How Often Should You Post on Facebook or Tweet?

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How often should I post on Facebook? How often should I tweet? How many videos should I upload to YouTube a month?

It’s interesting that more people ask about the quantity of their social media posts rather than the quality of that content.    Sometimes, that’s difficult to manage. One of the organizations that I manage social media for has over 80 departments, each with their own areas of interest, events, and updates that serve an audience of almost 40,000. In those instances, it’s like looking at one big puzzle: you have to work with the smaller pieces to create a larger, unified picture.

But if everything you have to say is interesting, timely, and relevant to your audience, does it still matter? Like everything else, it’s a little more complicated than that. Here are some things to consider:

  • Facebook’s Edgerank System: While no one knows the exact algorithm in Facebook’s posting system, it’s generally recommended to limit the number of posts. Otherwise, certain updates can be obscured. Besides, it’s annoying to have one page constantly taking up space in a user’s news feed. I recommend posting every two hours at the very post. Remember, images and videos (hosted by Facebook, not linked) get priority over anything else. They’re also much more visual and engaging.
  • Don’t Sync: Here’s a hint: don’t allow Twitter to feed your Facebook. It’s a different system, different audience. Imagine if you could connect your phone line to your email system. Does that make any sense? If you want to link the two, use Facebook to help drive posts on Twitter but not the other way around.
  • Are They Online? Thanks to social media metric services, you can see when your followers are online. That’s the best time to post. If it’s beyond your 9-5 window, then you can pre-schedule updates using services like TweetDeck or Hootsuite.
  • Are They Tweeting Back? The outdated misconception that Twitter is a self-absorbed activity still persists but remember: social media is all about engagement. Conversations on Twitter are just as important as responding to comments on Facebook, so if your audience is talking back, don’t be afraid to jump into conversations. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: treat social media like a telephone, not a megaphone.
  • Post Around the Clock: If possible, try spreading posts out throughout the day to create a well-rounded account. Don’t just limit yourself to banker’s hours.
  • Create Different Channels for Different Audiences: If you have multiple departments or multiple audiences that follow your main organization, you might consider opening secondary channels. This might be a way of getting important updates out to relevant audiences without diluting the other posts. However, this requires a degree of skill, cooperation, and accountability to ensure that all channels are promoting the primary organization’s main messages when needed.

There aren’t really hard and fast numbers about how often you should post but you should rely on analytics to guide you. How often are people responding, sharing, tweeting back, or liking your posts? Is it hard to find important updates because they’re being obscured by other general announcements? How often does your audience want to hear from you? Just because they “like” you doesn’t mean they’re in love with you. And just because you have some followers, it doesn’t mean that you’re the only one leading the conversation.

Social media is very much like a science as well as an art. Learn the tools and then trust your gut.

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