Ever wondered what kind of content you should be posting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for maximum engagement? We've got you.
In our last installment of this miniseries, I’m discussing content creation and posting for the three major social media platforms I’ve covered up till now: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
If you’re like me, you’ve only really used social media to engage with friends and family and post fun pictures from vacations or small trips. Using social media as a marketing tool can be frightening and overwhelming. Content creation is an art, for sure, and the idea of coming up with things can be overwhelming. And then you learn (maybe just this second) that there is a strategy to posting on various platforms; you need to post at specific times to gain the most traction with a post! What?! So, let’s take it step-by-step and see if we can’t turn that awkward moment into an awesome victory!
One little piece of advice from me to you: an important part of the path to finding the right platforms is knowing the amount of time it takes to produce content. If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of work that goes into it, take more time to plan things out or make another platform your main priority while you get a better handle on things.
According to Later, a content scheduling site, Facebook stories “could be the best opportunity for brands to grow their engagement, build brand awareness, and strengthen their relationship with their audience.” This is a growing trend for businesses to utilize, which could allow you to stand out from other institutions in your area and other similar organizations. And! You can share stories from a computer or the app, whichever works best for you. These stories are good for 24 hours, like Instagram, which means you’ll probably have more interaction and engagement from stories than posts. For more details and step-by-step instructions, visit Later. Unlike Instagram (which you’ll read about below), you don’t need to post daily, just a few times a week.
Finding the right time to post on any of these platforms may take a few months before you find optimal times. With Facebook, this is no different. Think about where you are and with whom you want to be engaging. If you want to engage with parents and guardians of young kids, post later in the evening or early in the morning when they have time to scroll. This is when Facebook Insights comes in handy—it will tell you when you’re reaching the most people, who you’re reaching, what content worked and what didn’t, and more great stuff that can help you build a presence and following online.
Let’s start with stories. 500 million people interact with daily stories; of those people, over half are more likely to follow an account after seeing a product or sale or the like featured in a story. These statistics make Instagram stories a crucial part of your marketing campaign. Follow other museums or organizations that are like yours to see how others tackle the daily story. Check for graphics, types of content, engagement elements, design, etc. for inspiration and some good ways to engage with your audience.
In addition to stories, it is recommended by Instagram Business that accounts post three to five times a week on their feed (this the grid-like main page for accounts). These posts can be updates, beautiful pictures, and ads for events, etc. As long as your posts are aesthetically pleasing and communicate a clear and consistent message, you’ll do great. If posting that often is a bit of a planning nightmare, consider using platforms like Canva, Instagram Planning, HootSuite, and Later—these sites may cost a monthly fee, but they will allow you to schedule posts and stories across all platforms. Plus, they’ll save you the headache of remembering when to post something!
The best times to post on Instagram for your stories are between 11 AM and 1 PM, and 7-9PM. For your feed you want to aim for early mornings, lunch time, and late night:
- Sunday: 7 AM, 8 AM, and 4PM
- Monday: 6 AM, 10 AM, and 10 PM
- Tuesday: 2 AM, 4 AM, and 9 AM
- Wednesday: 7 AM, 8 AM, and 11 PM
- Thursday: 5 AM, 9 AM, Noon, 4 PM, and 7 PM
- Friday: 5 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM
- Saturday: 11 AM, 7 PM, and 8 PM
It is recommended to save important information posts during the week as opposed to the weekends.
Reminder: The average account only sees about 1% follower engagement on posts, meaning if you have 100 followers, you may only get a handful of likes on posts and views on stories. Don’t get discouraged.
Twitter is a little more complicated, depending on what you’re trying to post and who you are trying to reach. This means you could need to post at different times for different content. If you’re looking to post thought-provoking content, Thursdays and Fridays are your best days, at 9AM and 8 PM. If you’re looking to engage with students (university-aged and their families), posting on Saturdays between 5 and 6 PM, or weekdays between 9 AM and 2 PM work best. As many museums are nonprofit organizations, Wednesday at 7 AM is a prime time to post. According to Sprout Social, “Twitter is an ideal destination to activate [a nonprofit’s] fan base, raising not only awareness of their mission and message but also activating followers to drive traffic and engage donors.” Outside of Wednesdays, the other weekdays between 8AM and 3 PM work well, too.
In order to work well on Twitter, reiterating what I've said in part three, you must post multiple times a day. This is called a thread, meaning that a series of posts or comments from one account or several on a particular topic. Think of it more like a conversation; how would you start a conversation? How would you get people interested in talk to you? What would interest people enough to strike up a conversation? These are the kinds of things to post.
Please don’t get sucked into the social media void! It can be all consuming, vying for people’s affections and approval is exhausting. By staying organized, using a schedule, and turning your brain off regarding social media (I know, easier said than done), you can stay ahead of the burn out and focus on using these social media outlets as tools for marketing.
Sarah Hixson (she/her/hers) is an emerging curator and educator focusing on DEAI and indigenization work and incorporating activism into museum practices. If you have questions for Sarah, please comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Benjamin Chacon, “The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Stories in 2021”, December 16, 2020. https://later.com/blog/facebook-stories/  Benjamin Chacon, “The Best Time to Post on Facebook in 2021”, December 15, 2020. https://later.com/blog/best-time-to-post-on-facebook/  Christina Newberry, “Instagram Statistics”, January 6, 2021. https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/  Benjamin Chacon, “The Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2021, According to 12 Million Posts”, January 1, 2021. https://later.com/blog/best-time-to-post-on-instagram/#:~:text=Generally%2C%20the%20best%20times%20to,it%20during%20your%20free%20time!  Christina Newberry, “Instagram Statistics”  Elizabeth Arens, “The best times to post on social media in 2020”, August 3, 2020. https://sproutsocial.com/insights/best-times-to-post-on-social-media/