The Number of Followers
One of the most interesting observations is that there is no so-called “universal” rule in terms of posting on the majority of social media sites. Studies have actually found that the number of followers will tend to dictate how often you should post updates. For instance, the “two-a-day” unwritten posting rule often associated with Facebook is best applied for those who have over 10,000 followers. Higher click-through rates and increased levels of engagement will almost always occur. Many would, therefore, believe that even more updates should be posted by those with only a few hundred or a few thousand followers. Interestingly enough, this is not necessarily the case.
A recent survey by HubSpot actually found that posting at least two times a day will lead to fewer clicks. It is thought that this involves how authoritative a social media page appears to be. Those associated with larger followings will generate more interest due to their reputation and the semblance of authority. Smaller social portals should, therefore, decrease their posting frequency so that any new content does not appear to be superfluous. Although this appears to be somewhat counter-intuitive, between three and five posts per week may be more than enough to increase inbound traffic over time.
When to Post on Facebook, Instagram and Other Portals
There has been a good deal of debate in regards to the best time to post on Facebook and similar sites. We need to approach this question from a logical point of view. When do you normally check your social media feeds? Common times include during a lunch break or after you have settled in for the evening. Take these observations into account when creating a post on Facebook. While there is nothing wrong with generating sudden calls to action during a sale or before an upcoming event, try to schedule your posts around times when they are likely to be seen.
The Intention of the Posts Themselves
What are the ultimate intentions of your posts? This is very important not only in terms of content strategy, but in regards to how often they should occur. In the majority of cases, there are two main reasons why you would post content on sites such as Facebook or Twitter:
- To bring a higher level of traffic to your website.
- To increase the levels of engagement per post.
You may have already guessed that the number of current followers and the online reputation of the company will often determine these factors. In other words, companies that are just starting out need higher levels of inbound traffic in order to boost revenue. In this instance, fewer posts (perhaps between only three and five per month) will generate more interest and therefore, more inbound hits.
If your intention is to increase engagement per post, the “more is better” concept should be considered. Keep in mind that this might not necessarily lead to higher click-through rates, but the number of responses and comments from visitors will likely rise. This is a great way to find out what others may think about a specific product or campaign.
Analytics on Your Side
Of course, content strategy and posting frequency should always be determined with the help of online analytics. Never rely on instinct alone, for even experts have been wrong on more than one occasion. There are plenty of free platforms to incorporate and there is no reason that they should not be employed. The deployment of packages such as Google Analytics in conjunction with your current content strategy can be thought of as connecting the virtual marketing “dots”. To put this another way, you will need to be able to interpret raw data and understand how these findings relate to your posting frequency. Some common metrics to observe include:
- What times of the day and days of the week your website experiences the most inbound traffic.
- The age group and demographic that you are catering to.
- The geographic region(s) of your audience.
- Any spikes in traffic that may coincide with a specific post.
Compare and contrast these variables with your posting habits. You will likely see a direct correlation on many levels. Modern online analytics is one of the best ways to make certain that you are focusing your efforts in the right direction.
All About the Timing
It is said that timing is everything in the world of online marketing and this content strategy is just as relevant in regards to knowing the best times to post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other common portals. We need to keep in mind that there can be instances when a greater number of posts can be worthwhile. This is commonly the case if you are about to launch a new product or service. More frequent posts will generate interest and help to increase your conversion rates. Still, make certain that their content is based solely on an upcoming event as opposed to generic “look at my company” filler. They could otherwise cause the viewer to quickly lose interest.
We should also point out that there are times when a company will be catering to an audience primarily located in a different part of the world. Let’s imagine that your London-based firm manufactures products primarily designed for the New York marketplace. In this situation, you need to publish your posts with a five-hour difference so that they will reach the target audience during peak New York viewing hours. While this should be obvious, there are many would-be entrepreneurs who fail to adopt such practices.
Finding the Your Unique “Sweet Spot”
We can now see that there are a number of factors which will determine how often you should post. To recap, the main variables include:
- Your number of current followers.
- Whether you hope to generate more inbound traffic or higher rates of client engagement.
- Utilising professional online analytical tools.
- Taking upcoming promotions into account.
- Understanding audience demographics.
Use a Cheat Sheet
We found a very handy cheat sheet over at firstguide.com. Their infographic shows you the best times per day and week to post all of the major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and LinkedIn. It is certainly worth checking out.
The truth of the matter is that it will require a bit of effort to develop your content strategy and find your “sweet spot”. However, all of these suggestions will provide the necessary clarity so that you can make the correct adjustments at the most appropriate times. Social media posting frequency can be somewhat of a tricky subject and with ample foresight, this concept will become much less of an online rabbit hole and much more of a reality.