How often does my business need to be posting on (insert platform)?
When I meet with a business owner or marketing department for the first time, this question comes up without fail. Many of them have heard that they need to be posting every day and that this is the undisputed formula for success online.
Now I’m going to dissect this claim, and then provide a more realistic way to think about business growth on social media.
The argument for daily posting.
A few legitimate benefits of high post frequency:
- More organic (free) impressions overall
- More opportunities for your audience to engage with you
- More activity on your profile when someone comes to check you out for the first time
- More opportunities to provide interesting content
These are real benefits. If you’re receiving 5% organic reach on each post, it makes logical sense that if you want to reach as much of your audience as often as you can (which you do), you should be posting as frequently as possible.
It’s also true that each post offers an opportunity for your audience to comment and engage with you. I know firsthand that many business owners (particularly those who started as salespeople and realtors) think that engagement is a frivolous metric – but I assure you that when it comes to comments and messages, this is not the case. These comments present you with opportunities to build a relationship – any salesperson can see the value in that.
But do these points lead us to the conclusion that you should always be posting as much as possible on your platforms?
“Post frequency is essential,” my competition argues, “and any social manager who tells you otherwise is just being lazy.”
“No,” I reply, “what’s lazy is convincing your clients that as long as they’re making constant noise on social media, they’ve adequately used a platform to its fullest extent.
Here’s my counterpoint.
Yes – in an ideal scenario, you post every day on each of your important channels to get the most reach and engagement that you possibly can. From a numbers perspective, this point is inarguable.
However, this is only true if you have something worth saying every day on every channel.
And, for a lot of businesses, that is simply not the case. Yes, you do want your logo to be in front of your audience as much as possible, but you don’t want to appear as if you are clueless and not being mindful about the content that you’re posting.
Here’s an illustration of my counterpoint.
Realtors – I love you guys, but I have to pick on you for a second here because you’re notorious for doing this.
Don’t post a link to an article that someone else wrote about upcoming construction in your city.
Instead, drive to those construction sites and record yourself talking about who these neighborhoods might appeal to, and what kinds of buyers you envision moving there.
Or you could write a long-form post about each of the communities. What makes them great? What do your existing clients say about them? What are the drawbacks to living there? Are there/will there be any noteworthy amenities?
Do you see how either of these latter options will establish you as an expert and an authority, while the first makes you seem like you hired a mindless spam-bot to run your account? Perhaps more importantly, which account would you rather follow?
What this means for you.
Now I hear you thinking, “I get it, Max, I see how that’s more valuable, but that’s a lot of work and I don’t have time to do it every day.”
That’s exactly what I’m saying.
If you’re doing social media right, you’re probably going to have to slow down for a second. But that isn’t the end of the world.
Open your Instagram or Facebook feed right now.
Look at the first post on the feed – when was it posted? When was the second one posted? The third? If you go long enough, you’ll notice that they’re out of order. You may have even noticed that some of them don’t even have a date on them.
This is because Facebook (along with the other major social platforms) has a content algorithm that automatically arranges posts in an order that it thinks will “create the best viewing experience for its users,” which is code for “keep them on the platform long enough for advertisers to sell things to them.”
And the posts without dates on them? Those are advertisements and promoted content, they can run for as long as you want, as long as you continue to supply a budget.
If you don’t have time to say something thoughtful, spend less time saying stuff and spend more time thinking about what to say.
A Practical Application.
You have no incentive to post thoughtless content on any platform. If you don’t have time to make a great post, make 25% of a great post. Then, over the next three days, make the remaining 75%.
1. Post that content.
2. Give it a budget and a schedule.
3. Target it towards the people who you want to connect with.
4. Write 25% of the next solid post.
5. Repeat the process.
Eventually, you’ll build a backlog of posts – some of which will be relevant a few months down the line. When that time comes, you can start reusing posts and promoting them to people who haven’t read them yet (or recently).
THAT is how you build a following – not by posting useless articles from random websites and pictures of your product with a shameless call to action.
This is a long-term game, you’re not going to get results from this on your first post, but you’re NEVER going to get results by posting thoughtless content – now matter how long you keep at it.
A general rule of thumb.
Ask yourself this question: Would you follow a page that posts the way you do?
If the answer is a resounding “Yes.” keep doing what you’re doing and expanding to new platforms. Let your audience’s response guide what you post about.
If the answer is no, then you either need to change gear or stop wasting your time on a platform that you’re never going to earn any business from.
If the answer is “Sure! My page is a great way to stay updated on what’s going on with my business,” that means that you’re thinking about this from the perspective of your loyal customers (who you don’t necessarily need to advertise to anymore), and not your first-time consumer.
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer who has never heard of you or your product, and ask again.
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