Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

September 03 2012

Social Media Success Starts On Saturday

By David McMillin, Staff Writer

Many of your organization's employees may work from 8 AM - 5 PM, but your prospective attendees are ready to receive your meeting marketing messages outside of regular work hours. A recent study from KISSmetrics shows that the best day for Facebook sharing is Saturday and the weekend is one of the highest-trafficked times for Twitter.

"It's important to remember that online communities are always talking," Mary Reynolds Kane, Director, Online Marketing, PCMA, says. "Your offices may be closed on Saturday and Sunday, but your prospective attendees are still listening."

The Weekdays Get Busy
It's not surprising that many online users are more available to engage with social status updates on the weekend. During the workweek, these audience members may be in and out of meetings, on conference calls and attempting to finish their work before the two-day hiatus from the office.

Every Audience is Different
While the KISSmetrics study shows some important statistics for your social media manager to consider, these aren't the final say in social engagement. There have been countless studies done on social media, and many of the findings contradict other reports. Why? All audiences are not created equal.

For example, consider a medical association. For nurses who belong to the organization, they may work 12-hour shifts for four consecutive days. During that time, they may not even bother to log-in to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

"So many factors impact your audience's online engagement," Kane says. "The key takeaway is that you must test different posting patterns to determine when you are most likely to capture their attention."

The Facebook Pages Insights tool provides a good starting point for understanding which days of the week are most active for your fans. With visual charts of who you're reaching, how many people are talking about your organization and which posts made the biggest viral impact, these free metrics can help shape your social strategy. If you're looking for more information, paid services such as Sprout Social delivers robust analytics across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social circles.

Managing Your Social Media Manager
It's important that your updates keep your upcoming meeting in news feeds throughout the weekend. However, that doesn't mean that you need to tell your social media manager to be in the office on Saturday at 8 AM. You can consider non-traditional hours to give the person in charge of your social circles the flexibility to work from home rather than a standard 40-hour workweek.

"Your social media/community manager's time is best spent interacting with your fans and followers," Kane says. "If you're asking them to be available to respond to comments, questions and retweets on the weekend and after 5 pm, you may want to consider excusing them from some of the day-to-day in-office routine."

Still, it's important to remember that social media isn't everything. From text messaging to email marketing to direct mail, the success of your seven-days-per-week meeting marketing strategy relies on communicating through multiple channels.

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