social media how toDo you schedule social media updates?

Want to know the best days and times to share?

Creating a social media calendar helps you deliver a steady flow of content to your followers.

In this article you’ll discover how to create an effective posting schedule for your social media updates.

optimize your social media schedule

Discover how to optimize your social media schedule for maximum impact.

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#1: Determine a Daily Posting Frequency

Just like you plan a blog schedule, consistent social sharing can help you stay top of mind. A calendar of when you plan to post to each platform helps you see when you have gaps in your sharing schedule or when you have too much going on at once.

social media post calendar

Review your calendar regularly to see gaps and content overloads in your schedule.

Take these informal guidelines into account when deciding how many times you’ll post on each social network.

  • Socialbakers reports you should post to Facebook once a day for the best engagement.
  • For Twitter, Salesforce recommends you start with one to four tweets a day.
  • Data directly from LinkedIn and compiled by Buffer suggests you’ll reach 60% of your connections if you post on LinkedIn 20 times a month.
  • SumAll recommends you pin five times a day.
  • Brands can safely post to Instagram up to 15 times per day.

One glance at your social media calendar and you’ll know where to fill in gaps and remove extra messages from the overcrowded days and times.

#2: Post at the Right Time of Day

Once you know which days you’ll be posting to each network, you’ll need to find the best times to share your content on each platform.

Don’t just pick a few times to regularly share content. Try different times each day to give your social media schedule some flexibility for best results. Use trial and error, and check engagement stats to find the best times to share from your own accounts.

social media post calendar

Share your content at the best times on your audience’s preferred networks to improve the impact.

Analyzing data from QuickSprout, Buffer, Fast Company and others to find the best times for social media posts, revealed the following insights:

  • Try posting to Facebook on Wednesdays at 3 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 4 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 1 pm.
  • Tweet from 12 to 3 pm, and at 5 pm during the workweek.
  • Post to LinkedIn just outside of working hours (7:30 to 8:30 am, and 5 to 6 pm) and on lunch breaks at 12 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Pin from 2 to 4 am and 2 to 4 pm.
  • Avoid posting to Instagram from 3 to 4 pm on Mondays and Thursdays.

Note: Most of those studies analyzed data in the United States. With 80% of the U.S. population in the Eastern and Central time zones, those time zones may be your best bet for optimal reach.

#3: Share Your Content More Than Once

Some people create great content, and then lose out on a ton of traffic because they only share it right after it’s published, and only one time per social network.

Sharing your content more than once can get you 3,150% more traffic all within your first day of publishing.

Imagine what could happen if you spread out your social media sharing to publish links to your content throughout the week, month and year after the original publish date.

social media post calendar with shares recorded

Share your content multiple times on your social media networks like Twitter to grow your traffic.

Here’s a schedule for sharing your content multiple times on social media:

  • Schedule social messages to announce new content right when it publishes.
  • Share your post again a few hours later on the same day. A tweet’s average lifespan is 18 minutes, so sharing it again, even on the same day, increases your visibility.
  • Schedule a few more social messages for the following day to get the word out, while the content is still fresh.
  • Drip a few more social messages the following week to reach people who missed it the first time around.
  • Scatter at least one message per week, over the course of the next month, on all of your networks.

#4: Vary Your Message

Mix up your social messages to keep your updates fresh on different sites. This is especially important when you share your content more than once.

social media post tweet

Switch up your social media messages to keep your feed fresh.

Here are some ideas for crafting different messages for a single piece of content:

  • Reference quotes from people in your posts. Then share them and tag the influencer. These work really well as inline Click To Tweet boxes, which provide a visual break in your blog posts.
  • To inspire click-throughs, ask your followers a question related to the content. Curiosity and intrigue generate traffic.
  • Highlight big takeaways. Most posts are split up with subheads, which are great snippets for social sharing. It’s even better when each section has a relevant image to complement the takeaway, which you can also share.
  • Incorporate the meta description from your content into your messages. It’s a great way to entice those searching to click through to read your content.

#5: Use URL Tracking to Measure Engagement

Just as important as knowing when and how to post your content, is knowing when to retire it.

Reviewing your metrics regularly to determine what’s working and what isn’t lets you keep content that’s still relevant in your social rotation, while identifying anything that isn’t performing well.

Measure the response to the content you share on social media by combining Google’s UTM tags with a Google Analytics dashboard. Another option is to use a URL shortening tool like Bitly to track how many clicks you get for specific posts.

bitly link shortener

Use Bitly to shorten the URLs you share in your social messages to see how many clicks your social messages get.

