Use it, Lose it, or Over use It: Balancing Social Media Post Frequency

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, all company communications channels need to be continuously updated or refreshed with content on a regular basis. Without a content strategy behind each outreach channel, it’s likely that channels can fall to the wayside and become stagnant or over post an drive away followers. The concept of post frequency is a very important part of every communications plan.

Channels with few or infrequent posts are likely to miss the mark with target audiences, yet too many posts can also annoy consumers and drive them away. How often is too often? While there is no cut and dry answer, here is some data that can serve as a jumping off point for posting frequency across social channels.

Facebook:

Social Bakers studied three months’ worth of Facebook content from major brands and found that top brands average one post per day.

chart-brands Facebook

As a general rule, Socialbakers found that posting once per week on Facebook was too low and posting more than twice per day was too much. The 2011 study found that the sweet spot is five to 10 posts per week. The catch is, this data was published prior to Facebook’s recent algorithm change. According to an Edgerank Checker study posted on the Moz blog one way to counteract the recent change might be to publish more frequently.

Twitter:

Social Bakers also studied Twitter, taking a random sample of 11,000 Tweets from top brands. The study found that three Tweets per day is the point where brands start seeing higher levels of engagement. However, the life of a Tweet is short and as one might expect, each Tweet provides an opportunity to engage with consumers, so by tracking Twitter engagement per Tweet, brands can determine how many tweets are needed to reach the highest levels of interaction between the brand and its consumers. However, Track Social found that response per tweet peaks at five and then drops off – so, for Twitter, the sweet spot is 3-5 tweets per day.

LinkedIn:

LinkedIn published a marketing report claiming that 20 posts per month was the ideal number of posts. As one might expect, there is more research on this topic for Facebook and Twitter than many of the other emerging networks. Here are a few other additional tips for LinkedIn users.

It’s important to remember that the ultimate goal of communications across social channels is to strike a balance between being informative and annoying… engaging and overbearing. The line can be thin, so it’s essential for brands to continue experimenting and measuring. Armed with their own data, brands can continuously tailor post frequency and scheduling in order to improve consumer engagement across all outreach channels.

Beyond Tactics: Moving the Needle with Emerging Media

Emerging media provides countless ways for companies to push the boundaries when it comes to engaging and interacting with consumers. But, too often it’s much easier to talk about integrating social channels into marketing and communications campaigns than it is to actually do it. Unfortunately, sometimes emerging media is often added as an afterthought tactic rather than being used as a key campaign element. It’s important for brands to think about each medium and how it can be used as a communications vehicle to reach and engage key audiences. After all, social media isn’t just about the size of a fan base, but rather about how interactive those fans are. These three companies can serve as examples of how to use emerging media mediums to create campaigns that generated extremely high consumer impact.

Facebook & IKEA: In 2009, the Swedish furniture company opened a new store in Malmo, Sweden. Rather than hosting an event or spreading the word the old-fashioned way, the brand went directly to consumers via Facebook. Here is a short video explaining the campaign:

The campaign instantly went viral, generating a lot of buzz about the launch of the new store without any high budget campaign. Over a two-week period, showroom images were uploaded to a Facebook photo album and using the “tag” feature, customers were able to locate items in the pictures and put their name on them. The first person to tag an object got to take it home… for free. Word of mouth conversations generated by the campaign engaged thousands and thousands of Facebook users, who willingly promoted IKEA to their social networks.

Since 2009, the brand has continued to take some different approaches to engaging fans using Facebook. The UK Ikea hosted an in-store sleepover in response to a Facebook fan group called ‘I wanna have a sleepover in Ikea’ and Australian couple got married in an IKEA wedding witnessed by their friends, family and 80 random Facebook fans who secured an invite through IKEA’s Facebook page.

Pinterest & CB2: Home décor chain CB2 turned online home design daydreams into reality with APT CB2, a five-day event in which five popular Pinterest designers decorated one real-world apartment with the real-time input from the Pinterest community. The campaign happened live on Pinterest and a microsite, which was updated every 15 to 30 minutes with photos from the apartment.

Pinterest, as a platform, connects well with the brand given that it is a forum for collaboration, experimentation, and getting people to play with design at home. In this campaign, CB2 relinquished some brand control to the “Pinfluencers” or influential Pinterest users. When combined, their own posts, along with those of CB2, helped to build an authentic and honest brand voice as well as further extend dissemination of the brand’s message.

