You Can Be Too Active on Social Media (Sometimes)
By Samantha Colbert, Senior Client Support Specialist
Social Media is something that almost everyone is using these days. Most people can relate to scrolling through Facebook and seeing friends post yet another gym selfie, political rant, or cat picture.
Well, the cat pictures aren’t so bad, but sometimes the other stuff gets to be a bit much! I often find myself saying “these posts are taking over my feed,” blocking a friends’ posts, or worse: unfriending them all together.
Now imagine this same scenario, but happening to your non-profit arts organization. Yikes! And while your organization isn’t posting selfies or rants, if you’re making 3-5 Facebook updates a day, they may be overwhelming — and possibly even annoying — your audience. How can you avoid that terrible fate? With a little thing that I like to call platform awareness. To help you become more platform aware, I want to take a closer look at some ideal posting habits for the the big sites: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Facebook is the most well known social media site and that isn’t likely to change since
74% of adults in the U.S. with accounts still check them about once a day.
Studies show though that 53% of Facebook users don’t understand how their newsfeed displays posts, and if they don’t know how to control what they see, many users will unfollow your page entirely rather than trying other methods of seeing your posts less. So it’s important to be posting enough that it gets seen but not too much that it annoys your followers.
For Facebook, to maintain a presence but not be overwhelming, shoot for about one post per day. Twice in a day can be acceptable to promote special events or announcements, but in most cases avoid posting more than that. The time at which you post is important too. Begin looking at your social analytics with Facebook Insights to see when your followers tend to be the most active and post before then.
Next, in terms of popularity, is Instagram (which happens to be owned by Facebook). If you don’t have an Instagram account yet for your organization, it may be time to jump on the bandwagon as this platform now has over 1 billion profiles, with the average user being 35 or younger!
Instagram is all about pictures and videos, so to keep your audience engaged, I recommend posting one to two pictures a day. But I think it’s less about the number of posts and more about variety! Share lots of different types of content. For example, a picture from a show that is opening this weekend can go out in the morning and, in the afternoon, post a picture of a staff member holding a thank you card that they are going to send to a donor.
And don’t forget to utilize hashtags! Hashtags will let people (who are not currently following your profiles) find new content that they might be interested in. And since Instagram posts allow you to write up to 2,200 characters you should include as many hashtags as you think are applicable.
Now for sharing all the news and updates of your organization, all of the time, the best place is Twitter! There is almost no such thing as “too much” on Twitter and like birds in a tree, you want to be tweeting throughout the day. ! While studies on tweet frequency can’t seem to decide on the ideal range of posts, a safe bet is to tweet between three to thirty times a day. It can feel like a lot, but it’s important to remember that tweets have an incredibly short life. A post you make in the afternoon won’t necessarily make it to the person who is checking Twitter after work. While you may not get to thirty posts a day, it’s important to keep up your activity to remind people you have something to say!
One last thing: for Facebook and Twitter, posting media like pictures, gifs, and videos – rather than just text – will lead to higher engagement and more views. It’s a simple, eye-catching way to grab people’s attention.