One minute we’re told to post updates as many times as we can throughout the day to keep our brand / service top of mind and people talking about us; then we’re told only to post updates once per day otherwise our friends / followers won’t follow or like us anymore; then we’re told that photos are the most valuable content to share; which changes to video as the content of choice the following week.
And then there’s the optimum time to post updates: one minute we’re told that weekends are the best time as it will help us stand out from the competition; but then it changes to weekdays otherwise no-one will see our posts – phew, I’m exhausted just trying to keep up!
Whilst some of this can be frustrating, we do need to take advice from these experts to help us stay on top of social media, particularly when managing campaigns for our clients, and much of what they say is relevant.
But how do we tell what’s worth listening to and what’s not?
Below are 3 pieces of advice that some of the top experts actually suggest ignoring, or at least taking with a pinch of salt and basing your decision on what works best for you:
1. Publish content every day.
If you don’t have anything relevant or valuable to say to your audience, then don’t say it. Of course if you do, then go right ahead.
The point is that it’s the quality of what you’re publishing more than the quantity. If you post meaningless messages on Facebook or Twitter throughout the day your audience is likely to get tired and leave.
So think about what you want to say and then schedule it in on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and stick to it. This makes life a lot easier for you and ensures your followers and friends don’t get bored with irrelevant content.
2. Include a call to action.
How often do you see people asking their followers or friends to like, share or comment on a link that has been posted? Of course this is part of what make social media such a good method of promotion and strengthening a brand presence. But how much can those friends or followers really take? How much can you take? If it’s all promotion or sales orientated (however subtle) then eventually people may tire of it.
Whilst you do want people to get involved, it’s not always necessary to ask it of them each and every time. In fact, if it gets shared, discussed and commented on without you asking, then it’s more likely to achieve its purpose.
And finally remember the 80/20 rule when it comes to social media. 80% of the time spent should be about getting involved, chatting, starting relevant informative discussions, and 20% of the time should be spent promoting.
3. Publish content at a specific time.
I’m sure you’ve heard ‘experts’ talk of the best time to send out company newsletters, share your latest blog article, or update your status, and perhaps you follow their advice, but has it worked for you? Do you agree with that supposed optimum time? Or perhaps you’ve realised that the optimum time is based on your product, service or offering for your target audience. If so, congratulations!
It’s impossible to say that between 10am and midday on Thursday mornings you absolutely must dispatch your company newsletter to achieve the highest amount of click-throughs. Whilst the research has been done, it’s been carried out across all industry sectors worldwide. How do you know your target market doesn’t fall outside that bracket without doing your own research?
Test it yourself by publishing your blog or dispatching your newsletter at different times, then check the analytics and make a decision based on the evidence. For example perhaps your VA business targets the medical profession; you may actually find that the optimum time for them to open emails is pre-8am or post-9pm, therefore adhering to the guidelines mentioned above may prove to be completely useless for your business.
Ultimately when it comes to social media, do pay attention to what the experts suggest as there are some great nuggets of information that could help streamline the process and maximise the results, but always relate it back to who you are targeting to achieve the results you want.