This is something that is key to getting right for your business - post too much and you risk becoming a nuisance and annoying people; post too little and people will forget you even exist!
Plus on average only 11% of your followers will see each Facebook post you make in the first place...so we'll start there, and I will cover Twitter later too.
Facebook said back in 2013 that on average every time someone visits their News Feed there are 1,500 stories from friends, people they follow and business pages they like waiting for them; which Facebook filters to try and make sure you see the most relevant, interesting posts rather than what someone eats for breakfast every single day of the week.
So while you don't want to be 'that' person posting their breakfast every day, you are fighting with 1,499 other posts to get noticed, meaning getting the balance right is crucial.
One way of getting your posting frequency right would be to test it for yourself - are your posts getting any engagement (likes/shares/comments) or converting to hits on your website?
How many people are seeing them?
If the answer is 'not many' and you already have a good number of followers, then either the content of your posts isn't right, or you just aren't posting enough for your followers to notice (and I'm assuming here you already know that once a month isn't enough!).
On the other hand, if you are posting frequently (more than once a day) and when you check your Facebook Insights you notice you are losing followers and not encouraging much in the way of engagement either, maybe it's time to reconsider how often you post, and again look at your content.
Clearly, being an important subject this has been given attention by numerous social media experts in particular, the old 'two Facebook posts a day' theory you might have heard already.
The chart below is from a Hubspot study on this:
Interestingly this shows that only pages with over 10,000 followers benefitted from seeing more clicks per post as they posted more frequently, with clicks peaking at between 1-2 posts a day (31-60 per month in the chart above) but then dropping off somewhat at more than this.
For businesses with over 1k but less than 10k followers, the 'sweet spot' seems to be at between 5-15 posts per month; and for those with under 200 to a thousand followers just over one post per week got the most clicks.
However, this study does ignore a couple of important factors - like awareness and the goal of each post.
Not all posts will demand a click (e.g a simple piece of info or update), and even posts that don't generate a click but are still seen help keep your business at the front of people's minds ready for whenever they might need your services.
The results above also possibly reflect the fact that a page with over 10k followers most likely has some form of organised social media strategy and management behind it to deliver increased clicks from their audience as they post more; as opposed to someone like a local plumber who has a few hundred followers mainly made up of people they know in person, and who doesn't have time to post often or with any real strategy involved.
Let's have a quick look too at the maths of the above - only posting 5 times a month and getting 500 total clicks (at 100 per post) sounds pretty good in theory; but how about posting 30 times a month instead and 'only' getting 60 clicks per post - thereby gaining 1,800 total clicks, over three times as many!
So overall how often you post on Facebook largely depends on your objective - are you looking for awareness and to increase the reach of your posts or just looking to maximise the engagement for each one?
If it's the former, play around with posting 1-2 times a day and see how your results turn out.
If you have something specific you want to drive people to your website for and you want to maximise clicks on individual posts, once to twice a week would seem to be the way to go.
Now onto Twitter, a very different beast.
Twitter is a lot more fast-moving than Facebook, with the average tweet only having a half-life of around 24 minutes (compared to 90 minutes for Facebook, according to Wiselytics) meaning businesses have far less time, not to mention space with only 140 characters, to make an impact.
Twitter also differs from Facebook in that its timeline is still mostly chronological, with a useful 'In Case You Missed It' function.
Unlike its counterpart, it won't show you tweets that are days old - meaning that to stay relevant posting regularly is essential to stay on your customers' timelines.
Similar to what we have seen with Facebook though, it seems how often you tweet is again largely dependent on your goals in the first place.
To optimise engagement per tweet, 3-4 tweets per day is the way forward according to a study below from Buffer.
Per this graph, total engagement rate decreases with each tweet, bottoming out from around the 8th tweet onwards with the 'sweet spot' apparently around 3-4 per day.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with posting more than this as the drop is relatively slight after the third tweet - just don't expect the same kind of results as your first few tweets.
If your aim is just to maximise total responses, a Social Bakers study suggested that even as many as 50 tweets a day didn't result in a negative response!
Putting out that many tweets daily however, would take a significant amount of time even using scheduling tools; time that could arguably be used better and more effectively.
So to conclude, the 'optimal' posting frequency on social media differs by platform (and that's without getting into Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube yet, or post timing which is also vital and I will cover in another blog soon) and is mainly governed by your business goals in addition to how much time you have to devote to social media.
Want to maximise engagement for each individual post? 1-2 Facebook posts a week and 3-4 tweets per day is the sort of social media schedule backed up by the evidence.
Want to increase awareness of your brand and maximise overall engagement levels? Aim for at least 1-2 Facebook posts and 5+ tweets per day.
Have some fun playing around with the above - let me know what works for you?
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Questions or need help managing your own social media? Don't hesitate to email Gil@run-dmg.com or find me on LinkedIn
Thanks, Gil David