Social media is an integral part of your book marketing strategy but how long do your posts remain effective for? How many days or minutes until your content no longer appears on your reader’s Facebook feed or Instagram stream? All authors can benefit from knowing the average lifespan of their social media posts and how to extend post visibility to reach more readers. So let’s examine the major social media platforms further.

Lifespan of Social Media Posts

Twitter – 15 Minutes

Twitter posts have the shortest average lifespan of all social media. On this fast-moving platform the average lifespan of a tweet is anywhere from mere seconds to several hours. With an estimated 6000 tweets being posted every second it can be difficult to gain visibility before your tweet is swallowed up. To increase the ‘stickiness’ of your tweets keep them short and visual. Think eye-catching images and GIFs. Pin your most important tweets to your timeline, book launch details or your email opt-in work well here, to ensure visitors to your profile see this post first. Use a scheduling tool, such as Buffer or Hootsuite, to space out your tweets throughout the day. With so many people in the literary community on twitter it’s a fantastic place to connect with fellow authors, agents, publishers and industry professionals. Focus finding your readers and fellow authors by using and searching relevant hashtags to your genre.

Facebook – 6 hours

Facebook has the second shortest lifespan with posts lasting an average of 6 hours. The Facebook newsfeed is carefully curated, meaning that only a small percentage of your followers will ever see your post. According to studies, a post reaches 75% of peak impressions (the number of times your post appears in a news feed) within 2.5 hours, engagement also peaks within the initial hours of a post. Increase the lifespan of your posts by posting at peak times for your audience, uploading video posts and using Facebook live. One of the most effective ways to increase your post visibility on Facebook is through advertising.

Instagram – 21 hours

Like Facebook, Instagram is a curated platform showing only a selection of posts. The visibility of your post is dependent on the quality and the average post will achieve 50% of total engagements within the first six hours. It’s important to post unique, high-quality, relevant content that your readers will want to engage with. Use eye-catching images that stand out in the newsfeed. Increase your visibility further with stories and going live where possible.

LinkedIn – 24 hours

LinkedIn articles work best for non-fiction authors and can last months if they achieve a high rate of engagement. Write posts about topics that you know may be controversial or pertinent to a specific LinkedIn group. Invite comments and discussions on the topic. Participate in blog discussions. Check regularly for blogs related to your genre. This will ensure that you stay up-to-date in your field and establish yourself as an expert. As your number of connections and followers increases so will your article visibility.

YouTube – 20 Days

YouTube videos have the potential to be long-duration content. To increase the visibility of your YouTube channel concentrate on posting evergreen video content and optimizing for search engines. Use keywords in your descriptions and titles, add tags and focus on topics that are relevant to your readers.  

Pinterest – 4 Months

Pinterest is often praised for having a long post lifespan and being an excellent tool to drive traffic to your website. Like blogs and YouTube videos, pins have very long lives. Pinned content can often show up in a feed months after posting and be re-pinned to extend a post’s overall lifespan. This means that your pins will continue to drive traffic to your website over an extended period of time. To increase the effectiveness of your pins use a Pinterest automation tool (such as Board Booster or Tailwind) to spread out and schedule your posting, post to group boards and optimize your boards to help readers find your content.

Blog – 2 Years

Blogging is the gold standard for post longevity. An evergreen blog post can remain effective for over two years. Boost your blog by posting relevant, unique content and following good SEO practices.

So what does this mean and how can you use it to improve your social media marketing?

Before you panic and change all your social media platforms it’s important to note that just because a social media platform has a short lifespan doesn’t mean it won’t be effective. A successful social media strategy is all about reaching your readers. This means concentrating your efforts on where your readers are. Post at optimal times for your followers, check your analytics to see what days and times are receiving the most interaction. Post consistently and appropriately for the platform you are using. For Twitter this means posting several times a day, for blogging once a week. For faster moving platforms use scheduling tools and automation. Most importantly make your content fantastic – it should be attention-grabbing and specific to your readers.