The publishing frequency for a brand on Social Media is an often asked and debated topic. This topic has been done to death. There is tons of content, and research on this topic. I’ll share best and not so best practices about deciding on how frequently your brand should post content on social media.
There are 3 broad approaches followed by brands while posting on social media. If you are serious about identifying the best frequency of posting for your brand on social media, you can skip the first two approaches. But to know definitely on what NOT TO DO, while publishing on social media, do read the first 2 approaches, which unfortunately are still practiced by a few brands.
Approach 1: Adhoc Stuff
The first is the simplest but perhaps not practiced often these days. In 2013, Good Morning’s were very common. In this approach the social media manager decides basis his mood, and party calendar, and holiday calendar on how he/she would post on social media. It’s premised on not really giving much of a fuck on the frequency or social media or the brand in general.
It’s also premised on the notion that organic posts on social media don’t drive sales. That’s true to an extent. We’ll cover that topic on a separate post. These are typically done by brands who would randomly wish their fans and followers a good morning and disappear. Such brands are also disappearing and social media managers for such brands are finding jobs.
Approach 2: More the
The second approach is followed by social media managers of brands who think posting more will lead to better results. They essentially are the
rockstars mules of the social media world. When you post a lot on social media as a brand, your fans and followers love it get SPAMMED. They would end up feeling something like this
This approach is not the best to follow as you may have little control, or plan and will lead to sub-optimal results. Quite frankly if you are posting with a high frequency, you will be creating sub-standard content and will lead to your customer base making the wrong association with your brand.
Approach 3: Getting it right
Posting frequency is very simply contingent on your ability to create high quality content. Creating quality content takes time. Though if you take too much time, people will forget you and may not engage with you. Your channels on social media will come across as “dead”.
If you don’t maintain an active presence on your social media, customers are likely to forget you. Posting too often will leave your followers getting spammed and can give you a negative reputation. If you continue this for too long, they’ll unfollow you.
The solution on how frequently a brand should publish content on social media can be a little complicated and varies basis platforms and industries. Positing frequency will vary for a brand in the B2B space vs. a brand in the B2C space. There is no single answer.
Multiple studies have been conducted to figure out what works best on various social platforms.
Most marketers will tell you that 2 posts/day works best on Facebook. However studies have show different results. Hubspot found that businesses with more than 10,000 followers were the only ones that saw an increased number of clicks when posting more than once per day. Businesses with less than 10,000 followers received 50 percent fewer clicks per post when they published twice per day.
Brands that posted just 1-5 times per month, though, saw their engagement nearly double!
The industry you work with also makes a difference. If you are in the media and publishing industry, publishing once a day may not work very well especially when your organization is producing a lot of content (I’m assuming it to high quality content). However if you are cola brand, posting once a day or 4-5 times a week might work. Even once a week would. It totally depends on the content you are creating. If you’ve invested a lot in creating high quality content, you may want to invest more in disseminating it and showcase it for a longer period on your Facebook page.
It’s best to start with a lower frequency, start with fewer posts and gradually increase while constantly measuring the engagement and reach of your post. If you see a decline, cut down on the frequency of posts and focus on quality of content.
Twitter is a more active platform and a Tweet may not last for a very long time. Brands typically post from approx. 20+ Tweets a day to only a couple of times a week. This varies due to the type of industry a brand is in to the kind of promotion happening. In case there is an event being co-promoted by a brand, the frequency of Tweeting can be high.
Let’s say a brand is promoting a live concert and live tweeting reactions of fans, the posting frequency can be high. But let’s say there is no such event happening and it is business as usual, it can be only once a day or two. The main point here is that it is ok to post with a high frequency (such as once an hour) if the situation, campaign, or an event has such a demand. In an ideal scenario, posting up to 15 times is ok in a day. Anything beyond that might be considered spamming and you may lose followers up on continuing this practice.
Instagram as a medium is slightly similar to Facebook when it comes to the speed of information dissemination. It is slightly faster than Facebook and the life of an Instagram post typically would be 1 day. Major brands post an average of 1-2 times per day to Instagram. There’s no drop-off in engagement if you post more than once a day. Given that Facebook has altered how Instagram posts show-up on timelines of followers, it is advisable to not post more than twice a day as it might be considered spamming by Facebook. If you post more than twice, it is highly likely that your post may not show up at all in the feeds of your followers and thus would lead to a drop in engagement.
Finally, measure how your posting frequency is impacting reach and engagement
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide good insights on how your posts perform. You can identifying the reach and engagement for each of your posts. You can also identify the best time to publish content to ensure that it gets the visibility it deserves. Posting at an odd hour can lead to lower reach and engagement despite posting at a lower frequency.
While using separate analytics for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be cumbersome, it is advisable to use a tool to help you with insights on the performance of your posts. Fanpage Karma is a great tool to help you identify posting frequency and optimizing the time for publishing content. It can also help you understand how you competition is publishing content and the kind of engagement they are deriving from it. You can also try out Social Bakers to have better insights on the performance of your content.