If you have been wondering what are the best days and times for posting on veterinary social media pages, then you’re not alone! This has been—and continues to be—an ongoing quest of mine, to find the optimal posting times for reaching the greatest number of followers.
In this blog we’re going to look at 3 crucial elements that you MUST consider when scheduling posts on social media.
1. Who Are Your Followers?
This question is made a little difficult in our industry because just about anybody can be a pet owner. People from all demographics have pets, regardless of age, gender or housing type. However, from a social media point view, these are the main categories that I have defined from my own experience:
- Young singles (20-35 yo)
- Young families with children (the Mums are our target group here)
- Working couples (without children)
- Adults living alone (40+, single, widowed, divorced)
- Retired seniors (pensioners and self-funded)
(These categories will also influence what types of pets they have and what type of content you should post—but that’s a subject for another blog!)
2. What Are Their Online Habits?
Understanding who your followers are will provide insights into which social media platforms they use, and what times they are more likely to be active online.
- Young singles use Instagram and Tik Tok more than Facebook. They spend more time online in the evenings and late at night during the week, and are more active during the afternoons on weekends. (This demographic likes to sleep in!) These are the times you should be posting about dog-friendly venues, dog-park etiquette and safety tips for cats and dogs. Payment plans such as VetPay, AfterPay and GapOnly are also popular with this demographic.
- Mothers will have different online habits depending on whether they are Stay At Home Mums or Working Mums, however many will check Facebook after 3pm when the kids get out of school and on weekends. These are good times to post family-relevant content such as posts related to school holiday travel and activities, clinic promotions and discounts, or more light-hearted material such as Breed Spotlights and Fun Facts.
- Working couples will often browse their news feeds on Facebook and Instagram before and after work, and during their work breaks. As this is the demographic with the highest disposable income, evenings and weekends are the best time to post high value product and service related posts such as dentals, senior pet checks and wellness programs.
- Retirees have more time on their hands and are more likely to check Facebook during the daytime. They will be interested in topics such as seniors discounts and vet services that make their lives easier, such as nail clipping and assisted dog washing. Many of them also have elderly pets, so any content related to care of older pets is well received.
3. Insights – What Does Facebook Recommend?
Facebook Insights provides average times when your followers are most active, although to be upfront, I haven’t found this to be particularly useful. This is probably because of the reasons stated above. Our clients come from a wide range of demographics and so averages don’t provide the insights that we need.
This is the graph that displays on ALL of my Facebook pages:
This data is for the Pacific time zone (U.S. and Canada) but even after converting it to my local time zone, all it tells me is that people tend to ease off social media between 9pm and 4am. No surprises there.
Meta Business Suite (where I do all of my scheduling) does provide some guidelines in my own time zone. For example:
So, in answer to the question “What are the best times to post on social media?” —the answer is dependent on who your message is targeted at. Spread them around at different times and on different days and see what response you get. I generally avoid posting anything on Monday mornings, and not before 10am on weekends. Take into account things like public holidays, school holidays and world events, and be sensitive to who is most likely to be online at those particular times.
I hope this helps you to strategise your social media plan, and to start scheduling your posts where and when followers are more likely to see and engage with your content. If you have any useful nuggets of advice based on your own experiences, please let me know!