Social media posting poses lots of questions: What should I be posting? When should I be posting? How often should I be posting? Let’s jump in.
How often you should post
I want to break this down by platform, but there are also two short, overarching answers: daily, and what you can handle. You don’t want to commit to anything that will overwhelm you, especially at the beginning. So it’s easier to introduce one platform at a time and get good at it before you add a second platform.
Once a day, with a minimum of three times a week. Unless you have thousands of super engaged followers, you won’t get away with posting twice in one day. I’ve seen pages with more than 20,000 followers that can’t post more than once a day, because if you start doing repeated posting, your engagement drops off. You definitely don’t want that. Even for those with a few hundred followers, a minimum of three posts a week is necessary for your best engagement stats, and once a day is ideal. I would say no more than 5 or 6 days a week, because you’re going to wear yourself out and you can wear your audience out, too.
Again, once a day and a minimum of three times a week. If you’re feeling really froggy and ready to jump into the Instagram pool, then, ideally, you want one post and one story a day. But I’d much rather you do what you can handle than be frazzled about what you’re going to post and when you’re going to post it. Make sure you can handle what you’re scheduling.
For you folks who do Twitter, three to 30 tweets per day. 30 times a day – can you even imagine? That’s overwhelming to me. One tweet a day would be your absolute minimum, but three is what Twitter stats recommend.
One post per day with a minimum of twice a week. That, of course, needs to be more business-related, so you’re looking at weekdays. Five days a week would be great, three is good, two is your minimum.
Don’t cry: between three and 30 pins day. But the sweet spot is between five and 10, with at least 60 pins weekly. It’s a lot like Twitter in that you’ll get your best engagement by working in small pieces every day. The first five posts of your day take priority, so remember that when you’re pinning.
This sounds like a generic answer, but YouTube works best with whatever you can handle consistently. YouTube likes consistency. Video creation is difficult. It’s something a lot of people struggle with. If you say, “OK, I’m gonna do this once a week,” you really need to do it once a week. It’s OK to have random videos every once in a while, but if you want to really grow your YouTube audience, consistency is key. And to do that, you need to commit to a certain day and a certain time. It might be twice a month, it might be once a month, but make sure you’re consistent and you can handle what you say you’re going to do.
When you should post
There’s a lot of similarity here, because people are online at about the same time on multiple platforms.
You, of course, want to check your own insights and analytics so you’re getting the best bang for your buck, but weekdays between 9-3 are a generally a great time to post.
With Instagram, there’s a split. You either want to go a little early or a little late. Stats say Tuesday through Saturday between 10-3. Locally, we’ve seen better responses later in the afternoon, like between 3-7. So you’ve got to test what works best for you and your page.
Twitter responds best during business hours Monday through Friday.
Same thing: Monday (really, Tuesday) through Friday, business hours – from 8 a.m. to about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. I like 9-11 for LinkedIn. It gives people time to get to work before they get online.
Between 2-4 in the afternoon. Again, consistency is key with YouTube. You want to make sure you’re getting that information out there at the same time every time.
What you should post
When you’re thinking about what you want to post, you need to consider educate, inform, entertain. You really need to know your overall objective. What do you want to do? How do you want to engage people?
As a general rule of thumb, you should break it down into thirds. One third of your content should promote your business to generate leads. Another third should come from other sources or businesses that align with your business or business brand. The last third of your content should be engaging with followers – whether directly or indirectly – answering questions, going live, responding to comments, reposting user-generated content. That’s just a general breakdown.
I like the 80/20 rule – the Pareto principle – 80 percent helpful, 20 percent sales-focused. You can oversell and you can undersell. Talk to your audience. What do they want to know? What are they trying to learn? What’s important to them? That information is what you want to share. Then, after you share all the information they asked for, you make the sale. Then you ask them for their email. Then you offer them something for giving you their email. If you’re posting every single week and you’re giving really solid content, then once a week you talk about your offers, that’s OK. It’s like a savings account: you put in and put in before you take out.
Ideally for any content, any post on any platform, you really need a content calendar. It’s just the easiest way to go. It gives you a great overview and helps you schedule your actual posting, which makes your life easier.
Can I post the same thing on different platforms
This another question I get asked frequently. The short answer: not really.
You can absolutely post the same image, the same meme, the same information from one post to another, but do not push it from one platform to another on the same day. It basically makes you look lazy, like it’s too hard to generate content, so you’re just going to use the same thing everywhere. Do not do that. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine that drives me nuts.
If I post something on Instagram on Monday, I might wait until Friday to use the same information. But I’m going to use a different caption, and I’m probably going to use a different graphic. Can you use the same graphic? Absolutely. You just don’t want to do it all the time.
You want to make sure there’s space there, too. I might want to post something to Instagram today, then post it to Facebook next week. But I’m going to at the very least clean up my hashtags and get rid of those for my Facebook caption. I’m going to go in and make sure my tags are correct.
Again, that’s a huge pet peeve. People will push it through and don’t edit anything and wear out their Facebook audience with hashtags and tags that don’t work. Make sure the information you’re posting is relevant for the platform you’re posting it on. Most of the time you’re going to want to change up those captions.