A common question that I receive from nonprofits on social media:
How often should we post on Facebook/tweet on Twitter/post on Instagram/share on LinkedIn, etc.?
The answer? More than you assume!
When I give that answer, I often get this follow up question:
But what if we annoy our supporters? I certainly don’t want to hear from every organization and business that I follow several times per day.
Well, yes, you will annoy me if you only post boring, spammy, irrelevant updates. But for most part, this fear of “annoying our supporters with too much communication” is faulty.
To truly understand why, you need to understand how social media (especially Facebook) work.
As an example, every MINUTE on Facebook, users post:
**293,000 status updates, and
An average of 4.75 billion pieces of content are shared daily on the network!
If your Facebook page fans have been using the site for a number of years (I’ve been on it 10 years), you can only imagine the number of friends, businesses, nonprofits, and other pages and profiles they have connected to in that time.
This is not only a matter of EdgeRank (where Facebook determines what you are most likely to engage with and enjoy seeing, based on a number of factors), this is just the reality of social media.
There is simply no way, even if they spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, that they will be shown every piece of content and every update possible, from all the people and places to which they connect with via Facebook, or Twitter, etc.
No One Size Fits All
What is important to know about articles claiming to have the answer to the “how often to post” question, is that there is NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL IN SOCIAL MEDIA. Sure, there are best practices. There are certain things that work and certain things that really don’t.
In order to get the most out of each channel on which you participate, you need to spend a lot of time understanding your particular audience and what they want to hear from you, as opposed to what you want to tell them.
Nonprofits – in our always-on, hyper-connected world, you need to be sharing compelling, visual stories of your impact with your online communities regularly. DAILY, even.
On Facebook, one post in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening (depending on the quality, timeliness, value, and relevance of the post) is ideal to reach the maximum number of people. (Spending some money to boost posts helps also!) On Twitter, some accounts tweet upwards of a dozen times per day. On Instagram, one photo daily should suffice. However, there is no absolute prescription for your individual, unique nonprofit and your specific audience.
I remember a presentation I attended where Chris Brogan said that he can tweet the same link out 50 times a week to his audience and not one of his followers will complain. Mixing up the language and sending the tweets out at different times of the day works best – you don’t want to seem like an automated robot. But the point was that he decided to tweet even MORE to get his message out there. And his audience didn’t mind (or even notice).
The Key to Getting Seen
When answering the question What if we post too much and annoy our supporters? I always give the same advice.
You will NOT annoy and turn off your fans and followers IF:
**You are posting things that your audience wants to see.
**You post when you having something interesting and of value to share.
**You are contributing to their lives.
**You remember that all social media posts work best when they are timely and relevant.
If you are doing it right, you will not be irritating. You will be embraced, enjoyed, celebrated by your online community.
How often does your nonprofit post on social media?