Social Media Posting Guidelines [Free Download]


I knew that a lot of organizations don’t know where to start in terms of a social media posting strategy. I also knew that we could use a constant reference ourselves. For this reason, I created this one-page social media posting guide to serve as a helpful free resource to anyone on the web. Feel free to download or share this online or off, we just ask that you follow the instructions for sharing at the bottom of the guide.

The guidance here is for regular organizations that do not have full time social media staff or unlimited resources and thus aims for maximum impact with the limited time you have. Scroll down past the guide to view links to official translations and other useful information.

Social Media Posting Guide by Craig Van Korlaar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. With these guidelines in mind, feel free to repost, share, and print.

Creative Commons License




Keep in mind…

  • There is more to social media than just posting content (listening, engaging, monitoring, copywriting techniques, etc)
  • I’ll be creating more resources that expand on the concepts in the future, so be sure to subscribe to updates via email or rss.


Arabicدليل النشر للإعلام الإجتماعي
CzechPrůvodce Přispíváním Na Sociální Média
DanishSociale Medier Posting Guide
Dutch – Posten Op Social Media Handleiding
FrenchLes Médias Sociaux Guide D’utilisation 
GermanSocial Media Postings Leitfaden
Portuguese: Mídias Sociais Guia de Boas Práticas
SpanishGuia Para Envío de Social Media

Other official translations in Russian & Swahili, coming soon! (with more in the works). Signup to be notified when they are released, or help translate an official version into another language.

FAQ: What time zone do the recommended times apply to?  For those of you in the United States that have a national audience, you will want to use Eastern time as this is where nearly half (48%) of the US population lives (Eastern + Central = 81%). If your audience is primarily local or regional, treat it as local time.

Planning and Scheduling
For those of you who are interested in a breakout of the planning and scheduling components of this resource, I’ve summarized them below.

Monthly: Planning

  • Content strategy planning session– Identify what’s coming up. Schedule campaigns
  • Define Key messages – Define key messages for campaigns & events
  • Use an editorial calendar – Can be as simple as a shared google doc or calendar

Weekly: Content Creation

  • Batch content creation – Maximize time. Minimize mental gear shifts
  • For Twitter, Schedule (or plan to add later) at least one post per day
  • Using scheduling tools like Hootsuite – Tip: vary timing slightly and avoid :00 and :30
  • Use analytics with your links – Insight, good. Dashboard obsession, bad.

Every Other Day

  • Post to Facebook – Best frequency to get and keep likes


  • Post to Twitter at least once a day – More is better and vary times slightly
    • Best CTR: 8-9am, 2pm, 5pm, 3pm* – (test for yourself) Worst times: 1-7am, 10am-1pm, 6-7pm
    • Best RTs: noon-4pm – (test for yourself) Worst times: Before 10am and after 7pm
    • Space out your tweets – No more than 1 or 2/hr (excluding @replies) Buffer is a great tool for this.
  • Check feeds at least 2x per day – If only 2x, then mid-morning & late afternoon


  • Post on the weekend – People are less busy which means greater click through rates but less retweets and shares

About author



  1. Avatar
    Pastor Tommie 2 July, 2012 at 04:14 Reply

    Thanks. I’ve been doing some of this. After a period of time I was watching the insight stats, and began to change my strategy. This helps a lot.

    • Avatar
      CraigVanKorlaar 5 July, 2012 at 16:51 Reply

      Thanks Zan! 

      Are there any points you think could use a stand-alone article to providing more context/detail?

      • Avatar
        Susan McLean 10 July, 2012 at 08:48 Reply

        Great chart, Craig! Each point in the chart can be the topic of several stand-alone articles. You could write a book! Go for it!

        • Avatar
          CraigVanKorlaar 10 July, 2012 at 17:17 Reply

          I’ve considered it (the articles for each that is). Any requests for the first one I should consider starting with. 

          • Avatar
            Rosi Bustamante 11 July, 2012 at 14:38

            I agree with Susan!  One question I did have is what do you mean by batch content creation? Thanks, great tool, and I’m already using it with a client!!!

          • Avatar
            CraigVanKorlaar 12 July, 2012 at 07:44

            Good question. You’re not the first person to ask this. “Batching” means taking a series of things that are normally done separately and grouping them together to increase efficiency. In this context it means sitting down for a 15 min to 2 hours block of time (or more if necessary) each week and creating and scheduling the most important content to ensure you consistently post at least the recommended minimums. This saves time and increases productivity and effectiveness. Without the stress of constantly looking for that next tweet, you are freed up to monitor and engage at a higher level. If you come up with more content, great. But the important thing is that you don’t HAVE to if you’ve already got the bases covered. I’m working on some more resources that will help with this process so be sure to sign up to be notified

  2. Avatar
    Peter Trapasso 9 July, 2012 at 11:05 Reply


    I found this thanks to Beth Kanter’s share on her Facebook.  Well done!

