It wasn’t all too long ago when business owners were asking the question, “Do I need to be on social media?”
Now that social media has proven itself to be not only a viable but also an essential marketing and sales tool, a new million dollar question has emerged, “How active should my business be on social media?”
I equate social media activity to exercise. Yes, by all means, you should do it. However, what you should do and how often you should do it depends on your specific situation, limitations and goals.
And, just like with working out, there’s not an absolute formula for social media success. Often, it requires some experimentation, trial and error, and patience over time to get results.
Just Do It — But Keep These Things in Mind
As you strive to get a better return on your time and contemplate how active you should be on social media, consider the following points.
1. Exert effort where it will matter most.
On which social media platforms will you get the most bang for your blood, sweat, tears and bucks? Some social channels are more effective for certain types of businesses than they are for others. For example, photography studios likely will gain more traction than accounting firms on Instagram (which is meant for sharing images).
Before selecting on which platforms to have a presence, evaluate what makes the most sense for your type of business. Also, determine which social media channels your target audience uses and where your competitors are active.
2. Don’t lift more weight than you can handle.
But what’s the harm of being on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat? None, if you can maintain an active presence on each. However, if you’re handling your business’s social media efforts in-house, you probably have limited time and resources available to devote to your online marketing activities.
One of the biggest mistakes brands make is setting up accounts on every social channel that emerges and then letting several of them sit idle. It’s far worse to be on a channel and ignore it than to make the smart, strategic decision not to be there because you know you won’t be able to manage it effectively.
3. Realize there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Just as with working out, it’s possible to overdo social media activity.
There is no set formula for how often to post. Learn the nuances of each social media channel to understand better how frequently you may need to post to stay on the radar without wearing out your welcome. For example, on Twitter, because of its fast and furious nature, users have a much higher tolerance for seeing multiple tweets every day from a brand than do LinkedIn users.
Your industry and type of business will also impact your posting frequency. For example, a restaurant with breakfast, lunch and dinner specials that change every day will have more to share more often than an auto repair shop.
More important than frequency are consistency and quality of the content you’re posting.
- Consistency — The best way to achieve this is to develop a content plan and posting schedule to ensure you’re keeping your social media accounts active and your followers engaged.
- Quality — Develop (or share) compelling content that will draw followers to it and benefit (inform, entertain, educate, offer a deal, etc.) them in some way to keep them interested in interacting with your brand.
No Pain No Gain
Staying physically fit requires time and effort, and so does maintaining an online presence that will help your business increase awareness, build loyal followers and gain new customers. If you approach your social media activity strategically, put the work in, and have patience, your efforts will pay off.
Dawn Mentzer is a contributing writer for Straight North, a leading digital marketing firm in Chicago that provides SEO, PPC and web design services. As a solopreneur and freelance writer, she specializes in marketing content and collaborates with clients nationally and globally.