Does posting frequency on social media matter?

 

Quick answer: Yes!

There is a mountain of opinion on how often you should post on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on. Depending on what you’ve read, this can be anything from twice a week to 10+ times a day (your mileage varies based on the platforms you favour). Whilst there may be some degree of discrepancy between the numbers of posts being advised, one thing that is almost universally agreed upon is posting frequency.

 

What do I mean by frequency?

When I say ‘frequency’, I mean the regularity of posting, regardless of how many posts per day/week/month you favour. And most articles will echo the same sentiment – maintain your frequency.

 

Out of sight = out of mind

To add some context to the above, put yourself in the position of a follower – would you prefer to receive content from a brand you follow on a regular and predictable basis or prefer to be surprised when it turns up in your feed every once in a while? It turns out that most people are creatures of habit. We prefer predictability. We like consistency. And this is why frequency should matter to you also.

Consumers can be quite unforgiving. If you haven’t posted in a while your target audience can think you’ve a) gone out of business, b) have nothing to say or c) are probably inferior to the brands that are championing their social channels. Either way, it does not bode well for your business.

 

Actually, frequency and quality matter

If you’re a small business owner or sole-trader just getting into your stride with social media marketing, you will no doubt have considered these two points:

1. to get noticed, liked, shared and attract new followers, you’ll want to be visible as often as possible. After all, the more you’re out there, the greater the chance your brand and content will be seen.

2. to attract the right type of follower and buyer, you’ll need to create relevant and valuable content that these followers and buyers would particularly want to see and respond to.

 

Achieving both of the above and sticking with it can be a daunting, even gruelling prospect. Again, think like your prospective follower/buyer. If you post irregularly, I might see you once but what are the chances of me noticing or recognising your brand again in the future? You may have created a masterpiece, but with no regular follow up, I might think it was a one-off. On the other hand, if you post every day, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll see your brand and look at what else you have shared.

As is true for all small businesses, you need to find a balance between getting posts out there with a regularity, so you are not forgotten, but also not so often as to be seen as spamming. All with a level of quality/value that achieves one or more of the following purposes:

a) it’s informative

b) it’s engaging

c) it’s useful

d) it’s entertaining

 

Try the 80:20 rule

Unfortunately, writing lots of long-form posts (800 words+) is not only time-consuming, it is also extremely energy sapping. Being creative and articulate all of the time can be a huge a challenge for anyone. Instead, consider approaching your posting schedule using the 80:20 rule; where 80% of what you publish is short & punchy and 20% is more in-depth.

The 80%: In many respects, what this content actually is can be less important, so long as it is informative, engaging, useful or entertaining to your core audience. Equally important is that it shouldn’t be solely about selling your product and service. For most businesses, the audience is following you because you offer something of value and they like that and possibly want to know more. If you’ve got their attention and trust, they will become buyers in time.

The 20%: The remainder of your content on social media is where you devote your inner wordsmith to produce a more detailed post or article to promote your unique value(s), show readers how to do something, discuss something you have strong views on and so on.

Well, that was easy! Job done. Just start scribbling…

 

…only, something else happens in your working day and all of a sudden, that long-form blog gets pushed back, then something else happens and so do the little posts and… Oh dear! Like that New Year’s resolution you promised to stick to, it’s now just a distant memory.

 

But don’t give up yet. You can do this! Here’s why.

It turns out that your competitors have exactly the same writing challenges as you. According to Small Business Trends, 48% of all small businesses surveyed post to social media less than once a day. In truth, I suspect that most probably only get around to posting once a week or less. Their intentions were honourable as well. Which leaves you the opportunity to take the high ground again.

On the positive side, Buffer’s own research has found that businesses posting 1 or more times a day experience the best social engagement. So, yes, it is worth sticking with it.

 

Or, why not try the 90:10 rule instead

We’ve covered the theory in the 80:20 rule above. Only this time round, could you commit to posting one long-ish article every 10 posts? Just create 9 short informative, engaging, relevant, even entertaining posts in between.

As stated earlier, your posts don’t have to be clever (though they can be), just focus on the things that appeal to your target audience. Post about tips and advice, historical facts or events in your industry, important anniversaries, industry statistics, news and releases, even ask a question. Whatever you choose to do, aim to spend 5-10 minutes every day writing something down, then find an image that is relevant or complements it and share it with the world.

 

Can we ask a small favour?

Just like you, we try to build our business and brand through shares, likes and referrals. If you’ve enjoyed this post or think you know someone who would, please use the share buttons below (and above) to let your communities know about it too.

 

 

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