Social Media – so how much is too much?

Social Media is a constantly changing mix of channels that bring new and exciting opportunities to connect with your customers, your people and the all-important new business prospects.

But, how much is too much? How many channels? How many posts per day? Or is it posts per week? Or (eek!) posts per hour? Just about everyone seems to be on social media but do you have to be on everything? And how often do you need to be posting, sharing, commenting, liking, etc?

Channels and getting the mix right

This week, one of our clients asked with a big, exhausted sigh: ‘Do you we have to do Snapchat for Business now as well?’ My response: ‘No! Not at all, you’ve built a strong community with Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s working for you and your audiences.’

If we were talking to a business that relied on a significantly younger market – then this conversation would have gone very differently.

It would be so easy if there was a one-size-fits-all approach to Social Media, but there isn’t. It comes down to the type of business you have, who you’re looking to connect with and what’s the best way to tell your story.

If you’re a restaurant or fashion retailer, channels that emphasise visual content like Instagram and Facebook are a good mix – Snapchat would be a good one to try here too. These businesses can sell themselves with straight-forward photography – photos of their latest clothes, meals, etc. The content is largely secondary.

But if you’re a professional services firm or a more corporate business, you’re better off using a channel that supports more news style content (along with supporting visuals like an infographic to translate complex information), like LinkedIn and Twitter. In this space the content is as important as the visual.

Whatever the mix, just remember your social media channels need to align to your business and its requirements not the other way around. Don’t create content that will work for a channel like Snapchat to say you’re ‘on’ Snapchat. If your business and its content don’t ‘fit’ there and your audience isn’t using it, why do it?

Posts and getting the frequency right

‘Well, we have to tweet at least three times a day and we must post to Facebook at least five times a week’. That’s not entirely true. It’s good to have a target number of posts for your business, but sometimes less is definitely more when it comes to your social media schedule. Be flexible. When you get caught up in a fixed schedule for each social media channel, your content is likely to suffer.

I know what it’s like to be madly scratching around for content from colleagues to get a post (any post!) online, but I’ve learned that this content gap is better used for sharing or commenting on a post over posting whatever content you can get your hands on.

Let your content drive your schedule. If you’ve got great content, post it. If you don’t, share and comment on other posts in your community. Don’t compromise on your content. You’ll lose your audience.

Content aside, there’s also no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to posting on Social Media. It depends on your business – what you do and who you’re talking to. There are a lot of theories around based on ratios of posting your own content/sharing content, etc. Kevan Lee from Buffer gives an awesome run-down on the ideal social media ratios.

But my best advice is to track your performance and use monthly analytics to gauge what’s working. When did you have the highest engagement with a post and what was the post about? Did you use an image, a link or a video? Did you tag your partners or your people? This will help you get a gauge on what your audience responds to and when they’re interacting with social media.

The crux of the matter

Don’t fall into the trap of jumping on the band-wagon of the latest social media trend. It’s not going to work unless it aligns with your business requirements, current social media mix and audience. Plus, adding another channel to the mix will mean stretching your resources and potentially struggling to maintain quality content. It’s not worth it.

What is worthwhile is reviewing your analytics monthly to get a sense of what’s working or not working with your channels and adjust content and post frequency accordingly.