Your brand has millions of followers -- but how engaged are they? In the digital age, simply having a high number of followers is not enough. Marketers must find the optimal time and day to deploy content that truly engages their audiences.
Despite recent emphasis on best deployment times, marketers are still choosing the wrong windows to deploy campaigns in order to engage customers at the highest level. For example, Tuesday is the most engaging day on Facebook, yet the number of campaigns launched that day is declining, ranking fourth during the week
With 7 billion visits a month, and 900 million active members, Facebook ranks as the top social network. The sheer number of social media users means marketers need to optimize the prime times to reach their customers.
Deploy campaigns outside of "work hours"
For marketers, it's easier to plan campaigns that happen during the work day. But the least utilized time for deployment for Facebook -- between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. EST -- ranks highest in engagement opportunity. The most popular time of day to begin campaigns is between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. EST, and yet the time frame is in the bottom 30 percent in terms of engagement.
For Twitter, early morning timeslots are the most engaging -- 5 to 6 a.m. and 7 to 8 a.m. EST. However, marketers deploy the majority of Twitter campaigns during regular work hours. If marketers begin campaigns outside of work hours, they face less competition and over-messaging.
While time of day is less important for YouTube, 68 percent of YouTube campaigns start between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. EST. Surprisingly, the 2 to 3 a.m. EST timeslot achieves the highest engagement. Monday ranks as the most engaging day for YouTube, but is one of the least utilized days.
Tailor the content to your customers
Even if the time and day are engaging, the customer must connect with the content for the campaign to be successful. For instance, status updates and posts containing links show a decline in engagement, yet the two comprise 50 percent of all deployed Facebook campaigns.
Video on Facebook is growing rapidly and consistently in engagement, making it the most promising Facebook format. But only 6.5 percent of Facebook campaigns utilize video. Incorporating photos or videos into campaigns encourages users to engage and share content.
If Twitter and Facebook campaigns identify a desired behavior, the engagement level rises. The most successful campaigns provide an incentive for action or make the customer feel empowered.
Integrating email campaigns can double engagement
Multi-channel campaigns, such as launching an email and Twitter campaign at the same time, result in more successful customer engagement. Facebook engagement grows by roughly 50 percent when an email campaign deploys. Using two email campaigns in the same time frame causes a 100 percent increase in engagement.
Twitter engagement increases by 25 percent with one email campaign and more than 40 percent when a second message goes out. Email campaigns can promote customer interaction and drive social engagement. Including a share button in an email campaign expands the campaign and allows customers to share with people outside the email list.
Find what works best for your brand
Marketers must test times, days, and content to find the most successful mix for their customers. An interesting way to develop an intelligent marketing strategy is to observe what competitors are doing on social channels. When developing a social media and email campaign strategy, marketers should put less emphasis on number of followers. Instead, marketers must use digital intelligence to create highly engaged followers and improve a brand's marketing strategy.
Michael Fisher is president of Yesmail Interactive.
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