When it comes to content on social media, here’s what we know for sure: There are no magic, one-size-fits-all formulas for what to post, when to post, or how often to post. Strategies, recommendations, and numbers will be different based on a variety of factors including your company’s industry and goals—and what works for one brand may not work for another. But, there are a few key rules that apply no matter what:
1. Prioritize consistency over frequency.
Developing a reliable, anticipatable cadence that your audience can follow and look for is crucial. Whether you post once or 10 times each day, do your best to maintain regularity over time. When you’re consistent about how often you post, it allows you to more easily set a framework and a strategy for future content, which makes things like planning content calendars much simpler.
When considering post frequency and volume estimates, keep in mind that social media is a two-way conversation between you and your fans/customers. For every piece of content that’s created and launched, you should be prepared to monitor it and respond to customers who engage with the post. Engaging with your audience and driving discussion is not only a good experience for your community, but it is also rewarded with increased visibility by the major social networks. So, only create content when it can realistically provide value to both parties.
2. Value quality over quantity.
There’s a reason why “quality over quantity” has become a trite saying—and that’s because it’s true. For businesses, the value of marketing on social media isn’t just in the ability to promote lots of content to everyone. Rather, it’s in the ability to promote quality content that ultimately builds an engaged community that drives business results. Poor quality content can not only result in a loss of followers, but it’s also deprioritized by algorithms. Last year, Facebook announced that its algorithm would shift its focus and start rewarding content that drives meaningful interactions, not clickbait or overtly salesy posts. Social is an extension of your brand identity, and customer experience matters.
On the quality note, remember to consider each network’s utility and adapt concepts to best fit the network they are being placed on. This might mean a completely different execution across networks, or it could mean merely different crops. No matter what content you are placing, make sure to use the correct specs for the network instead of resharing the same image across all without these critical adjustments. Incorrect specs are easily noticeable and will be received negatively by the algorithms and your fans alike.
3. Develop a clear strategy in order to see measurable, trackable success.
It’s essential to set an overarching goal for your brand’s social content—whether that’s awareness, engagement, traffic, sales, or something else—and then employ tactics that support that objective. That way, you can use the network’s measurable performance data to track progress. Your goal for social will largely inform the types of content you’re creating and how much of it you need to move the needle.
The other critical factor at play in answering this question is media support strategy. With organic reach dwindling, posting volumes on pages with limited to no paid support will have to be higher just to increase the odds of being seen and engaged with. However, for brands employing a paid strategy, fewer posts can go further by keeping paid flights on for longer periods of time and guaranteeing a baseline of impressions, or other optimized-for results.
To sum it up, prioritize consistency, quality, and user experience above all else. Do enough to keep the lights on across all your accounts and to remain viable, but don’t mistake a high post frequency for high results. Set clear goals and regularly measure against them to track progress and identify when changes or pivots are needed. And, most important, allow every post to provide value and start meaningful conversations, because it’s these conversations—between organization and consumer, but also between consumer and consumer—that will allow you to reap the greatest benefits of the most social, connected world we’ve ever had.