Put On Your Social Media Hat: When To Post, Automate And Listen

Put On Your Social Media Hat: When To Post, Automate And Listen

New SuperFred Shout Out!

Today we have to give props to SuperFred Sheng Slogar who has been on top of things lately when we haven’t been. He reminded us when we forgot to add the audio player to our last podcast. He pointed out a mistake in our episode numbering. He noticed that our mobile site was not working as it should have been.

Since Sheng has been doing the work we haven’t been, we’re thinking maybe “Chief Executive Web.Search.Social Watchdog” fits.

Sheng is also a programmer at Triberr so we already know he’s pretty awesome.

Say Hello To THE Social Media Hat.

Before we started recording, our guest Mike Allton was quick to tell us that he is not just any social media hat but THE Social Media Hat, which is also the name of his blog.

Mike loves social media and tools and also wrote a book about how to use Hootsuite, which is more than Hootsuite has done.

Every Time An Infographic Is Shared We Kill A Unicorn

More specifically, every time we share an infographic about “the best time to post to social media” we kill a unicorn. Mike attributes that quote to Stephan Hovnanian but agrees that those are generalizations that should not be taken as biblical truth.

So When IS The Best Time To Post To Social Media?

Much like all of marketing, the answer is: it depends. The best way to determine that time is to test. Fortunately that doesn’t have to be complicated.

Start by picking a time. Want to use the “best time” from an infographic? Go ahead. Then post at that time consistently for some period of time – say a week.

After a week, pick a new time to post. Wait another week then compare the activity from your first week to your second. Was one time better than another for getting shares and engagement?

Pick another time and do it again. Keep going until you find your optimal time.

Yes, You Can Post The Same Thing Multiple Times To The Same Network

Except Facebook. Mike posts the same content multiple times each day on Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest. But he’s found that on Facebook his first post gets good engagement and his second bombs.

It could be because of Facebook’s algorithm. It could be that the Facebook audience is less tolerant of repetition or because people spend more time on Facebook and tend to see more of what’s posted so they get bored of the repetition.

Whatever the case, if you want to promote your blog post, for example, get it out there several times a day on Twitter but once on Facebook.

Mike has a nifty method of reposting. He qualifies a repeat post on networks like Google Plus by calling it a “time zone reshare” or “for the evening crowd”.

Don’t Follow People Online Who Post Garbage

A few weeks ago we talked to Alisa Meredith, Ian Anderson Gray and Jeff Sieh about how Buffer added Pinterest scheduling. One of the concerns that came up was that now that people can schedule, will pin quality suffer?

We generally lamented the future of Pinterest and the mess it may become but Mike has a different perspective.

He says that the mess is Pinterest’s problem – not his. And that he won’t be bothered by the mess because he won’t follow people who post garbage.

That’s a lesson for you, Fred, to be mindful that if you’re pinning bad or un-optimized photos or spewing out junk on social media, people will unfollow you.

Should You Be Listening As Well As Talking?

Maybe.

But first let’s define what we mean by “listening”. We’re not talking about responding to people who talk to you (though that is important) but rather, listening for conversations that are not directed at you but may be about you – or your products and services – or products and services like yours.

If people are talking about you but not addressing you directly, you won’t get the typical notifications you get when people mention you specifically.

Even if you’re not a big brand, you can listen for conversations with keywords that are relevant to your business.

You could listen for complaints about competitors and take the opportunity to offer something better.

So why wouldn’t you listen?

Well, most tools are only equipped to listen on Twitter. If your audience isn’t there, that isn’t so great. And if you’re a small, local business then it may not be as helpful, either.

Give it a shot and see what you learn. If it’s a whole lot of not much, then cross it off your list. Otherwise, use the opportunity.

Automation: Good Or Bad?

Both! You can’t sit in front of your social accounts and post all day. You may not be there at “the best time” to post. So scheduling your posts is a good idea.

But don’t automate engagement. Skip the “auto direct messages” and make time to actually engage with people, especially if they engage with you.

Hootsuite: It’s A Love/Hate Thing

Let’s face it: there isn’t another tool out there that has all the features of Hootsuite at such an attractive price point.

And it does do some pretty cool stuff, from letting you set up keyword searches to adding a “geofence” around your terms so you can search only for mentions of the word “hedgehog” for example, within 25 miles of Boise, Idaho.

Pretty cool, huh?

But the interface still drives us a little crazy (we’re partial to Buffer) and some of the features are way overkill for a small business.

Mike has a solution, though: use multiple tools! At $10 per month or less for each of these tools, you won’t be breaking the bank to use the best of both.

Mike And Ralph Get Nerdish

With the release of the movie Avengers; Age of Ultron, the Batman vs Superman trailer and the new Star Wars trailer, there was more talk than usual about the end of the world and things like Infinity Stones. We’re thinking Nick Fury should sponsor this show. Or at least make an appearance.

Your Marketing Action Item

From Mike: Start growing your email list right now. Then when the end of the world comes you can rally the troops to save mankind. OK, Maybe we talked a little too much about the Avengers and Infinity Stones…

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Ralph M. Rivera
Hi, I'm Ralph! I'm a web developer at Rahvalor Interactive, a creative marketing services company that I founded in 1999 with my wife and business partner Carol Lynn. In January 2012 we created Web.Search.Social as a branded service offering that brings enterprise-level services to small businesses in an affordable way. I'm also founder and CTO of Podcaster's Toolbox, a SaaS platform designed to help podcasters plan, produce and promote their shows. I teach web development at Manhattan College in New York City. Carol Lynn and I are home based near the Jersey shore but we're currently location independent and traveling the country for a year, working and podcasting. I'm also trying to build a flux capacitor, but that's not going as well as the other stuff I do.
Ralph M. Rivera
Ralph M. Rivera
  • Thanks for the shout out you guys, listening to this episode right now! And Carol Lynn, surprising as it may seem, you nailed my name. Oh, and the text on the banner is wr… jk. 🙂

    • As I posted this I thought, “What Would Sheng Do?” And made sure the title and audio and everything was right 🙂

      • Haha, #WWSD, a new trend!

        (Ooh, now I’m curious how you would say my full name: Sheng-Liang. 😉 )

  • Great podcast as always. I enjoyed the vision of Mike the Elkman….. I did buy his book as I’ve been messing about wondering whether to choose Hootsuite or Buffer and whilst listening, I made the decision to stop messing about and just choose already! I was a bit daunted by Hootsuite, but now I have a magic manual. YAY

    • Great! I love one of the things Mike said especially, which is that there are a ton of features – but that doesn’t mean you have to use all of them. It really helps to have someone go through things with you so you can pick what you want to use. I’ve been using Hootsuite for years and I’M going to buy his book!

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