A survey recently suggested that posting updates to your Facebook page too often would cause people to unlike it. You’re probably not surprised by this, no one wants to log in to see nothing but promotional messages! But the post didn’t say how many posts people find too many … or if it was the same for Twitter!
So what’s a poor page owner to do? Stop posting? Reduce posting to just once a week? Really – how much is too much?
There’s no straightforward answer to this, post too little and there is no point being there, post too much and people will cut you off.
I decided to ask the my Facebook friends what they thought was too much. I posed a question with the selection of answers ranging from twice a week to 5 times a day. I got a variety of answers, but the one most people voted for was an option I hadn’t offered at all!
That answer was “Spam is spam! It’s not just how often you post but what you post that counts.”
A very strong statement and one you would be wise to take to heart. But still only part of the story.
To make sure you are not accidentally spamming people (I know you would never deliberately spam!) read back every post before you post it. Ask yourself these questions
Does it contain useful information?
Is it purely promoting my business?
Is it well-written?
The first and second question are not quite so hard and fast.
As a general guideline I recommend that 80% of your posts should be informative, 20% promotional. However even when you are promoting your business there are ways of doing so that can also be informative in some way, do throw a good handful of these into your promotional postings.
The last question has to be answered with a yes every time, but this is social networking, the grammar and spelling should be good but the odd mistake is often forgiven. The key thing is the tone, it must be friendly! Never write all in capital letters, it is the online equivalent of shouting!
Now we’ve covered how not to spam we are still left with the quandry of how often to post.
The more you know about your audience the better equipped you are to answer this, but it is also worth noting that the different sites have different rules too!
Twitter is very fast moving which means you can post more frequently there than elsewhere. Posting 10 times a day is fine. In fact, as long as you keep to the above guidelines, you could post as much as 30 times a day! For twitter to be worthwhile for you I recommend posting at the very least 5 times a week, although 5 times a day will serve you much better! If you are stuck for what to say read this.
People on Facebook generally have a narrower field of interest, and, as it is a more personal site, a lower tolerance for direct sales messages. For these reasons I would caution against posting from your profile more than 5 times a day and from your page more than 3 times a day. Although you can of course post comments on others status updates as well as start and join in with discussions in groups. If you are confused about the difference between posting from your profile, your page and in a group read this post.
Posting less often will also adversely effect your page posts edgerank. This is the algorithm that facebook uses to decide whether to let your post be seen in people’s newsfeed. You can read more about it here but it’s important to know that as far as Facebook is concerned, breaking news always ranks higher than old news! So if someone isn’t on Facebook for a few days, they will see posts from the last hour first, and posts from that day second, they probably won’t see posts from yesterday unless they take the time to keep scrolling down and down.
Think about when you post.
As I’m a business that serves other businesses I mainly post during the day, I know some business owners are too busy during the day so I often put a post out about 5.30 or 6pm so I’m still in their stream when they are browsing in the evening. When are your customers online? If your target market is working fathers you might find it best to post on evenings and weekends. Remember they have opted to see your posts so it’s safe to assume they want to see some!
You may also wish to consider the best times to post, there’s a great tool to help you with this called Tweriod.
Over to you – How often do you tweet or update your facebook page? Leave me a comment telling me why you post the amount you do