Don’t Over Extend Yourself on Social Media

As you create your business’ social media marketing plan, it can be tempting to try to be every-where at once, posting often on all platforms. But while your initial enthusiasm might carry this level of effort for a while, if you don’t have the resources to realistically maintain it, your posts will taper off in time — leading to inconsistency in your social media, which is worse than if you had not put yourself out on a specific platform in the first place!

Before you start with a posting schedule and creating new social media accounts, have a look at your resources — in this case, your time, energy, knowledge and budget — to determine the platforms, posting schedule and frequency that make sense for your business. Unless you are working for a large company with a large budget (and marketing department), you will need to choose your platforms and schedule carefully in order to use your resources efficiently and make the most of your social efforts.

Choosing Your Platforms
Rather than trying to be present on all platforms, aim to select the ones that will give you the best return on your efforts. It is far better to build a strong community on a select few platforms, by regularly posting engaging content, than to make a weak effort on many platforms.

Here are a few questions to consider. By examining your answers to these questions, you can determine which platforms you should spend your resources on.

Where does your target audience like to spend time on social media?
Which platforms would they like to engage with you on?
What is their goal when they are on social media?
When do they go on social media — which days, and what time?
How do your target audience’s demographics compare to the user demographics of each platform?
Does the platform enable you to showcase your products or services effectively through text, images and video? For example, can you explain your service in Twitter’s allotted 140 characters? Do you have the images and video needed for your posts to show up in Facebook’s algorithm?
Simply put: does the platform make sense for your business? For instance, if you are a law firm, it may be difficult to come up with consistent Instagram posts.
Does the platform allow you to engage with your followers?
Now, armed with your answers to these questions, which two platforms would you choose? Why these and not the others?

Determining Your Frequency
When determining your posting frequency for the platforms you’ve chosen, be sure first and foremost that it’s a frequency you can maintain. Posting fast and furiously and then not at all is not your goal!

A few factors to keep in mind when deciding your post frequency: the time of day you will be posting based on your audience’s behaviours; how many posts you can come up with daily, weekly or monthly based on your resources; and also the algorithm of the particular platform. For example, Facebook, LinkedIn and more recently, Instagram use algorithms based on the users preferences and engagement, while Twitter features a chronological newsfeed. This means that your tweet is seen for approximately three seconds in a user’s feed, while your Fa-cebook post may remain on a follower’s newsfeed for hours if the algorithm determines the user might be interested in it. Because of these key differences, your posting frequency on each plat-form will look very different.

Remember, regardless of which platforms you choose to utilize for your social media marketing plan, stick with a number that you can post to and engage on consistently, and create a schedule that is manageable based on a realistic assessment of your resources.

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