One of the first decisions a marketing manager faces when developing a social media plan is how frequently to post new content. The answer typically comes down to a dichotomy: quality versus quantity. In a perfect world, every content creator would like to deliver well-thought-out material with great frequency. More often than not, time and budget constraints force the choice. The trick is finding the right balance. Let’s dig into why most strategists should prioritize quality over quantity in their social media posts.
What’s your frequency?
There’s no hard and fast rule to setting a post schedule. Every brand has different needs, and their marketing strategies should evolve with the life of the product. Well-known and established brands can benefit from high-frequency social campaigns because their reservoirs of brand equity allow them to trade on recognition alone.
Benefits of frequent posting include:
With a bit of luck, nimble brands can dominate the Twitterverse with a viral hit. When your goal is to get noticed, a large volume of posts can stack the deck in your favor.
Content is king. Quality is its crown
Most of us don’t just want to be noticed—we want to connect. Brands engage on social media to form and strengthen bonds with customers. What’s more, people are willing to participate in that connection. Gone are the days of simply pushing out one-way messaging to consumers. Social engagement is a relationship, and that means building trust. The best way to use social media to gain that trust? You guessed it: by providing quality content.
Quality can mean a lot of things. Useful information is always a good place to start. In other cases, it can be a simple message that lets people know you understand their needs and have their best interests in mind. People will let you know if you’re offering quality content. Comments mean people care enough to be part of the discussion. Being part of that dialogue shows you’re listening. All this engagement is a sign that what you’re contributing matters to people. In social media strategy, our favorite metric is shares. Sure, it’s free advertising, but more importantly, it’s the clearest sign that someone found your content useful and thought others might think so, too.
The danger of playing fast and loose
If frequent low-quality posts are what you give, then lots of low-value engagement is what you shall receive. Everyone’s time is precious, and your audience will quickly determine whether or not you’re adding value to their online experience. Flooding newsfeeds or inboxes with low-quality information is a surefire way to lose the hard-earned attention and trust of potential customers. You’ve got to back it up with the goods.
In showbiz, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. In politics, no news is good news.
In the marketing world, you’re only as good as your last ad.
Much of the content evaluation occurs before it even reaches the viewer’s screen. Just as people tune out low-quality posts, the algorithms that determine post prominence in your social media feed are designed to reward those that they predict viewers will consider interesting. Not long ago, crafting content optimized for artificial intelligence was a good way to end up sounding, well, artificial. Today’s AI is profoundly powerful and is being relentlessly refined to optimize the user’s experience. Facebook’s servers “know” a good post from a bad one. Ignore the algorithms at your own peril.
“I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.”—HAL 9000
Posting with confidence
Aim for a meaningful exchange of ideas. Grab your audience’s attention and keep it focused with well-thought-out messaging. If your posts are the brand equivalent of an Instagrammed lunch, it’s time to reevaluate your social media strategy. Post impressions are great and all—no one is going to complain about getting a lot of attention. Eyes on the screen are potential customers, after all. But people are more than eyeballs. They’re looking for quality information that improves their life. Give them a reason to look forward to your next post.