Social Media for Your Business – How Much Is Enough?

The most interesting aspect of owning a business over 15 years is witnessing the changes in the world around you as the business grows. It’s fascinating how much the trends evolve and things that at one point were considered a make it or break it outlet to a business model can become obsolete within a few years. Ahem, MySpace I’m giving you the side eye. The biggest lesson that I learned through this journey was to take all of the “rules” with a grain of salt. The second was that the most important thing I could do was to make sure I was paying attention to analytics. The third was that the proof was in how my customers reacted

As you are most likely aware, with social media, the trends move fast and the reporting from experts is plentiful. So how do you know what to do and who to listen to? I’m a fan of doing a bit of research on a variety of outlets and then trial and error. But before you even get to that stage, you must know your customer and more importantly, your ideal customer. If you say that everyone is your customer, just stop reading right now and go do some research on marketing 101.

Above all, marketing your business can often seem like an overwhelming process. Especially if you want to reach your audience through an email marketing campaign for example.

If you are still reading, then you are on top of your marketing game, and aware of your ideal person and know them inside and out. So right off the bat you have already answered an incredibly important question:

Q: Where should you spend your time in social media?

Where your people are. If they are only in one place, add where you like to be as well. You want to aim to become the master of 3 social media outlets. You of course should reserve your user name on all of the big ones to stay consistent, but you don’t have to do much otherwise.

Q: How often should you post?

The most important thing to note is that consistency is more important than frequency. Remember that. Forget the Glengarry Glen Rose “Always Be Closing”, your ABC phrase should now be “Always Be Consistent”. With all marketing. Blog posts, podcasts, emails, and social media. Set a schedule and stick to it. The frequency should be second to consistency. You should post as often as necessary to keep your followers engaged but not too much to annoy them. You are aiming for engagement. Yes, exposure is lovely and it makes them perhaps remember you, but to score big with analytics (visible with pro/biz accounts within each outlet and google analytics for your website) you need to have people liking, commenting and sharing to do you any good. Gone are the days of posting 6 times a day. I repeat: those days are gone.

At the beginning of 2019, a nice pattern to test out is 1 time per day on Facebook, less is better than more here. Move to your group if you have more to say. Instagram, about 2 times per week and then use the stories as much as you want every day. Twitter can still be useful if you are in certain fields such as journalism, news, and tech. Tweet a few times a day to stay relevant. LinkedIn is a 1 time a day place. And note that there is a lot of chatter about how annoying it when people try and turn LI into FB, so make sure everything you post is SFW and be aware of this.

Q: When are the best times to post?

There is no longer a magic number as the way the feeds work now, they bring the content back up when the engagement is high. That being said, you want to aim to post when you will get the most engagement right away. Therefore, the middle of the night is not the best time to do so unless you have a night owl or opposite time zone audience.

Again, pay attention to your analytics. See when you get the most responses. People tend to look at their phones the most on the way to and from work and before bed, but if you are attracting people from different time zones, that can be a wider range. Analytics are awesome for this reason, they take the guesswork out of it. Watch for the times when you get the most activity and try to hit those times.

Q: What should you post?

Each platform has it’s specialty of course so some of the content you are posting is dictated by what they do best. Twitter is best for sassy snippets of text and Instagram for beautiful photos. Pay attention to the platforms specialty when selecting your content. FB is great for conversations and questions are a good prompt. LI loves a good article reshare, just make sure you include your own take on it when you share it.

You should be posting what your ideal client/customer/follower wants to see. Again, pay attention to analytics (you can also scroll through and see what is getting the most likes/shares/follows). Post more of what does well and stop the things that don’t.

I want to stress the importance of posting content in a way that makes the best use of where you are posting. Content should look a bit different when you share it across different platforms. You also should stagger it so if you post a blog post on FB on Monday, wait until Wednesday to share it to IG and use a different photo.

Q: Who should be posting?

Should you have both business and personal accounts? Should you hire out or delegate social media? Should you use schedulers? I’m going to be annoying and say these questions are all dependent on what works for you. I for example have a really hard time having more than one account on any platform at a time about my own work. So I try and keep it to as few as possible. Some people are more comfortable compartmentalizing.

Schedulers are great, but make sure you do a quick search and that the platforms you are posting on like the scheduler you want to use.

Hiring out or delegating is a good option but do your research. Ask the person you would like to hire for references and call their references. Look at the accounts they manage. Ask questions. Be sure you have a big conversation about tone, what is posted, what you expect from them, who answers the comments and on and on. Outsourcing is wonderful, just make sure you have a system set up for who are outsourcing to. It will prevent headaches in the long run if you do your due diligence.

One last note. I beg of you to not take the post you create on IG and put it on all platforms. I wish more than anything that those options would be disabled. It annoys people. It’s lazy. Your friends are following you in all the places you post. No one wants to see the exact same post on FB, IG, and Twitter. Except maybe your mom. My mom does not. The fastest way to have people unfollow you is to post all day long with the same posts across all platforms. You will have no idea that they will have unfollowed you and you will have less and less engagement if you do this. You will be wasting your time. Rant over.

The current state of social media is to try things and see if it works. Mix it up. Try new things, If the platform you use introduces a new feature, use it. Play with the things like stories and videos to not only be fresh for your followers but stay up in the algorithm. Don’t use a platform you hate or your users will sense that you are dialing it in and not want to engage.

Above all, remember that these platforms were created to be communities. Like and comment on other peoples posts. Get involved. Enjoy doing it and you’ll want to do it more!

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