To post or not to post? That is the question
Many small businesses and even digital marketers don’t know how often they should be posting on social media. In truth, there is no one right answer and usually how often you should post depends on your audience.
However, there are some broad strokes you should be aware of, so consider the following list as more of rules of thumb. Experimentation is fine and if you discover that your audience is reacting differently than the following insights suggest, you should run with it.
Before going any further, it’s important to note that most digital marketers believe that consistency is more important than frequency. You’re more likely to find success if you put up one social media post per day each day of the week than throwing up 5 social media posts on Monday, then dropping off.
As such, make sure you consider your bandwidth and develop a social media strategy that is in line with your capacity.
Facebook: Keep the Posting Restrained
When it comes to Facebook, it can be tempting to post multiple times per day. However, Hubspot did some research and found that for many smaller websites, posting only once per day often increased engagement. In fact, posting just 4 or 5 times per month can actually double engagement per post!
Why would less posting lead to higher results? Most likely, Facebook is watching out for businesses that might be trying to spam people. Further, when you post up only once per day, Facebook seems to emphasize that one post.
However, there is an exception to the above, if your page has more than 10,000 followers, multiple posts per day can produce better results. That’s likely because each individual post will only be shown to a small number of your followers.
Takeaway: Posting once per day is a good, safe strategy that is likely to produce optimal results. Larger pages can post more often. Busy small businesses can aim to post once or twice per week.
The Ideal Twitter Strategy
The average lifespan of a tweet is less than 20 minutes! This means by the time twenty minutes have ticked by, your most recent tweet has already been pushed to the bottom of the list. As for retweets, most will be made within the first hour. So how do you stay in front of people? Tweet, tweet again, and then tweet some more.
When it comes to Twitter you can tweet to your heart’s content. Thirty tweets in an afternoon? Have at it. If you don’t want to tweet that often, a more reasonable target is one tweet per hour, or perhaps fourteen tweets per day, which is how often, social media management platform company, Buffer tweets.
Still too much? Many small businesses don’t need to have a huge twitter following, so to maximize engagement per tweet, you can send between one to five per day. Some research suggests that engagement will start to drop off after the third daily tweet.
Takeaway: For most small businesses, three tweets per day is an attainable goal. If there’s a lot to talk about, feel free to bump that up to five. If you’re busy, it’s okay to have a cheat day and send out only one tweet. Want to tweet more? Have at it.
How Often Should You Post on Instagram?
Instagram is a big platform for visuals. The modern, sleek, and image-rich platform can be a bit intimidating for newcomers. Good news is, Instagram is more about quality than quantity. Even many of the biggest brands only post one or two times per day.
For many small businesses, one post per day is enough. Of course, you should try to make that single post as appealing as possible. Show off your goods, introduce the staff, etc.
For companies that have an audience of 1,000 or greater, you should strive to post three or four times per day. As your audience grows, feel free to experiment with more posts per day, so long as you have the content to justify the posts.
Takeaway: For most businesses and individuals, a single Instagram post per day is enough. If you have a large audience, or your activities afford a lot of great visual opportunities, feel free to post a bit more frequently.Can you overpost on your business' social media accounts? When's too much or too little? Click To Tweet
Linking Up with Linkedin
The Linkedin platform has been evolving quite a bit over the past few years. Initially, Linkedin was more akin to digital business cards rather than a full-fledged social media platform, however, Linkedin continues to add features. Beyond seeing someone’s resume, you can now publish articles on Linkedin Pulse, for example.
Linkedin suggests publishing one post per business day, or roughly twenty posts per month and most digital marketing experts report lower engagement on Saturday and Sunday. This is a great goal, however, it is essential to focus on the quality of posts rather than quantity.
On Linkedin you can share both posts, akin to most social media networks, and publish articles. Publishing articles is a great way to drum up interest and to show off your expertise. However, you likely won’t be able to publish an article every day, so mix sharing other content and publishing your own content.
If you don’t have the time and resources to post every business day, try to at least participate every day. Comment on other people’s posts and pages, for example.
Takeaway: Strive to publish content at least a few times a month. Once a week is a great and manageable goal. Further, try to share content every day and at the very least, be an active participant every day.
Google Plus is an SEO Plus
Facebook has over a billion daily active users, Google Plus probably doesn’t top five million active users. In terms of social media potential, Google Plus is pretty limited, however, Google Plus pages do make good landing pages.
More importantly, an active Google Plus page can help your SEO in the Google Search engine. Many companies and individuals use Google Plus specifically to increase their search engine rankings and it makes sense that Google would pay close attention to their own social media network when compiling rankings.
Given how important SEO is for any website, Google’s preferential treatment is a great benefit. If you are trying to increase search engine rankings now or plan to in the future, Google Plus is a great resource. If not, putting Google Plus on the back burner is reasonable.
How often should you post? Once per day seems to be a safe bet. If you have more to say, however, feel free to post between three to five times per day. If you’re running an aggressive campaign, it’s possible, but not guaranteed, that more frequent posting will help.
Takeaway: Between one to eight posts per week is a good target. Companies looking to improve SEO could mirror their Facebook posting habits.
Conclusion: Focus on Quality and Experiment
Let’s take a quick glance at our general guidelines
Facebook – Once per day is optimal. Big pages can post multiple times per day.
Twitter – Three to five times a day. More often if you want.
Linkedin – Once per business day.
Google+ – Once per day. Remember this is often more for SEO
Instagram – Once per day
The above guidelines are safe, reasonable, and likely to produce good if not optimal results. However, you should always focus on quality, not quantity. Make sure your posts add value, are well written, and typo free.
Further, feel free to experiment. Your audience might react better to more posts than other audiences. General guidelines are great, but at the end of the day, your specific audience always takes precedence.