Whether you are an experienced user of social media for your healthcare practice or just getting started, an important consideration that will need to be made is when to publish your posts. Most medical practices would assume that posts should be made during normal business hours. This is not always the case. In fact, depending on your target audience, you may be better off posting after hours and on the weekends.
When a post is made on Facebook or Twitter, it can be viewed by anyone who is a fan or follower of your page. The caveat to this is that unless they are looking at their social media accounts at or shortly after the time you post, your message is bound to get buried beneath more recent posts.
You can find a variety of studies on the Internet that focus on the best time to post. According to Buddy Media, engagement is highest at 4am, 7am and 11pm. Another study found that the highest engagement came between the hours of 10pm and 12am.
The only way to know what time is best for your practice is by experimenting with different times of the day for posting (early morning, late evenings and weekends) and track the kind of response you get. Are people liking, sharing or commenting on your posts more frequently at certain times of the day? Take note of this and measure your responses over several weeks. An example three week schedule to try is for week one, post at 5am and 10pm (Monday – Friday) and at 8am on Saturday. The next week, post at 7am & 11pm (Monday – Friday) and Sunday at 3pm. The third week you should try posting at 6am and 12am (Monday – Friday) and Sunday at 10pm. Now see what times brought about the highest amount of engagement. You do not need to stay up late or work on the weekends to post at these times. Facebook now offers users the ability to schedule their posts.
Each businesses “sweet spot” for posting is going to be different because their fans’ behaviors are different. For the most part, however, people are busy during the day and while they may “see” your 11am post, they may not have the time to truly read it. That is where you may be missing out. Send your posts when your fans have time to process what you are saying, not when your message is competing with dozens of other posts and the fans attention.
By taking the time to measure your posts performance, you will ensure the majority of your fans can see the helpful information you share. Over time, this will expand your medical practices reach and patient base, which is the ultimate goal of any social media marketing strategy.