You wouldn’t put a physical flier in a potential client’s mailbox daily, would you? You wouldn’t email a potential client daily, would you? No, because these things are spam. Similarly, over-posting is spam. When people perceive you to be taking up too much real estate on their news-feed, they unfollow, block, or dislike you, regardless of the product you offer.
Social media is about being social – people want to see what their friends are doing, so it’s wise to respect that ‘space’ you’re taking up that could have otherwise been filled with something else!
There are exceptions to the rule, of course. So today, we’re going to discuss these exceptions, what you should do if you aren’t an exception (like us!), and what the research says in terms of the optimum posting frequency.
BUSINESSES WITH DAILY REPEAT CUSTOMERS AND UNIQUE RELATIONSHIPS
Businesses that have a product which customers can reasonably purchase daily, absolutely must publish daily. The perfect example is a coffee shop; a lot of people love to purchase coffee on a daily basis and because of that daily engagement, have a sense of familiarity that is far deeper than with a typical company. You know your customers’ names and preferences and they know the names of your staff. You have daily deals that tempt them in their doors, and your unique relationship means they don’t see your daily posts as ‘outsider intrusions’ on their social feed.
BUSINESSES THAT OFFER DAILY DEALS OR REGULAR SPECIALS
If your customers don’t purchase daily, and they don’t know you by name, then there are still occasions where a daily post could fit. The perfect example is a business that offers a daily deal that changes each and every day. Think of a florist that offers a different arrangement each day of the week; daily posting makes sense because customers need to see what is for sale before it’s all sold out. One thing to note here is that this works very well with goods that people perceive to be a luxury or a treat – who would complain about, say, a daily special on chocolate appearing in their news-feed?
NEW BUSINESSES AND STARTUPS
New businesses and startups must post daily in the first month or few months of their venture. This makes sense because it is a critical time for you to generate awareness in your target market. What you should do here is use what we have hinted at above, and that is, incorporate the social element of social media. Have you noticed that businesses that promote deals, opening specials, prizes, and discounts do well when they use the social aspect of platforms to their advantage?
BUSINESSES THAT DEAL WITH NEWS, TRENDS, OR ARE AT THE FOREFRONT OF THEIR INDUSTRY
Businesses that deal with breaking news or who rely on their ability to stay ahead of trends or developments in their industry suit a daily schedule. If you’re dealing with news, then it makes sense to post the news as it happens. If your business claims to be at the forefront of its industry, then daily posting demonstrates this in action. Remember, it doesn’t matter what your business says it does, it matters what it does. If you have timely information that adds value to your clients’ experiences, then it is wise to publish this as it occurs in real time. An example is fashion and beauty, which changes in 52 micro seasons. You have 7 days to showcase work, probably not enough, meaning you are well within your rights to share multiple posts a day. Keep it to the highlight reel, and customers will love it.
Don’t Fit The Criteria?
Publish On A Different Schedule.
All other business types need to determine which content schedule best meets the needs of their audience. What you need to do here is evaluate how often the typical customer purchases goods from you, and from there determine how often you think they’d wish to hear from you. If your customers only purchase from you once a year, you could reasonably scale back your postings to one exceptional post per week.
If your customers purchase from you once a month, then you’re a regular experience for them, meaning they wouldn’t mind seeing you regularly on their news feed say three or four times a week, but no more.
You have to balance the need to satisfy your existing audience while simultaneously trying to attract new potential customers. The easiest way to do this is by engaging your current followers in content that adds value to their online social lives. Get your followers to engage in your posts by appealing to their need for connectivity, for sharing, for real authentic dialogue.
SOCIAL PROMOTIONS ENCOURAGE DIALOGUE
Promotions work well to generate new potential client leads if you use them correctly. Let’s say you operate a travel agency and you want to promote a holiday that you’re giving away to two lucky followers. How would you appeal to your audience base while also generating new interest from those who haven’t already started following you? The answer is simple – by asking your followers to engage their friends as part of the terms of the giveaway. Ask your followers to share a holiday memory, tag the person they shared that time with on the original giveaway post, and both of them will go into the draw to win.
Encouraging social interaction within promotions makes a huge difference when it comes to engagement. Imagine you run a bakery and you want to generate interest in a new line of cakes you’re launching. Which is better? ‘Like this page to win a chocolate cake’ or ‘tag the person you’d love to share this chocolate cake with and why!’ The second one is clearly superior because it is in line with what social media is actually designed to do which is bring people together! The typical ‘like and share’ doesn’t do much because while you’ve encouraged people to interact, you haven’t encouraged them to see how your products or services will enrich their social life, so its not uncommon that those posts go unliked on pages where they’ve been shared.
