as applicable to healthcare social media as any other industry.
So, when exactly are the best times and days for you to publish your healthcare posts so the most patients and new leads will see them? Fortunately, there have been studies performed just to figure out this exact thing and now you can figure out how to optimize your healthcare social media efforts for the best results with the information below.
Healthcare Social Media: Best Days of the Week
An interesting article on Social Media Today suggests the two best days to post content on Facebook is on Saturday and Sunday, when interaction percentages are as high as 14 percent on these days. The article compared that to a paltry 7.4 percent interaction rate on Wednesday, the worst day to post content in this report. Healthcare social media has the potential to benefit best with posts being consistently published throughout the weekend, starting on Friday.
A more recent report by Social Caffiene almost completely reports the opposite. They argue that Wednesday represents the peak of activity on Facebook and a marketer should avoid the weekends. The varying reports underscore the need to test posting on different days to see what works for your organization.
What about Monday and Tuesday? They too can provide a great time for you to capture leads because many people will be checking their news feeds for anything they might have missed on the weekend or starting their week with some social media content.
The same information can be applied to Twitter, although when it comes to LinkedIn it is more than likely best to post your content during the middle of the week because of its "professional" nature versus the casual nature of other networks. As for Google+ and Pinterest, the best days of the week are during the middle of the week and the weekend respectively.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you should completely ignore your social media for a certain day every week. Rather, you should plan your content accordingly by having your most important posts on days with the most interactions. Lesser priority items can be published on lower interaction days.
Best Times of the Day
On top of knowing which days are best for your healthcare social media strategy, you should also know the best times of the day for the optimum number of potential leads being drawn into your social media profiles and website. Here is a list of the best times for most of the major social networks:
- Facebook: Between 1:00 and 4:00 PM is the best time to post, normally when people are on their lunch break during the week. The worst times are between 8:00 PM and 8:00 AM.
- Twitter: Just like Facebook, the time between 1:00 and 3:00 PM is an ideal time for your tweets. And also similar to Facebook, 8:00 PM through 9:00 AM are not the best.
- LinkedIn: There are two peak times in the day for this social network, 7:00 and 9:00 AM, before normal business hours, and 5:00 through 6:00 PM or after business hours. The worst is 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM, when most professionals are sleeping.
- Google+: Anything between 9:00 and 11:00 AM is great, however try to avoid times between 6:00 PM and 8:00 AM. Google+ seems to be a social network where potential leads are active during business hours.
- Pinterest: Finally, the best times for this one is either between 2:00 and 4:00 PM or 8:00 PM and 1:00 AM. Worst times are going to be around dinner time, or between 5:00 and 7:00 PM.
As a note, this data should be taken as an outline for your healthcare social media as your own peak times might be slightly different depending on your target audience. For example, the biggest demographic for Pinterest is overwhelmingly women, including many mothers, so they will be checking Pinterest when the kids are at school or during their down time. Compare that to the business-minded users of LinkedIn, who prefer to browse when they're not busy at work.
It all just brings perspective to the importance of understanding your audience on social media. You can create your own data just like this by monitoring the click-through rates and views of different posts throughout the week and compiling it into a weekly or monthly report. You might just be surprised at the results you find.
Photo credit: Dee Speed
Chuck Malcomson is the founder of Screwpile Communications, an inbound marketing agency. When he's not talking about healthcare inbound and online marketing he's probably boating on the Chesapeake, cheering the Ohio State Buckeyes or spending time with his wife, daughter and son.