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What’s Your Time-Zone? This one tip could make a massive difference.

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Check your settingsDo you ever think you’re being ever so clever, and then realise you’ve done something stupid?

I was looking at the analytics today for one of my Facebook pages and couldn’t work out why there was a pattern of morning posts getting lots of views, and evening posts getting a very low number of views.

Morning posts were getting 100s of views, evening posts were only getting around 10 views!

According to Facebook insights evening posts should have been the most popular – so why were we getting so few views?

I looked again at the analytics – 9.30pm should have been the optimal time to post, and I had never before seen such a clear pattern of low views for that time of day. So what was going on?

I went back to the tool that I use to schedule the posts. Yes, it was set to 9.30pm on specified days.

I was just about to moan that the software was rubbish, when it hit me – my main settings on that account were set to UTC-0.00

In fact, it should have been set to GMT+01:00 – it’s British Summer Time.

I had made that basic mistake when setting up the scheduling.

This difference of one hour was crippling my post reach.

Now, I have to make clear that I usually double check the time – and usually set it to the correct setting. I had made a mistake in this one case.

Why share this with you? Why tell everyone I made a mistake?

It is the clearest example I have ever seen as to how a small difference in posting times can make a massive difference to your results.

I have always known that timing your posts makes a lot of difference – and I always show clients how to optimise their posts.

However, there’s a big difference between doing something because you know it’s right in theory, and the deeper understanding that comes from seeing the practical consequences of not following that advice.

So the key learning points from this are:

1. Check that your social media accounts are set to the right timezone. This is usually in the settings.
2. Check your analytics as to the best time to post. In Facebook, you can click the “Insights” tab and click “posts”. This will show you the best times and days to post.
3. Check your analytics regularly, and query why things are happening – if I hadn’t checked mine, I wouldn’t have noticed the pattern of low and high volumes of views and realised that I’d done something wrong with the scheduling.
4. If you use any tools to help you use social media, always check the settings to ensure they are set to the right timezone. If one hour’s difference has such an effect, imagine the impact if you have a time-zone from the other side of the world and are posting in the middle of the night for your target audience.

By the way, there are a number of articles and infographics that show the best times to post on each platform. These are invariably different to what my own analytics show to be the best times for my own business.

Most of my clients are local small businesses, and for nearly every business, the optimal time to post is 9.30pm; yet the infographics don’t even list this time.

They are based on big data. Mine are based on a very specific demographic, and because I see the same thing repeated on nearly all my clients’ accounts, I know that this is the right time for them.

Different businesses will see different results – always check what is right for your business rather than using general statistics or infographics.

BUT just remember- before you go by your own analytics – check your account is set to the correct time-zone!

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*Norwich/ Norfolk UK social media training: *Workshops, in-house, or one to one training *Management of social media accounts *Local marketing *Author of Twitter Success Strategies, LinkedIn Success Strategies and How to Tweet Your Book *Specialist in: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Instagram Email marketing
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