Don’t you dare, Spam: Finding the Sweet Spot of Social Media Post Frequency
What do all successful ecommerce businesses have in common? Other than success. And money. And lots of customers.
It’s a brilliant social media marketing strategy that pleases the right audience!
Social media is the first place customers go when they want your very latest announcements and updates. It’s also the most effective place for customers to interact with your company through a medium that’s readily accessible and incredibly familiar.
But you know all this. You need to start doing successful social media marketing. And one of the biggest challenges ecommerce businesses face on the route to success is just how active should you be on social media?
If you’re too quiet then you’re a ghost – you won’t seem active and you won’t be visible in your customers’ feeds, losing you brand exposure.
If you’re too loud then you’ll irritate people. They’ll see you as Spam in their feeds and click unfollow without a second thought. You’ll just be a pest that they shut out.
Each social platform has its own paradigm of usage and as such, the amount you post will vary between each. Let’s take a look at the core networks and determine the sweet spot of post frequency. If you post less than these recommendations, you risk being as memorable as the white space surround this text.
As for posting over the recommended quantity you risk becoming…
That’s right, our friend Spam. He’s a genetically engineered super food with 90% pork from unspecified regions. He’s also a piece of shit.
1-2 posts a day
It’s versatile and has a truly massive userbase. It’s also designed for posts to have an enduring visibility. No expiration date. ‘Top news’ and custom group feeds. An ‘on this day’ function to dig up older posts.
Facebook posts have a lot of durability, if done right.
Because of this, on Facebook, less is more. Evidence suggests that the sweet spot of Facebook posts is 1-2 times a day. Any more and the number of clicks on a post no longer increase.
In fact, because engagement ceases to increase beyond two posts a day you run the risk of Facebook decreasing your post visibility. This is due to an algorithm that judges post quality on reach (who sees it) and its corresponding engagement. If lots of your stuff goes out and few people engage then your future visibility will go down.
On business.facebook.com, there’s an array of metrics to determine the impact a post has. The level of detail reinforces the idea that a single post has a lot potential influence. Stick with 1-2 posts a day (perhaps only 1 on weekends) and optimise via Facebook’s metrics. Also look to ‘boost’ your posts for additional reach and engagement.
What would spam do?
“Post several times in one day. They’d be overtly promotional and probably even lack any fun, eye-catching images. Unless you’re Nike, chances are Facebook would notice a disparity between reach and engagement and rank your content as less of a priority.”
5+ tweets a day
Twitter is fast-paced. The 140-character limit means people need more tweets to fully articulate what they want to share. Because of this level of brevity, lots of tweets go out and they all get buried quickly in the feed. In fact, over at Moz, analysis has found that an average tweet is visible for only around 18 minutes – and that’s only measuring tweets that have been retweeted! You’ll notice this yourself. Even with 50+ followers your Twitter feed will be travelling at a pace that pushes content out of view quickly.
So with this mind, you’d be right in thinking that your tweets are less precious than Facebook posts. Tweeting relatively often throughout the day is the best way of ensuring your content actually reaches the majority of your followers.
Providing your content is varied enough (and offers value, rather than a sales pitch) then you can comfortably tweet in excess of 10 times a day.
What would spam do?
“Post the same content dozens of times in the space of a couple hours and even then, Spam would only be summoned by those following fewer people.”
LinkedIn’s interface is closer to Facebook’s than Twitter’s. However, its professional model dictates a lot of the content posted on there. And if the subject of content has a parameter (beyond simply being socially acceptable) then how often and how readily people consume it will of course be affected.
This is great for you, because it means there’s a set-in-stone standard for what content resonates with the audience on LinkedIn. 60% of users are most interested in industry insights – so if you’re connected to 2,000 digital marketers and you’ve done a study on Google’s page ranking algorithm, you can be pretty confident it’ll get good engagement, regardless of if you’ve already posted that day.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn defaults a user’s feed to ‘top updates’ rather than a chronological order (i.e. ‘most recent’), meaning that some posts will be visible for longer.
If you’re an ecommerce business then LinkedIn is going to be less of a priority for you – people frequent the platform for business information and professional networking – ecommerce promotion is incongruous to this.
That’s not to say it’s not useful though. Try tailoring your posts to sharing industry insights: if you sell clothes, talk fashion, if it’s something more niche, talk about retail in general to reach a wider audience. It’ll give your brand credibility in the business sphere, which will diffuse through to curious consumers.
What would spam do?
“Post incessant updates of overly personal & non-professional material.”
1 or more a day, with at least an hour’s interim
Instagram represents the new era of social network. It’s visually centric and for many users, a refreshingly simple interface.
And there’s reason for businesses to be active on it: Instagram has the best engagement ratings of any major social network.
The consensus among marketers is that, as a brand, you should post at least 1.5 times a day. Any less and you’re losing exposure. Interestingly though, a study by Union Metrics found that even when a brand posted in excess of 10 times a day, engagement didn’t drop off.
Because of this, the frequency of your Instagram posts is really only limited by your capacity to produce good images and videos. However, posting in quick succession, to the point where your content will appear consecutively and uninterrupted in somebody’s feed will be annoying. Aim to post in intervals of at least an hour.
What would spam do?
“Post an abundance of low-quality images in minutes. They’d be horrible to look at (perhaps a colour-clashing palette) and provide little visual or mental stimulation.”
∞ maintain a presence
Pinterest isn’t like the others. Instead of our conventional feeds, there are boards. Visual, aesthetic Inspiration boards that are based on a varied, detailed interest palette of each user.
Thanks to Pinterest’s content algorithm, no matter how much you post, only a limited amount will be visible to those who follow you. This is actually a really good thing. Only 17% of Pinterest users use the site daily, compared with 70% of Facebook users.
Because of this, users often discover pins in bulk – they don’t necessarily look for the latest. This means that however many pins you create – be it 1 or 30 a day – the potential for engagement is sustained.
What would spam do?
“Create poor quality pins, yo.”
Don’t summon the spectre of spam to possess you. Each social network is different. Each allows users to consume information and media differently and a successful business respects this.
Don’t be like that business that scheduled Facebook posts to go out at the same time as its tweets. Some say its updates still echo around the spam mausoleum.