Today’s brands are investing heavily in social media marketing and advertising. In fact, eMarketer expects ad spending on social media platforms to increase 20.4% in 2020 to over $43 billion. Companies seem to think more is better when it comes to social media, but this may not be the case for every brand.
Is there such a thing as too much content, or can brands rely on social media algorithms to ensure they aren’t overwhelming their audience? We’ve asked social media experts for their take on social media posting, whether too much content is detrimental, and what other social media best practices they recommend.
How Frequently Should Brands Post?
For Evyenia Lyons, VP of marketing at Traackr, balance is key. “There is such a thing as too much content,” she explained, “But just as you can post too much, posting too infrequently is nearly as damaging.” Brands need to curate their social posts so that only the most valuable and thoughtful content reaches their audience. “When you are setting up your social media calendar, set expectations and think of a cadence that is sustainable in the long term.” It could be only a few times per week for some or several times each day for others, but brands should only post as frequently as they can consistently deliver quality content.
Daniel Peterman, social media manager at Lusha.co said post frequency isn’t the most important factor for social media success. “Because social media algorithms show your content only to a fraction of your followers,” he explained, “making the most impact isn't about posting more, it's about posting better content.” Brands need to focus more on engagement — likes, comments and shares — to work with social platform algorithms and effectively increase exposure.
Along with striking the right balance between post frequency and engagement, here are some additional social media best practices from the experts.
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Peterman believes it’s crucial to give audiences enormous value without being salesy. “Your audience is busy and you need to make it worth their while to read your posts,” he said. Instead of demanding something, take the approach of ‘giving in order to get’ and win social media users over with humor, data and valuable insights. “Commercials and paid advertising are for getting leads and selling products,” Peterman explained, but social media content “should be used to paint a bigger picture of your brand.”
Create Channel-Specific Content
“While it may seem daunting, one of the best things you can do to up your social media marketing,” Lyons said, “is to create content specific for each channel you choose to develop.” Many brands share the same blog content across all social channels without considering how it will be viewed and consumed by users on each individual platform. “I think all too often marketers use social media as a channel to only drive traffic back to their websites,” Lyons continued, “instead of balancing that objective with cultivating an engaged community on the platform itself.”
Foster Real Conversations
“Social media platforms are built with the purpose of fostering conversations and keeping people on the platforms,” Peterman said. That means pushing users toward a company blog or landing page won’t lead to the best results. Content that encourages engagement and real conversations on social media platforms can help spread brand awareness organically and grow a social media audience that produces greater business results down the line.
Find the Right Voice
“It is also critical that brands have a clear sense of their tone and what types of content are authentic to their brand voice,” said Lyons. She recommends diversifying the brand voice by leveraging influencers and brand ambassadors as content creation partners and drivers of audience engagement. This is the best way to find out which social content is worth additional investment.
Finally, brands need to be unique and authentic. “Ideally, you’d want to be able to delete your brand name from any content,” Lyons said, “and have an avid follower still know who posted it.” If companies focus on content based on their own voice and values, they’ll make a greater impression on users and form an audience that recognizes their brand’s authenticity.
In the end, Lyons said, “People can always tell which brands are just chasing engagement rather than truly trying to add value to the conversation.” The most successful brands create unique content for specific social media platforms that fosters authentic conversations with their intended audience.