A common social technique is to simply ask personal questions. A parenting page could ask followers to tell the story of how they chose their child’s name, a gardening page could ask followers to share their best produce, a hardware store could ask you to tell your best DIY success story. If you link the question to a product you sell or a service you offer that could enhance that social experience, then that is the perfect campaign! People simply love talking and sharing their achievements with people who have the same interests, making it a worthwhile engagement strategy to promote your business.
16-plus Posts Per Month,
3.5 Times The Traffic.
You don’t need to post every single day for no reason. According to Forbes, 16 is the magic number when it comes to the number of times you post content per month. This is a good reason why you should post all your content on your site first, before linking to social media. Some social media users like to create content directly in their social media post location, but you’re missing out on valuable traffic if you take this approach.
Another great reason to post directly onto your website each and every time is because it forces you to create a higher-quality post. Interestingly, longer form content is shared more often than any other length. According to a recent study, 3,000-10,000 word content gets the most shares.
Longer length content is typically well thought-out and well-written, in comparison to shorter pieces. A long piece typically covers one topic but goes into great depth, and it is usually written by a subject matter expert. It is usually value-adding, and you usually come away from it with a new idea, a solution, or a new perspective.
TARGET YOUR ACTUAL CUSTOMER DEMOGRAPHIC, NOT JUST ‘CLICKS’
While a large following is an asset, total follower count is at times a status item. Some marketers have a ‘followers or nothing’ approach when assessing whether their efforts have succeeded, which is why they use click-bait to artificially boost their statistics. But if customers ‘like’ a page, does that really have an effect on the bottom line?
In an era where many websites and pages use click-bait and fake news to up their readership and subscriber statistics, you can stand out by doing the opposite. Don’t aim for simply anyone’s view, aim for the view of your potential customers and actually deliver something they find to be valuable. Don’t aim for any content that makes people click, aim for content that delivers value after the click.
We choose to publish one in-depth article weekly via our email channel which we then post across Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We share a maximum of 2-3 links to other sources during the week which consist of high-quality, newsworthy articles or research that we truly believe our clients will find valuable. While we care about our followers, we don’t care about the number of followers. We care about ROI.
We publish a long-form article because the main mode of communications for us is email. According to Campaign Monitor, email marketing has been the highest ROI marketing stream for marketers in the last ten years. There are of course exceptions to this rule, such as businesses that only deal on Facebook. But for us, we match what works in our industry. Our customers primarily find us through Google searches, meaning its important for us to have our Google channels optimized moreso than our social media channels.
We should be present on social media, but we should not overdo it in relation to how much business it generates for us and we should at the same time respect our followers by delivering them valuable content. Ultimately, as service providers, we should use social media as a way to demonstrate our skills in action.
BE HUMAN: INTERACT SOCIALLY
If you’re a thought or knowledge provider, demonstrate that knowledge or thought through in-depth articles that assist in minor ways, that show you indeed deliver the level of quality you claim, and let your followers get to know you.
You should have figured out by now that people love the human connection side of social media, so it makes sense that they will enjoy learning about the people who work on both the front-line and in the back of your company. Actually, what goes on behind the scenes can be compellingly interesting. A behind the scenes look into how your company works is, you guessed it, a way for people to engage with the social side of your business.
To determine your own optimal schedule, match what works in your industry, in line with how your customers discover you and how they interact with you. Post according to the frequency with which customers typically purchase your products; don’t push yourself into their life more than they demonstrate they need via the way they already interact with you.
When you post, appeal to the social side of your followers. Show them who you are and give them a peek into how your business runs. Don’t be obsessed with the number of followers you have, rather, be interested in which of your efforts provide the best returns. In the age of social media, don’t forget to use email to your advantage, as well as other services, such as Google AdWords. Consider posting 16 value-adding posts per month at a minimum, and publish all work directly on your webpage.
When you publish high-quality, long-form content on a less-frequent schedule, you’re guaranteeing more engagement. With less unlikes and unfollows, your value-adding posts will be delivered to an audience that values you for respecting their time.
A Guide to How Often and When to Post Content, Forbes.com
How Often To Post On Social Media? [Proven Research From 10 Studies], Coschedule.com
The New Rules of Email Marketing, Campaign Monitor