How to Use Social Media like a Scientist

Have you heard of the scientific method? It is essentially the life-blood of any scientist. It is what guides them through their journey into understanding the world around us. The steps of the scientific method are as follows:

  1. Ask a Question
  2. Do Background Research
  3. Construct a Hypothesis
  4. Test Your Hypothesis by doing an Experiment
  5. Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
  6. Communicate Your Results

Although the method seems simple, it is the basis for which all scientific discoveries have been made. In other words, its elegance is in its simplicity. The beauty of the method is that it can be used in any field to extrapolate data and better understand the issues that we face…including social media.

The Question

Social Media is a powerful tool for any budding marketer. It is estimated that one in four people worldwide use social media and the ability to tap into such a large market could mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful business. The question is how do you reach these people? With a seemingly endless list of competition, how can you stand out from the social media cloud? Is there a best time to post? Is there a best day to post?

The Background Research

According to Buddy Media, “The less people want to be at work, the more they are on Facebook According to their research.  It seems as though people want to be less at work on Thursdays and Fridays since engagement rates are 18% higher on those days than any other day of the week. A similar study found that weekends received the highest engagement. This would suggest that the end of the week would be a good start for placing social media posts if your goal is higher engagement with your fan base. In case you’re wondering, the same results were found for Twitter, with engagement reaching approximately 17% on the weekends when compared to other days of the week. It is important to note that there was slight variability between industries so you definitely want to test this yourself for your market.

It also seems as though consumers are more active early in the morning and late afternoon, with another surge in the evening. When developing a social media campaign, it is important to think about the user and when they would most likely jump on their social media accounts. It seems as though the most common times they use social media are between 8 – 10am during people’s commute to work and between 2 – 5pm during the time people are getting ready to go home. In other words, when people tend to be idle, they tend to be on social media. Twitter did an interesting study where they found that those who use the social media platform through their mobile device are 181% more likely to be on Twitter during the commute. They also found that they are 119% more likely to use Twitter during school or work hours.

The Hypothesis

This background data suggests that the best times to post are during the week in times where your fan base might be commuting to work or getting ready to go home for the day. If you are looking for the best days to post for fan engagement and communication, Thursday and Friday would be the optimal days to Tweet or place your Facebook post. If you want to stand out from your competition, using these times and days as a basis could help you achieve just that.

The Final Three Steps

In order to find success with social media, you will have to take this data and suggestions and test it to see what works best for you and your industry. The key is to use this as a starting point so you can better hone in on the most beneficial times and days for you to place posts. This constant testing and refining is what will help you stand out from the crowd and get a good piece of the social media pie.