This is a question that we hear all the time, “How often should you post on social media?” and there is no real right or wrong answer. Business leaders are hoping to hear, “Oh, just whenever you get around to it is fine!” But the reality is, frequency and consistency do matter… a lot.
Each platform has a different tolerance level, and you want to keep your audience in mind, but you can most certainly post more often than you think. We might see all of our posts because we are loading them in or watching every post carefully, but our community of followers is not sitting in front of their computer watching everything we post (I know…shocking).
Twitter has the highest threshold because there are so many tweets flying by, fast and furiously. You could post every 30 minutes and most people would only see a few of your posts if even that many. If you are NOT posting often enough on Twitter, it is hard to be seen or heard. The lifespan of a tweet is approximately 18 minutes (See Peter Bray’s post from Moz on this interesting lifespan). Of course the more followers one has, the longer the tweet can live through retweets. It becomes a 4th-grade math problem with 31 tweets traveling north at 50 miles per hour and 72 retweets going southbound…how many people saw your content? But let’s just agree that tweets have a short life span and they move quickly through the Twitter streams, so you need more posts here to reach the number of people you’d like.
LinkedIn has the lowest tolerance for multiple posts because it is strictly a business tool and if you are blathering all day on LinkedIn, you will quickly annoy most people. As with any social channel, the more relevant and helpful your content is, the more it will be acceptable. Posting a status update once or twice a day will improve the visibility of your profile, and if you are writing long form content as a POST on LinkedIn, posting once a day is great (if you can write great content that often).
There is much debate over how often to post on a Facebook business page, but the reality is, like the others, if you have great content and an engaged audience, they will take it as often as you want to dish it out. Even a year ago, Facebook said 4.75 billion pieces of content is shared every day! You may think you are seeing them all, but you’re not. Every time someone visits the News Feed there are on average 1,500 potential stories from friends, public figures, and pages. Most people on Facebook are now connected with so many more people and follow so many businesses, that it shortens the lifespan of a post. Facebook’s algorithm is set up to auto-filter for you, therefore you don’t see content from everyone you are connected with and very rarely will you see content from the business pages you have liked…unless of course you go to their page, which most people don’t. This is why posting often works for business pages. I see some pages post hourly on Facebook and they have a big enough audience that the content is liked, commented on, and shared, spreading like wildfire! For most pages, posting once in the morning and once in the afternoon seems to work well, and there are some businesses that simply want to have a presence on Facebook, so they keep one post per day dripping along and of course very little engagement will happen there.
Instagram seems to be more like LinkedIn, in that fewer posts make for a more desireable stream to follow. Instagram hasn’t implemented a filter or algorithm yet, so you will see every post from every follower if you scroll enough. So when people get carried away posting 8-10 photos (some, all in a row) it gets irritating for most. Of course, there are marketers who love sharing every move they make on Instagram and now seem to have more promotional text-filled graphics than actual photos, so this platform continues to morph. The thought is a few really great photos or posts each day go a long way to attracting view
After watching this short video, we’d love to hear your feedback.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Where do you post the most? Is there a sweet spot when it comes to the timing of content for your community? Inquiring minds want to know! :))
You walk into your office as the phone begins to ring. You answer the call as you click on your email icon and messages start pouring in. Half-way through your inbox, you realize you hadn’t scheduled anything on your social media sites …again. This is the third day in a row, and so you promise yourself that you will throw something up on your pages and profiles during the lunch hour, when things slow down a bit. The problem with this is… it never slows down.
Effective content marketing takes more than throwing a post up now and then to let visitors know you are still around. And for those who ask, “How many posts and tweets do in need to post each day, for it to be enough?” I say you are going about this all wrong. That’s like asking how many questions do I need to answer from my customers today, or how many times must I speak to guests in my hotel lobby today? First plan what you want to say and how you will answer common questions and then go out and start conversations.
Here are 3 Strategies to Help Tame the Social Media Beast:
1. Take time each month and then each week to plan what content you want to get out.
Do you have events coming up that you need to let people know about? Is there a focus or theme for each week that you will tie your content into? Do you have a blog post to write or one that is written that you need to promote on all of your social sites? Will you run ads or a contest on one of your social sites? What questions do you want to ask your communities to gain insights into your products, services or industry? You’ve now got a worksheet full of content … Now it’s time to schedule.
2. Take time to schedule your content to drop at optimal times.
You know you are busy throughout the day, so scheduling your content ensures you will have well planned and well crafted content dropping at the optimal times for your communities. Using a tool like Hootsuite, Buffer or other third party app, allows you to schedule content to Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and others. You can schedule your content out for the week or for the entire month if you wanted to. Think about your audience as you determine the best time to post. if you are a realtor or restaurant and your audience is local, you know the time zone your customers are in. If you are a financial consultant that has most of your clientele on the east coast, then you take that into consideration. If you are targeting those heading out to work, drop your content early…perhaps 6:30-7:00am for LinkedIn or 7:00 for Facebook and Twitter. If your target audience is stay-at-home moms or dads, target that, finally got the kids out the door, sweet spot, time. Lunch time and early evening might be another ideal time for your content to gain viewership. Here is a great post that provides more data on the best time to post. Once the content is scheduled, you can get to your other tasks….but don’t forget to check in.
3. Make time to chat and walk-about each day
Just because you put content up on your social media sites, doesn’t mean you hang the “Gone Fishing” sign on the door. You need to make time each day to pop in, comment on the discussions that you started, or respond to questions. Take a quick “walk-about” and scan the posts others have put up and leave your comments or likes. Reply or ReTweet a few posts and then close it down before your day gets sucked away. If you do this two or three times a day, it will not pile up and become a big chore that you have to get to at the end of each day. This social bear will be tamed in no time.