Vine & Lowe’s: When Vine launched the six-second video app, Lowe’s embraced the new medium and used it to house short “how-to” videos that were then distributed via Twitter. Knowing that the highly engaged Twitter audience would find the posts interactive and engaging, the #LowesFixInSix campaign led the charge when it came to brands using Vine as a strategic communications tool rather than just a novelty. Lowe’s Vine videos caught on like wild-fire and the company has gotten a lot of buzz from the videos alone, but building beyond that, there have also been dozens of press mentions of the campaign and its engaging and almost infectious content. Watch what they did:

According to BBDO New York, roughly a week following launch, the campaign had already generated 28,000 mentions across social media. #Lowesfixinsix was able to strike a perfect balance between brand promotion and consumer usefulness. Additionally, according to Lowe’s CMO Tom Lamb, “What consumer behavior is forcing us to do is learn to be incredibly concise.” These two points – finding balance and being brief – perfectly summarize the challenges and opportunities that are facing modern brands today when they turn to emerging social media tools, like Vine, for promotions.

Social media platforms can be catalysts for people (and brands) to present their best selves. IKEA, CB2 and Lowe’s have stretched emerging media channels beyond tactical add-ons. They have proved that, if used correctly, emerging media can be an effective marketing tool, helping the brands to quickly, and efficiently, educate consumers while making content that is shareable and fun to watch.

General Market Campaigns Are Dead: Meet the Many Faces of Today’s Consumers

Consumer demographics in America are changing rapidly. Ethnic consumers comprise the majority of the population in most major U.S. cities and by 2020 two out of every five U.S. residents will belong to an ethnic minority. To succeed as a communicator or marketer, it’s no longer enough to translate a general market message when trying to reach niche audiences. Instead, brands need to truly understand the cultural and geographic diversity of the target consumer and then cater to those specifics as part of a marketing campaign or outreach efforts. In addition to Latinos, who Bloomberg reports will spend $1.5 trillion on U.S. goods and services by 2015 and African-Americans, who are forecasted to reach $1.3 trillion by 2017,the importance of connecting with multicultural consumers extends to other groups as well. Below are just a few of the more “general market” sub-groups that should not be ignored:

Baby Boomers:This group, defined as age 55 and older, actually has money to spend—controlling 70% of disposable income in the United States. Boomers are utilizing mobile technology and Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus are growing among older demographics. 38-42 percent of Boomers use social networking, and one in five use social media sites as a source of health-care information. According to a study by eMarketer, 49 percent of Boomer/Senior tablet users and 40 percent of smartphone users made at least one purchase within the last year after gathering information on their mobile device. This group is a purchasing powerhouse with purse strings!

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT): Business Insider estimates put the buying power of the LGBT community at over $800 billion annually. Most sources indicate LGBT consumers have more disposable income when compared to the average American household. According to a survey done by Prudential in 2012, gay consumers were more likely to have higher educations, carry less debt, have more savings and were less likely to be jobless with an unemployment rate of almost a point below the national percentage. Marketers should be sure that marketing plans accommodate and are inclusive of this valuable target.

Aspirationals: More than one-third of consumers globally identify as trendsetting consumers who are seeking sustainability consumption. This is the largest consumer segment, with clear dominance in the two largest developing markets – India (42 percent) and China (53 percent). Aspirationals want to purchase with a purpose, so they are a particularly important segment for companies who are making sustainability and “doing good” part of mainstream culture.

Asp-infographic-edited-1

Hipsters, Millennials, Gen Y (oh my!): This generation is different from those of the past and to be relevant to this group, Marketers need to understand their mindset. They value and recognize authenticity and pay for products that feel person to them, which is why character-driven campaigns have had the most success in reaching this group. With a population estimated at roughly 72 million, Generation Y is soon-to-be the largest generation ever. According to marketing research firm Kelton Research, Gen Y’s spending power is almost $200 billion a year – not something to bat an eye at.

evolutionofthehipster-300x198The most successful multicultural campaigns involve delving into the wants and needs of ethnic consumers. This is why it’s essential for marketers to incorporate multiethnic thinking into the core strategy of brand efforts rather than as an afterthought. By exploring new platforms and looking at campaign-related efforts through a multicultural lens, brands have the ability to move away from “translating” general market messages and make a shift toward building outreach efforts that empower specific sub-groups to become brand advocates – bringing products into their own social conversations.

According to an article in Forbes, multicultural audiences have taken the lead in social media usage and mobile technology adoption. Across the board, word of mouth is also the most trusted source of product recommendations, so it’s important that brands build culturally relevant campaigns in order to engage consumers in positive brand experiences and thus building trust. Smart brands are looking beyond the stereotypes – based on the notion that “advertising is a mirror,” implanting cultural relevance and values into marketing campaigns helps consumers to identify with and feel affinity for companies and brands.

Simply put, brands cannot reach everyone with one message or campaign or product. It’s a thing of the past. Each culturally subgroup needs tailored messages in order to effectively connect and fully embrace a brand. It’s imperative for brands to put thought into who they specifically want to reach, submerse themselves in the corresponding culture, ideals and thinking, and then build a campaign from the ground up.