How many times should you REALLY post to your social media channels?
Once a week? Once a day? Ten times a day? Just about all of the 'gurus' will all tell you something different. The truth is that there's no "one size fits all", but we do have an approach to share with you.
Here are 5 important considerations to keep in mind when making decisions about your social media posts:
1) How large is your organic audience (the people who like and follow your channel)? If you have less than 250 followers, consider posting four times a week. Why? Facebook, in particular, has made changes in recent years that affect how commercial posts show up in an individual's news feed. They've reworked their algorithms to push profile-based (individual, non-commercial) posts to the top of the news feeds, making it harder for posts from business/commercial pages to be seen (without boosting them...for a price).
Because of this, from the total size of your audience, only a small percentage will actually see your posts, organically. If you have a smaller, denser audience, more of the same people will be seeing your posts, organically, so it's more important not to bombard them with posts. Four to five posts a week for an organic audience size of under 250 will help to build and maintain name awareness, and engage with the people who are seeing more of your posts, without inundating the same people with posts over and over again.
If your audience size is in the 250-3000 range, consider posting daily, noting that if your audience size is greater than 1,000, posting two times per day may be better (again due to the fact that only a percentage of your followers will see your posts and your larger audience size will help to ensure that less of the same people are being exposed to your posts, so you may post more often). If your audience size is greater than 5,000, you can post even more frequently (think up to five times per day).
2) What platform are you using? There are differences in the behaviors of users across the different social media platforms. On Twitter, for example, people expect to see a considerably higher amount of posts, per day, compared to Facebook. No matter the size of your followers, it's not unusual to post 3-6 times per day, every day, on Twitter. Instagram is more closely related to Facebook, however, the demographic skews younger. Younger users have a stronger tolerance for a higher frequency of posts and actually expect that frequency. Therefore, if your Instagram followers are similar, in size, to your Facebook organic audience, you can make 1 to 2 more posts on Instagram to every single post that you make on Facebook.
3) What kind of business or organization are you? While the above information about audience size is intended to provide you with some very rough numbers, it's actually the answer to THIS question that should be considered the top factor in determining the frequency of your posts. While there are individualized factors to consider, in general, if you're a retail business with e-commerce, featuring a variety of products, your posts should be much more frequent than a service-based business who provides a single service, or limited number of similar services. If you're a community-based organization with announcements to share or special events to promote, you can also post much more frequently than, say, a restaurant or auto repair shop. The behaviors, interests, and priorities of your audience are keys to understanding how people respond, react and appreciate your post.
4) What type of content do you share? If you're posting overt sales messages with every post, be careful. Your audience will quickly tire of overly promotional messages and will tune out your posts...or worse (unfollow or unlike you). Share a variety of content - announcements, thoughts of the day, events, community-spirit, featured menu items, spotlighted products, profiles and features on individual team and staff members, and educational pieces related to your industry. KEY NOTE: Do NOT be generic! Be unique and make the content that you share your own - and make it relevant to your audience.
5) What are your goals? If you were to create an ad campaign for television or radio, you would have a plan in place. You'd know the types of results you'd like to receive and the time frame that you have in mind to reach your goals. For some strange reason, many businesses and organizations completely overlook the need for a strategy, a plan, a purpose, and an ultimate goal when it comes to their marketing and advertising on social media (and all forms of digital marketing for that matter - with the same attitude often given to websites and Google Ads). In order to be effective, your approach to social media needs to be considered as a part of your total marketing strategy and should not be taken lightly. Chances are, social media can absorb a large share of time spent in marketing. If you're advertising on social media, it can also absorb a size-able share of your total advertising budget. With so much time and potentially money involved, it's critical to put thought into what you're posting and to ensure that your posts are part of an overall strategy.
To sum it all up: The strategy that you create for your social media marketing should be customized to who you are, the size, location, interests and behaviors of your targeted audience, the social platforms that you're using and whether or not you have a solid plan in place for your goals with your social media marketing and advertising. If you're posting just for the sake of posting, or posting irrelevant content that has little to do with the personality of your business or organization, much of your efforts are going to be unsuccessful. Be sure that as you consider your social media post frequency, you first consider your social media marketing strategy!