Would you like a free template for the content strategy sheet that our team of community managers uses? Download your copy here and start taking the time to plan and be more strategic with your content. You will start seeing greater results than the drive by, chuck-a-post approach. I’m sure of it.
In most relationships there is a honeymoon phase, where we learn about each other, we are more tolerant of idiosyncrasies and we even see the best in each other…until you get on Facebook! We are hyperconnected through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites with so many people that we don’t have time or patience to go through this honeymoon phase in so many relationships.
Plus people tend to expose their bad behaviors on social sites perhaps more than they would in person. They post inappropriate pictures, spray paint farm animals all over our walls, tell the world things that only a close friend should know and talk non-stop without coming up for air to allow others to chime in.
“Researchers spend a lot of time examining how people form friendships online but little is known about how these relationships end,” said a PhD student at CU Denver’s Business School, Christopher Sibona, who used Twitter to survey more than 1500 Facebook members. He found that 57% of people will UNFRIEND because of poor online behavior, while almost 27% of folks get UNFRIENDED due to offline behavior.
His study revealed these top 3 reasons people get UNFRIENDED:
1. Frequent UNINTERESTING posts
2. Polarizing POLITICAL or RELIGIOUS views posted
3. Inappropriate, CRUDE or RACIST posts
While this study was about so-called friends calling it quits, what does it teach those of us using these tools for business?
1. You are always “ON.” Your behavior online and off is part of your brand 24/7, so BEHAVE and play nice out there.
2. Be strategic with what you post. Am I posting content my community would be interested in? Is it helpful or is it just me entertaining myself? (I am guilty of engaging in a clever-fest occasionally and it is darn entertaining to me!)
3. Use LISTS on Facebook to send specific posts that may be more personal or politically slanted, to those that would be interested in that information. Always keep your community in mind.
What are some of the reasons YOU have UNFRIENDED someone? How are you keeping your personal and professional worlds from colliding?
Let us help you set those social goals, clarify your online strategy and be FRIENDED more often!
Yesterday someone sent me a question that really got me thinking. It doesn’t take much to send my brain off on a 2-hour tangent, but this was a question we all struggle with. Her comment and question was this:
“I am marginally involved in social media, but, like most of us these days, I’m so busy taking care of the “have-to’s” that there is little time to devote to keeping things current on Facebook and LinkedIn. I recognize, however, that I always manage to make time for the really important things. How important is social media? “
Now I am no life coach or productivity expert (that made me laugh just typing it!) but when it comes to prioritizing activities around social media here are some questions you must FIRST ask yourself:
What are my goals? What am I trying to achieve in my work and personal life (if they are separate?)
What activities must I be engaged in to get me to these goals? If your goal is to move into a leadership position (which hers was) then personal and professional development are essential activities. If your goal is to start your own business, then networking, learning to market and sell become essential. So we must first identify the activities.
NOW- what are the best ways to perform these activities? What tools can I use to do these activities better, faster, BIGGER? If your goal is to learn management skills, take a class, but also find and connect with other top leading managers and leaders on Twitter to learn from the best (go beyond the book). Network with others in management classes on Facebook or LinkedIn to share knowledge and accelerate our learning. Through social media you can create your own mastermind group of experts where you can listen, ask questions, and grow faster than you could on your own. You are also putting your name and expertise out there creating more opportunities for yourself. My oldest daughter is a zoology major up at CSU and I have encouraged her to connect with and learn from others in her field on Twitter.
Lastly, what are those other “HAVE TO” activities that I am filling my day with and how can I re-prioritize or become more efficient while doing those?
If you are spending 2-3 hours attending meetings that are not productive…ask for agendas, call in instead of attending live, etc. If you are spending too much time on email, commit to becoming more efficient with that by creating rules and telling people to send you messages only when necessary- no FYI messages. And at home how are you spending your time? If you are spending time watching television at home, well then….. YOU HAVE TIME!
Social media tools are just that…TOOLS. They can help you perform some of these activities on a much bigger scale and less myopic than other activities (ie- going to Chamber lunches or Association meetings) (Yes, I am anticipating the hate mail on that comment), but the bottom line is you have to start with the end in mind. What are your goals and how can social media tools help you reach those goals?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this~ What are YOU doing to make time for social media? Is it working for you?
Let us help you set those goals and find the right tools to get there FAST! We help organizations use today’s technology to connect in meaningful ways with their communities.
I have to admit, as a social media consultant and technology speaker, I have accounts on most of the sites, but I have used LinkedIn the least. I know, many of you LinkedIn lovers are going to have a field day on the comment section! 🙂 As a business owner I have always thought of LinkedIn as today’s rolodex or having a brochure for your business online. Pretty static, except for the groups. Now I know for job seekers and those employed, it is a great tool to connect with recruiters and hiring organizations, but for most businesses you really have to get involved in, or better yet, CREATE YOUR OWN, group in your specific industry where you can share your expertise and learn from others.
I hear from people all the time complaining that the groups are spammy and there is no real value in them. First you must find the right group, and second, see if the group has any “ground rules” or policies about members not selling or spamming others. Third if there are no such rules and you can’t find a great group that shares info without spamming the members, CREATE ONE!
I have found a few key pieces of information that will help your group be found once you have it created:
Add keywords in the description of your group to increase your search rankings on LinkedIn’s search.
Add keywords in the title of the group to be found on Google.
Add your blog RSS feed to the group so new posts are shared with group members.
Send a weekly message that adds value for group members.
Be the host/hostess. Connect people in the group by making introductions to those who could potentially do business with one another.
If you are a speaker, trainer, or educator interested in joining a virtual community of peers and having fabulous programming that will help you build your speaking, training or coaching business check out our page on Facebook.