Digital Content: How often to post on social media
Does the frequency of what you post on social media matter? Yes. In a word. But knowing how often to post on social media can feel like a mystery.
As a consumer, how many times have found yourself ‘unfollowing’ that business that has posted so much content it feels draining to be on the receiving end of?
For business owners and leaders, the unfollowing figures are more than you might fear.
A whopping 41.5% of social media users unfollow brands that post too much and too often. Post too much unthoughtful content and users start to feel ‘cluttered’ and, at the click of a button, you have lost them.
That said, from a business perspective, how do you know where the sweet spot is? How do you know what’s too much to turn people off, or what’s too little to lose attention?
The answer is, there is no easy answer.
But, in the interest of this blog, we’ll explore further. There are a number of aspects that will first need to be analysed before delving deeper into how often you should be releasing posts. These are:
· Target audience
Setting clear goals around your social media activity is the ultimate starting point to discovering how often to post on social media. Splashing content out with no real purpose behind it will only go against your brand. You content should align with your mission and vision statement always.
Some common goals include aiming to boost direct messages, increase brand awareness, improve audience engagement, or provide better customer service. Or they could be specific for particular periods of time such as bolstering the amount of incoming job applications.
Always avoid making ‘going viral’ on of your goals. I hate to be a realist here but with this kind of goal the aim is a little unreachable as videos that do go viral are often an anomaly. Pitch your social media right and it might just happen anyway.
Targeting your audience
Knowing who you are aiming your social media at is the most crucial place to start. Simply posting pretty pictures and a couple of hashtags with the hope that you will reach the right place at the right time is too much of a stab in the dark and a waste of precious time.
Ultimately, this concept is much like any marketing you put out there – who are you trying to reach? How is your product or service going to make things better for your client? How will you improve their life? Why does anyone need your services or product?
Work out the problems and questions your target audience has and tap into providing the solutions and answers for them.
In addition to knowing who you are aiming your social media posts at, consider who you are. Let me explain.
If you run a B2B (business to business) business, you are likely to only need to be posting around two to three posts a week. If you run B2C (business to consumer) more often is okay. Although, too much can be crowding and so it needs to be carefully monitored.
Equally, if you are using social media to promote personal branding and you are out networking a lot and promoting your expertise, it’s a good way to promote your skill set without being too overt about it.
Authenticity is knowing yourself
It can be tempting when we don’t know quite how to do something to simply copy someone else, can’t it? However, when you copy someone else, it might add to your account in one way, but it takes something away from you at the same time; your authenticity. You are an expert in yourself – no one knows your story better than you.
People only buy from those they trust. If you aren’t authentic, people won’t trust you. Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.
Mistakes are opportunity
You will make mistakes, accept that. But in the meantime, appreciate that you can learn from them and improve (rather than crying into your phone.)
With all platforms, there are ways of measuring the effectiveness of your posts. By measuring them, you will be able to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s all part of the development of your social media profile and all platforms helpfully allow you to track and be aware of what they are. It’s all in the stats.
A degree of trial and error will be needed to discover what connects with your audience, and feels true to your voice.
Quality over quantity
Posting 50 posts a week that don’t involve a great deal of thought simply won’t be as effective as, let’s say, three high-quality planned posts. Poor quality puts people off and they’ll be reaching for the unfollow tab in no time. Content that adds something to their day, to their learning or that taps into a pain point for them will go much further.
Consistency is also vital. Creating a pattern for the framework so to speak means that you will stay in the sweet spot of being in your followers’ consciousness. Don’t drop the ball or you may well lose that attention.
Placing it on the right platform is also another important aspect. Something that should be on Facebook may not work on LinkedIn. It’s also largely to do with the industry you are in.
An independent retailer might not use LinkedIn as much as Instagram to share content. Think about which platforms your target audience is using and for what. This will further inform the amount of posts you need to dedicate to each social media site.
Not all platforms are for everyone, and you don’t need to be present on all of the big five. It’s about finding the right ones to suit you and yours, and the right methods to reach the right audience for you.
This is an important one so let’s explore the key players further to help you suss how often to post on social media and what might work for your business.
Facebook can work well for a variety of businesses because of its flexibility. For those who are looking to share posts, blogs and external links, Facebook is suited to near enough every type of business.
Hootsuite recommends keeping posts to one to two times a day. Facebook is a prime example of quality over quantity. They can be more detailed than, say, Instagram but they shouldn’t be as frequent as Instagram as there’s a greater risk of a drop in engagement with this platform.
A platform that really suits any entrepreneur is LinkedIn. It can be used to provide snippets of your expertise into trends and industry insights that frames your business and company culture in a position of knowledge. Essentially, it creates real connections with individuals within your network.
Remember that hashtags and tagging in fellow business people extend its interactive reach.
How often you post on LinkedIn centres again around how consistent you can be. Posting once a week from your personal LinkedIn profile as well as your company page is a good starting position. One of your posts can even be a repost from your company and then you can add any comments as you share. You can monitor the engagement from this starting block and increase or decrease the frequency from here.
Instagram is ideal for sharing visual content and striking images. Perfect for lifestyle brands as a carefully curated platform branding.
It’s an interactive platform with stories and reels to reach your consumers and create ways to get your followers to engage with question stickers, polls, links and more.
Instagram also enables you to be discovered by potential customers through locations. Adding a location to your post, or a geo-tag to your stories provides opportunity for local networks to discover.
How often should you post on Instagram? It depends on a number of factors but one of the most important is to take into consideration how many followers you have. According to later.com for accounts with under 1k followers, posting on Instagram can be anything up to 14 posts a week for maximum reach and engagement.
This is dependent on your goals though. If your goal is to attract more followers then posting a lot could lose them. However, if you are wanting more reach, then the regular high volume of posts here will work.
For those who are looking to get their message across in a short and sweet way, a tweet works best. Their lifespan is short-lived as Twitter displays content at a fast pace to keep up with trending news and opinions. It’s also good for sharing other users’ content that is relevant to your followers quickly. Videos and graphics work well here too – but it’s predominantly about fast opinion and expression.
Again, it will come down to quality and consistency. It also means knowing your audience and where they are sitting and spending time.
Hootsuite generally recommends posting one to five times per day. Although, as this is a platform more suited to personal branding, there really is no ceiling, especially because they are generally short and sweet.
There’s also no one size fits all when it comes to how often to post on social media. Ultimately, it’s about the industry you are in; whether you are promoting your personal or business branding; and who you are talking to. This will all inform you of how many posts you should release per platform and which method works best to reach your set goals and branding according to achieving the highest engagement with your target audience.
Therefore, we can conclude that there is no right or wrong answer. Set the goal, know yourself and who you are talking to and ensure quality over quantity at all costs.