Creating Your 'Virtual Porch'
● YouTube (second most visited, 170 million+ unique monthly users): Second only to Google, YouTube has effectively replaced traditional television for millions of viewers. Considering that YouTube searches occasionally surpass Google searches, your organization needs to be in this space. If you’re interested in appealing to a younger demographic, be aware that YouTube reaches more 18- to 34-year-old viewers than any cable television channel.
● Twitter (fifth most visited, 90 million+ unique monthly users): Twitter is the most active mobile social media. Users expect and receive immediate feedback from a rapidly growing group of businesses and nonprofits. If they have a question, comment or complaint, they’ll tweet you and expect a response.
It is crucial that you monitor your organization on Twitter — the faster you respond, the better you foster relationships and squash complaints.
● Pinterest (11th most visited, 60 million+ unique monthly users): Often scoffed at as a place “where women share pictures,” Pinterest is the fastest growing of the social-media sites. It is crucial in engaging a younger female audience.
Pinterest is more than a pinboard. It is a visual bookmarking system where users can save a visual representation of a link to a website. To make your posts “pinable,” always include a shareable photo on your Web pages.
When should I post and how often?
“When” depends on your audience and the lifestyle of your community. Frequency depends on the channel you use. The life cycle of a social-media message varies drastically depending on the platform. You can think of social media in terms of traditional media analogies.
- LinkedIn is like the Sunday paper, only it arrives on Monday or Tuesday. Most users check out LinkedIn once a week, while at work on Mondays and Tuesdays. Post at least weekly. If you post multiple times a week, your most important content should be posted Sunday or Monday for greatest reach.
- Facebook is like television. People have favorite channels, programs and personalities. They tune in once a day, maybe more, to check out their favorite channels and programs. Try to post multiple times a week, if not daily. While the best day of the week is disputed and depends on the nature of your followers and community, traffic tends to begin building on Sunday afternoon and peaks on Wednesday evenings. Mobile users can be reached early mornings, between work and dinner, and near bedtime. Desktop users are most active midday and late night.
- Twitter is like radio. They tune in when they have a few minutes, “listen” for a while, switch stations if bored and tune out when they get busy. Tweet often for the maximum impact. Multiple times a day is not overkill. Because the likelihood of a tweet being retweeted drops by 97 percent within one hour, it’s OK to be somewhat redundant with information. Only those followers that have added you to a search or list are likely to see the message repeatedly. Add links early in your tweet to increase sharing. Post during commuting times on weekdays for maximum impact. Also post during major local or national events when Twitter users are especially active. Recently, Nielsen Media released research indicating that Twitter and television viewing have reciprocal impact. Each can increase activity for the other. Consider tweeting during prime-time television viewing to reach media multitaskers.
- YouTube is on-demand television. It doesn’t matter so much when you post, but it is vital that you post. Try to get in the habit of posting something original once a month, if possible. You can also provide a service to your subscribers by sharing relevant informational and entertaining videos created by others.
- Pinterest is like a weekly paper or magazine. Pinners spend time browsing the Web and pinning favorites to their boards. Traffic builds after noon and slows from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Peak pinning time is weekend mornings and late night.
This may seem like an overwhelming task. To increase your efficiency and minimize your time commitment, consider using tools like Buffer, TweetDeck, HootSuite or others to aggregate and schedule your posts. This allows you to manage multiple accounts in minutes each week.