We all know social media should be an essential part of our audience-engagement strategy, whether you are an individual thought leader or manage communications for a thought-leading organization. How to use social media well and craft quality micro-content for your feeds will look a little different for everyone. No matter who you are, how much experience you have, or what platforms you are using, succeeding with social media can be a daunting task.
Just look at Facebook—there is so much on the back end that is constantly changing that staying up-to-speed can feel like a full-time job. Is that setting in ads manager or business manager now? Why is this ad running on Instagram? Why did my organic reach go down this week over last? I grew a brand on Facebook to over a million followers in less than a year through targeted ads, engaging posts, and brand marketing, and even I get lost back there sometimes.
The good news is, using social media to engage your audience well doesn’t have to be scary. You don’t have to make a huge splash or go viral. In fact, slow and steady engagement often leads to the best results with social media. Here are three tips to set the right pace for your social media that will work no matter where your starting point is.
Tip 1: Make every post count.
Do you have one of those friends who posts twenty, thirty, or fifty times a day? Most of those posts are nonsense, and they hardly get any engagements because most of us have clicked the unfollow or mute buttons. This is frowned upon by the platform algorithms, which will serve your content up to users less often, leading to even fewer chances for engagement. Business and brand pages can over-share their way to being unfollowed—or worse, unliked—if they aren’t careful.
Make sure every single thing that you share has value, whether it’s an article, an original blog, or even just a funny or inspirational meme. If you only post worthwhile content, your audience will reward you with engagements and reactions, and the algorithms will share your content more often. As time goes on, these actions will compound and your content will become increasingly engaging because you’ve proven yourself to be a reliable brand with interesting content and no nonsense.
Tip 2: Really, don’t overshare.
This may be an extension of Tip 1, but I feel so strongly about not over-sharing that it warrants its own comment. Remember your friend that posts fifty times a day? Not only is she posting meaningless content, she is posting entirely too much. A page or brand that does that can be flagged as spam, and will start to have issues getting engagement because the algorithms will treat you the same as the infamous robot accounts. You risk getting shut down entirely.
When it comes to social posts, less is more. For most audiences, a few quality posts a week will be plenty to engage your community. For Facebook, we recommend no more than one post a day and no fewer than one post a week for regular engagement. This way, you always have the option to ramp up when you are launching a campaign or otherwise need to grab your audience’s attention, and (bonus!) you won’t have to keep posting a ridiculous amount of inane, unoriginal content all the time.
Tip 3: Discover your optimal posting time.
Every social platform has peak times to post and poor times to post. When exactly those times are will vary depending on the types of content you are posting, how your audience behaves, and which platform you are using. Yes, that’s right—the exact same content may need to be posted on Facebook and LinkedIn at different times, or even different days.
When you are starting out, try posting at different times throughout the week. You can start with what your industry recognizes as good times to post, but don’t be afraid to try random times. If your audience is college students, try posting at eleven at night on Instagram. If your audience is parents of young children, try posting on Facebook when they get up with the kids at six in the morning.
After you’ve been sharing useful content for a while, look at the results of your posts. See which did best and when you posted them. Take note of when your key demographic is online, look to see when you get the most engagement, and make that a priority posting time. The more you post, the more data you will have to inform you, and you will easily be able to tell when you should and should not post. You’ll get in a rhythm, and your worthwhile posts will get lots of love.
The bottom line: Take your time!
You can build your social media engagement slowly with steady, worthwhile, and well-timed posts. This may mean that you need to readjust your goals and think in time-frames of months and years, rather than days. If you are going to use social media to engage with your audience, you should be committed to doing it well, and that usually doesn’t mean doing it the fastest.
When you see a page that shares entirely too much, what does that make you think about their brand? How often do you think brands should post on Facebook? Let us know by answering our poll!