Social Media

There’s a little theory we’ve been working on, which you can feel free to either test out, or disregard completely. I’m just going to come out and say it:

Consider scheduling your Facebook posts for off-peak times.

I know, I know. This runs counter to every bit of common sense you have, which tells you to obviously schedule your posts for the times where most of your readers are online.

Facebook Insights Chart Displaying Peak Page Activity Times
Facebook Insights Chart Displaying Peak Page Activity Times

Using the chart above, we can see that our blog’s fan page gets hit with the most people between three and six in the afternoon. That makes it seem like the ideal time to post, right?

But here’s the idea. It’s possible, just possible, that more people will eventually see your post if you schedule it for off-peak times. The reasons for this are twofold.

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Instagram has emerged as another important social media platform for food bloggers who are trying to expand their sphere of influence and their number of readers. Unlike the kind of super-polished, well produced food photography typical to food blogs, Instagram offers food bloggers an opportunity to share quicker, on-the-fly moments from their lives as foodies that readers can relate to. But how can you make sure that people are actually seeing your Instagram creations?

The answer is simple: Hashtags.

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By now, it’s clear to anyone that markets their food blog on Facebook that their organic “reach” (that is, the percentage of your page’s fans that actually see your updates) has dropped to near-uselessness. While two years ago, pages could expect about 15-20% of their “fans” to see a given update, that number is now approaching an officially-stated target of around 1-2%.

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If you’re not using Instagram to promote yourself or your food blog, there’s no better time than right now. In fact, Instagram now leads other larger social media networks in terms of user engagement (that is, the degree to which followers of a page “like” or otherwise interact with a post), according to the Wall Street Journal. But this high level of free contact with fans of your site may not last.

A new report by the market research firm Forrester Research, titled “Use Instagram Now,” found consumers are currently much more inclined to like, share, and comment on brands’ posts on Instagram than they are on Facebook or Twitter. How much likelier? Posts by brands and food blogs generate an average of 58 times more engagement per follower on Instagram than they do on Facebook, and 120 times more than on Twitter, the report said.

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