How do you know when to post to social media?

It's the age old question in social media - post in the moment or wait and post later? Or, schedule posts in advance? How do you know what to do and when? This is a question I get asked pretty frequently so I thought it was important to address on my blog today.

Here is how I think about it….

When it comes to things that happen that I don't expect; my kids doing something hilarious, a funny moment with my team, something I just happen to see as I'm about town - those are all things I post right then and there. I am a big believer that when you are using social media to grow your business, that when you start to look at your life as content and look for moments to share who you are - a whole world will open up to you.

Now, that being said - when I'm posting in the moment I try to also employ a few strategies quickly.

For example, I will tag any friends I am with, or tag the location I am in. If I Instagram a delicious meal at my favorite restaurant, I will try to tag that restaurant in my post. I also try to not just post one thing and blast it everywhere. I may take an Instagram photo and also push it to Twitter and Facebook. Or, I may save a Snap and share it out on Facebook too - but I very rarely will take one piece of content and just post it everywhere - even in ‘the moment' because it feels spammy to me.

How about scheduling or posting later? I look at our marketing calendar  to get a sense of what type of content we want to share on social media; what webinars or events do I have coming up that I'd like to promote, what blog posts are we publishing that we'd like to share, etc. I also look to see what content performs really well by viewing my Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and I share more of those. I spend a few minutes each day reviewing a few strategic Facebook and Twitter lists I have set up to curate and share great content and I also look each day at BuzzSumo to see what content is trending and will share content there if it makes sense with my brand.

If I had to evaluate my social media posting, probably 50-70% of what I post is ‘in the moment' but having the other 30-50% scheduled or planned in advance, ensures that I have a steady stream of content flowing on the channels that are important to me and my audience.

Now of course, scheduling in my book never, ever means ‘set it and forget it.' It means taking time a few times a week to purposefully share content that is relevant to you and your clients, and it also means having your systems set up so you can respond quickly or as needed to comments. For example, for my Facebook Business Page - I have my notifications set up using the Facebook Pages Manager app, so I receive a text notification when a new comment or message comes through.

I also think that when it comes to posting in the moment, versus posting later - when it comes to an event where I've taken a number of photos, if the event ends late, many times I will post one or two photos at the event, but then the next day take the time to edit and post the ones I really like into an album on Facebook. This extends the life of the event on social, it helps you post exactly what you want to post and it allows more people to see your content. I also really believe in being in the moment at events and parties - and not have my head buried in the phone the whole time!

This post originally appeared here

Katie is the CEO and Owner of Katie Lance Consulting. Katie is a nationally known keynote speaker at conferences and events, teaching the latest tools and strategies in social media, mobile and technology trends. She is a frequent blogger and contributor to Inman News and The Huffington Post.

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