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Establishing social media sites for your business is one of the first steps in marketing yourself online. Now you just need to figure out how to use social media. Some questions you may have are how often should you post and when? Here are four things to know about posting on social media for your small business:

1. Visibility - Time to live is short.

If you want your audience to see your posts, you have to make them visible. With a high volume of traffic on social media sites, your post only has a limited lifetime, which means your post is only visible to social media users for a certain amount of time. The average life of a Facebook post is three hours and the average life of a Twitter post is two hours, but it could be minutes based on how many individuals your followers are following. 

2. Relevancy - Make your content current.

Making your content visible to your audience also means making it current. The content you create needs have value to your followers. Making your Facebook and Twitter as current as possible means your posts will not be lost among the thousands of other posts your followers see every day. If your posts contain something interesting and timely, they are more likely to go to your page or interact with your content. A great way to find timely content is to look at what news or events are trending online and on social media. 

3. Timing - When to post content.

Knowing when to post content on social media varies based on which social media outlet you are using and who your audience is. 

Based on Twitter statistics the highest percentage of retweets happen at about 5 p.m. EST and the highest percentage of Twitter users who click on links occur between noon and 6 p.m. EST. Individuals are also most active on social media towards the end of the week and on the weekend. Posting on these days draw more retweets than any other time of the week.  

Posting on Facebook is a little different. The majority of Facebook shares spike at noon and after 7 p.m. This is because a majority of companies block Facebook at work, so users tend to go on during their lunch breaks and when they get home from work. 

Even with this researched information on when to post, you need to consider who your audience is. Therefore, you need to predict, measure, and repeat. Predict when you think your followers are on social media, see what type of interaction your social media receives, then repeat this action until you find the best results for you. 

4. Frequency - How often you should post.

Figuring out how many times to post a week on Twitter and Facebook can be challenging. You want to be able to stay relevant and have a connection with your followers, but you don’t want to become annoying by posting too much. There is no exact number of posts that each business should publish on social media, but there is a range to live by. 

Twitter is all about getting a message out to your followers. Since the average life of a tweet is only two hours, you need to compete with other tweets. In order to do this you should tweet at least five times a day. The great thing about Twitter is that you don’t need to worry so much about overwhelming your Twitter followers with too many posts. The more you tweet, the greater chance you have to engage with fans. 

Facebook is used as a visual and conversational tool. The average lifespan of a Facebook post is three hours. However, you do not want to post on Facebook as frequently as Twitter. In fact, you will lose followers that way. However, keep in mind that posting once a week will put you in danger of losing a connection with your audience. Therefore, consider posting about four times a week.