In our last post, I looked at the best times for posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Backed by data it was instructive. I thought it might be useful to look at a few fundamentals. Now we know when to post, what are we going to post, and how often?
First it is important to be realistic. The goal for social media marketing is engagement, not followers, and engagement rates on social media are not that high. A study by RivalIQ (https://www.rivaliq.com/blog/2019-social-media-benchmark-report/) of 150 companies shows that the median Facebook post frequency is 0.97% posts per day with a median engagement rate of just 0.09%. For Instagram it is 1.6% engagement from 0.70 posts per day. Admittedly, their study is of companies in the US with rather larger audiences (25,000+) in which it is much harder to maintain a broad relevant connection with smaller businesses with more niche and interested audiences.
What is engagement rate? Engagement rate is calculated by dividing the number of actions on a post (reacts, likes, shares, comments) by the total following of the account. So for Facebook, if you page has 100 followers, you can expect 0.09% to engage with your post. There is an important qualifier to consider here as well. The social media platforms restrict the percentage of your audience that is exposed to your content to around 5% unless you manage to tap into a network effect. This makes the 0.09% more like 1.8% in the case of Facebook. Another thing to consider is that, shock horror, your total audience are not checking the facebook feed everyday as you might want them to, so there is a natural restriction in potential reach and engagement.
With the last post in mind, we have the data to know when to post to reach your largest possible audience, and therefore the highest potential engagement. We need to know now what kind of content works to achieve this and how often to post. In order to do this, we need to, as always, understand our customers and why they use the platforms they do, and for what purpose.
Consumers will generally follow a business page because they want to receive updates about events, promotions, new products and services. They have had a good experience in the past and invite you to keep them up to date with information that they value either in informing a future purchase decision, or compelling a more immediate one. The key point here is the provision of value.
Studies have shown however that frequency is important. Posting too often (more than twice per day) will result in a fall in engagement and people unliking your page. Posting rarely will also have a negative effect on your engagement rates. Ideally we recommend posting once per day, and take into account the ideal days for your business. Overall, the important thing is to be friendly and provide value.
Being an image based platform, the image is the key. There are (as with Facebook) the ability to choose posts or stories, the format is different. Stories are more casual opportunities to show your business personality but have a finite shelf life, while posts are accumulative and can combine over time to tell your brand story, show your values, as well as your brand personality via content that demonstrates your product or service expertise and quality. So, in sum, your content should be high quality imagery or video that aligns with your purpose and the value you offer your clientele.
There is no real data to show how often, however consistency is the key. Choose the higher participation days of the week, see what works, and stick with it.
Twitter is a fast mess of self-interested individuals, bots, and brands. The same study from RivalIQ shows that companies will tweet 0.86 tweets per day for 0.048% engagement. The recent increase in character account allows us to get more content in a post, but the huge sea of fast moving content makes it tough to be seen. It is far more conversational than any other platform, so character and personality, as long as it aligns with your values, is key. There is a lot of negativity so you will stand out if you are providing value and seeking to help.
If your audience is on twitter, you need a high frequency, 3 tweets per day, to reach your them.
Being primarily a business to business channel, it isn’t surprising that things a little more serious here. People are looking for information, industry insights, opportunities to learn and develop. The content needs to be high value for the business goals of your audience.
Thankfully, research has shown that post via a company page just once per week will increase your engagement.
With these two most recent articles, you can now develop a schedule for your social media content delivery. You know know when to post, how often, and with a bit of a guide as to what to post. The actual content is up to your and your resources, but if you want a hand to discover the stories you can tell, and the content opportunities that are available to you, get in touch for a free consultation.