As accurately pointed out in “The Top 25 Real Estate Tweeters’ Twitter Feeds,” social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are tools that you simply must use in today’s tech-driven world. How we get news updates, stay in touch with people around us, and share up-to-the-minute information is all broadcasted through our social media accounts and the number of potential home buyers you can reach through such networking services can certainly help grow your real estate business.
But devising a social media strategy that works and coming up with the best possible way to reach new and existing clients using social media isn’t always so cut-and-dry. If you run a random Google search for when the best time is to update your Facebook or Twitter feed, you’ll likely get a variety of articles talking about studies that have been done on this topic, all with seemingly different results.
An article by Samantha Murphy from Mashable.com summarizes data released by bit.ly, which claims that updating your social media feeds between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET will give you the highest click rank, especially on Monday-Wednesday. Samantha goes on to say , however, that Tumblr, a free micro-blogging platform and social networking website, follows a much different pattern than the more popular Facebook and Twitter platforms and that it’s suggested that you wait at least until 4 p.m. to post anything here.
In another study, Dan Zarella from HubSpot—one of the most respectable inbound marketing companies in the country — has found that if you want your followers to share or “like” information on your feed, updating your status or posting this information between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET should give you the best chance for such results.
So the question remains, when exactly is the best time to update your social media accounts? My thought is that the results found in these studies don’t necessarily mean you should always schedule your status updates at these exact times; and I think both bit.ly and HubSpot would be the first to agree. Variables such as the type of business, who your followers are, and what your target market is should always play a part in when you should post relevant updates and that, of course, can differ greatly between social media users and companies.
For me, the discrepancies in these studies tell me that when you update your social accounts matters less than simply making sure to update it regularly. The fact that time and effort is being spent to analyze this data proves to me that social media is relevant, effective, and something in which you need to participate, but the inconsistencies in some of these reports are just too apparent for me to make this a major focal point in a social media strategy. A good rule-of-thumb: Don't update your social media accounts at 4 a.m.; other than that, when deciding on how to use social media to attract home buyers and gain more exposure for your real estate business, worry less on narrowing down your status updates down to the exact minute and instead just make sure that you’re constantly doing what it takes to make these updates—no matter what time of day.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working in market research and authoring published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and is a managing partner at Real Estate Web Creation, LLC.