New research from marketing platform Compendium finds that timing is the key to social media marketing.
Compendium's study took social networking data from 200 companies to find out what the best practices for social media outreach are. The study's results showed that by delaying major announcements by just a few days a company could see a major rise in user engagement.
"It's really important to think in terms of what your buyer would want to see from you in social media. It's really easy to want to slide into a habit of being self-serving and overly self-promotional in your social media channels, but it's really important to be focused on what your buyer would want. How they would want to receive it, and when they would want to receive it," Compendium Marketing Operations Specialist Corey Kime told ClickZ.
"When companies are really serving the needs of their current and prospective buyers is when we've seen the most success with social media."
The study found that B2B marketers would see the biggest opportunity for user engagement if they tweeted on a Wednesday. While LinkedIn content posted by a B2B company on a Sunday saw the greatest chance of success.
B2C marketers ended up playing by a different set of rules altogether. LinkedIn posts done on a Monday had the greatest chance of success for B2Cs. While tweets from B2Cs saw greater success if posted on Mondays or Wednesdays.
Compendium's research also shed light on how marketers should be framing their social media posts. B2B tweets with a hashtag saw a 193 percent spike in user engagement. However, consumers were actually turned off by hashtags. Hashtagged tweets were 82 percent less likely to garner a user response from individual consumers.
Another surprising trend is that neither businesses nor consumers liked social media postings with question marks in them. Tweets with question marks were 52 percent less likely to gain user engagement for B2C companies. B2Bs also saw clicks drop by 32 percent when their tweets sported a question.
Compendium says that B2Cs and B2Bs differ quite a bit in the way they use social networking.
Kime told ClickZ that B2Cs are generally more likely to use social media to engage with consumers. However, he points out that when it comes to LinkedIn, the social media usage trends get reversed.
"One of the biggest differences we noticed was that B2C companies tend to be much more active right now on social media than what B2B companies are. Generally speaking, B2C companies tend to find it a more direct relationship with their customers than do B2B companies, so they have taken to social media a little bit faster than their B2B counterparts," continued Kime.
"The one exception to this is LinkedIn, where we found that B2B and B2C companies are much closer in their usage rates than other social channels. This makes sense as LinkedIn is seen as a more professional community than other social media channels."
Surprisingly, both B2C and B2B companies are using the same employee to cover blog and social networking functions. According to the research, 73 percent of all blog administrators also run their companies' social networking profiles.
James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club, CachedTech.com, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.
June 20, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT