Last night, I got in around 7: 15 p.m. and was extremely excited to see that my new business cards from Vistaprint had finally arrived! However, I opened them up only to find an ugly green line on the top of each one. My first thought? Tweet at Vistaprint and ask for reprints, of course!
However when I got to their account, this is what I found:
Now, full disclosure: Vistaprint responded to my request the next morning and immediately sent me new cards without a hassle. I was extremely impressed! However, this brings up an important question..how should PR practitioners handle social media in a 24/7 world when their job is set from 9-5?
Facebook and Twitter never shut down for business at 5 p.m. In fact, their traffic often picks up after this time. According to a buddymedia.com survey, the best times to post on Facebook are 7 a.m., 5 p.m., and 11 p.m. (all EST) And, whereas marketers and PR professionals traditionally avoid sending out emails late in the day and late in the week (i.e. Thursday and Friday afternoons), Facebook’s user engagement increases by 18% during these times.
Tweeting is also (somewhat of) a science. Recent data suggests that the best time to post to result in the most retweets is around 4 p.m. (especially on Friday afternoons).
Now, scheduling posts for these times isn’t a problem when using social media management tools like Hootsuite and TweetDeck. However, simply scheduling posts is a traditional, one-way communication method whereas social media is all about two-way communication and engagement. If we’re only responding to concerns once or twice per day, are we really fulfilling that engagement aspect of social networks?
How often does your business respond to customer concerns? Are you okay if brands and businesses only respond to concerns during “business hours”? Which brands do you think have great customer service and engagement via Facebook and Twitter?