Final Thoughts

To get the most engagement, visibility and reach, reshare your content on multiple networks at various times and in different ways.

It’s also a good idea to incorporate material from other influencers. A general guideline is that 80% of your social shares should be your own posts, while the other 20% are from others.

Use these tips to make sure your content stays fresh and valuable to your audience.

What do you think? How do you plan your social media schedule? What type of content gets the best results? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

how to optimize your social media schedule

Tips for optimizing your social media schedule for maximum impact.

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  • Hi Nathan. I am trying out your Twitter posting advice starting tomorrow morning (Melbourne, Australia time). I’ll be interested to see what the results are.

  • Nice work. #3 has been huge for me. I was nervous about posting too much, but when I saw the average life span of a twitter post my thoughts changed. Booked marked this post for later. Thanks for the consistent and great content!

  • Hey Adam, that sounds awesome. Data seems to be lacking for best times to post in other countries aside from the U.S., but in that analysis, I think the takeaways would still apply for you, just keeping in mind when people are at work, taking breaks, etc. Would love to hear your results!

  • Hey @shelleymediaarts:disqus, I hear you there—you want to post enough to maximize your clickthroughs, but you don’t want to overwhelm your readers. A good way to avoid the overwhelm is to share lots of content more than once, meaning you have a really good mix of new shares along with some of the best stuff you’ve shared in the past. That keeps your schedule fresh even though you share more than once. Good luck!

  • Thanks @nathancoschedule:disqus

  • Tracking your links is a pretty good way to know what posts is working. We recently implemented a feature that enable users to know where their traffic is coming from while using Mass Planner. Great post by the way.

  • Zan

    Thanks for the good info, informative post!

  • Hey Zan, thanks for taking the time to read and share a comment. Would love to hear how this helps you out down the road!

  • Mostly great article and info here, except “Brands can safely post to Instagram up to 15 times per day” and the recommendation of preferred times of day. The only time of day for posting that matters is when your actual audience is online and active. That’s generally in the evening hours for most audiences, no matter the geographic location.

  • Great breakdown Nathan! This might be a good follow up article topic but I’d love to hear your thoughts on planning/scheduling content around key influencers in terms of planning tags, mentions and features to optimize chances of them sharing your content and also getting the most exposure from their audience in particular…

  • philrothschild

    Great stuff here Nathan. Thank you.

  • Love the tip to share your content more often, especially on channels that cycle quickly (like Twitter). It takes some effort to get over the fact that you are sharing all the time, but it does prove successful.

  • Hey @meganhargroder:disqus, that is a really cool idea! I’m definitely noting that for a future post.

    For CoSchedule content, we don’t do too much influencer outreach, but when we have, it’s been pretty simple. Nearly any blog post mentions ideas from someone smart, so we’ve just scheduled tweets to reach out to those folks right when the post publishes.

    I’ll think a bit more on this!

  • Hey @philrothschild:disqus, thanks for reading! I appreciate it a lot!

  • Hey @jeffdstephens:disqus, I hear you. It might sound slimy at first, but the average lifespan of a tweet is so short, and the competition for it to be seen is mind boggling. That technique has definitely worked for us, so I hope you see the same success!

  • Posting the right time is key. Good thing different social media networks provide us some insight of our fans or followers.

  • Mordecai Holtz

    such a great post with excellent detail

  • Mordecai Holtz

    for some of my clients we share twitter content 8 times a day w/ variety in titles and images- works like a charm. Google plus communities has worked well

  • That sounds interesting, @mordecaiholtz:disqus! I’ve seen some people like Jeff Bullas share upwards of 40 times a day. I think it comes down to a little testing. At CoSchedule, we’re experimenting with adding more tweets to our schedule, then analyzing its impact on followers and clickthroughs. I think that is the best way to to it—test, then repeat success. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hey @cyphermp:disqus, I’m with you. We’re big into social analytics at CoSchedule, checking out our success and failures (which is almost more important) at least once a week. Love this advice—when you post consistently, check your analytics consistently. Great stuff.

  • Hey @mordecaiholtz:disqus, thanks again for reading and for the nice comment! What a great way to start the morning! 🙂

  • anjalikafashion

    hello sir thanks for sharing information i will definately try this out

  • Thanks for an interessting Article. Interessting when you should post, time and day. I check my Twitter analyze everyday and I can see that some days my tweets get more views and engagements, so this article was really interessting to read.

  • Just read the insightful article. Learnt things like a social media students. Excited to know the actual post timings which works. Many thanks for sharing the article. Also bookmarked this article for further reference.