    I printed it out and put it up on my office wall as a daily guide and reminder.



  3. Avatar
    Tracy Barron Phillips 9 July, 2012 at 15:25 Reply

    Thank you!  Share with one of my newbie clients, and they said that now they “get it!’  Hope I can return the favor someday by paying this forward…

    • Avatar
      CraigVanKorlaar 10 July, 2012 at 15:28 Reply

      That was the hope when it was created, but the positive response has been overwhelming. Thanks Vinod! 

      BTW, let me know if you’re interested in doing a case study post on I dig what little I’ve seen of Karma Store, and a real world example of how you helped a nonprofit would likely be helpful to all involved. If interested, shoot an email to craig(at)topnonprofits(dot)com.

      • Avatar
        Vinod Kamath 10 July, 2012 at 16:47 Reply

        Hey Craig, saw your last reply earlier. I am definitely interested in doing a client case study. I was about to shoot you an email, but got caught up with some other stuff. I will ping you later this evening to discuss.

        Thanks for the offer. Look forward to working with you. 

  4. Avatar
    Doha 10 July, 2012 at 00:43 Reply

    Hi we are social media exchange from Beirut, we are very interested in this and we want to translate it to Arabic to be able to use it in Arabic language trainings on social media that we usually do for NGOs and civil society in Lebanon and the Arab region, but the license is keeping us from doing that, so is it possible to do that as long as we stay true to the content? Many Thanks

    • Avatar
      CraigVanKorlaar 10 July, 2012 at 15:31 Reply

      That would be awesome! We’re already creating official translations in Czech, Dutch, and French with Spanish and several other languages in the works.  Please email me at craig(at)topnonprofits(dot)com so we can work out the details of creating an official translation. Excited!

    • Avatar
      CraigVanKorlaar 10 July, 2012 at 16:34 Reply

      Sorry, it looks like my previous reply might not have gone through. Very interested in working together to create an official translation. Emailing you the details.

    • Avatar
      CraigVanKorlaar 10 July, 2012 at 16:00 Reply

      Good question!  There is less aggregate data on Pinterest due to its current lack of an API, but here are some basic tips I’d recommend (but that I myself could do a better job of implementing). 

      Post regularly but space them out.
      Don’t post more than 5 or 6 things in a short amount of time to avoid clogging other’s feeds. If necessary, create a list of links/pins to post later.

      Specialize: At least 75% of boards should relate directly to your specialty
      For example if you’re an animal nonprofit, create themed boards (arctic critters, dogs, big cats, horses, birds, etc) rather than one big animal board.
      See my friend Alex’s profile (890,000+ followers)

      Stay true to your categories
      This is a personal pet peeve of mine

      Download a browser extension and pin straight from websites
      Don’t just cherry pick though, do your own leg work.
      Follow links of images you like
      There are often other goodies you can share directly from that linked page.


  5. Avatar
    Steve Wright 11 July, 2012 at 07:33 Reply

    Craig, this chart makes great sense for pushes your message in to social media.  However, that is only using half of the capacity. Nonprofits are definitionally social and will do damage to themselves and their brands if they do not behave in a way that engages with their communities. The reason why social media is interesting is because… well… it is social.  It goes two way.  Would be great to add to this chart the best practices on listening and engaging.  This is valuable not only from a selfish brand enhancement perspective but also from the perspective of program advancement.

    • Avatar
      CraigVanKorlaar 11 July, 2012 at 19:21 Reply

      I totally agree, the first time around I tried including this but there just wasn’t enough room to cover everything on a standard sized page (critical for ease of printing). The fact that I called this a “posting guide” and not a social media guide wasn’t by mistake. 🙂 I’ve got a few sister guides to this one up my sleeve.

  6. Avatar
    TallDeepVoice 4 August, 2012 at 08:07 Reply

    Any way you can post this in a text-only version for the vision impaired? There are lots of blind page admins…


  7. Avatar
    HostGator Coupons 4 January, 2013 at 04:37 Reply

    Twitter does have a solid and faithful user base and following, but they’ll need to continue to morph and evolve.It’s simplicity and limits are both a benefit and a constraint. The decision to extend its functionality towards being more of an engagement platform and/or embedding its core functionality into already existing and emerging platforms are two potential paths of action to extend growth

Post a new comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.