Skip main navigation

Ask the expert: what messages inform your content?

An important aspect of any social media campaign is getting the timing right.
Lisa Salem: When I’m working with a client to implement the social media strategy, I need to make sure that we’re all on the same page with our objectives, and find out things like whether there are other people who need to be creating content, and then make sure that there’s a sort of central place that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet and going according to the same calendar and check things off as they go. When you’re creating a social media strategy for a business, you want to think about what resources you have in terms of people, and time, and money.
And you also want to think about whether you’re able to be reactive or whether you have to do everything upfront, and planned, and scheduled in advance.
Gemma Webb: As a busy mum of three, I don’t get time to sit down every single day and do a post. So I use Buffer and Facebook Scheduler. Buffer is a brilliant app that I use on my phone. It allows me to schedule things to post straight on to Instagram. Rather than me having to be there and hit Post, it will do that for me. So I just set it all up and then say I want it to be posted on Tuesday at 6 o’clock in the morning. And it will do that for me. It will sync and send it for me rather than me having to try and remember that in amongst everything else I have to do.
Danielle Haynes: There is no rule of thumb when it comes to what time to post on social media. It’s going to depend on your audience, and where they are, and what they do for work. So think about your audience and their demographic and use your intuition to decide when the best time of day is to post. Different platforms like Facebook may tell you more information about when your audience is online. And you can actually use that to know when the best time is to post, but not all platforms will do that. So that’s when you’ll have to use your own common sense.
On platforms like Twitter, you may need to think about posting a lot more frequently on there, and that’s because the volume of content from different companies and people is just huge, so you’re likely to get lost in that. Posting more is going to increase your chances of being seen by your audience.
Gemma: With my social media campaigns, I like to start with maybe advertising once a month. So it’s only every now and again. And as it gets closer to the time, especially if I haven’t sold as many tickets or there is still spaces available in those classes, I like to up it to maybe once a week. I won’t do it more than once a week, because it becomes a lot less effective. You don’t get as much engagement when you’re bombarding them every single day with the same post. Leading up to campaigns, sometimes I might, for an event, do a competition just to help spark a little bit of interest.
It also helps me realise just how much potential there is for others who might actually be interested in wanting to come to the event. If you offer, say, a free place in a competition and you get lots of engagement, you know actually you’re probably going to get quite a few more people booking in even if they don’t get that free competition. So it’s a good way of me monitoring just how many tickets I might sell anyway.

An important aspect of any social media campaign is getting the timing right.

There’s little point producing compelling content if no-one sees it, or if it’s too late to act on your messages by the time people do see them in the social stream. A social media plan needs to consider timing, including how messages may build over the period of the campaign, and the different phases or kinds of interaction you might associate with different parts of the campaign.

In this video, Lisa Salem and Danielle Haynes discuss how they plot campaign activity against a timeline, and what influences their decisions about when and where particular messages should be communicated. Gemma Webb also shares examples of how timing plays a part in her online campaigns.

Share your thoughts:

  • Thinking about the video you’ve just watched, was there anything new or surprising?
  • You might also like to think about the content that you come across. What do you notice about its timing?
Share your response with other learners in the Comments.
This article is from the free online

Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education