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How to Always be Effective at Social Media

How to Always be Effective at Social Media

This post is a part of the “Back to Basics” series,  which covers things you need to know to get started with social media. It’s also written towards intermediate social media for business users who are stuck and want to be more effective. It’s been my experience that when in doubt, go back to the basics and make sure you have those down, then you can move onto more advanced tactics and strategies.

We’ve all been there… slaving away at posting to our social media accounts day after day, following and using tactics from the “experts”, and crossing our fingers that the needle moves soon. Even a little bit of improvement would be better than this stagnant crap. Instead, we are forced to sit there, staring at our screens, feeling depressed that all the time and effort we’ve put in has been for nothing.

Whenever this happens, I pull out this list and start at the top. Whenever I ignore this list, my results have plummeted.  

These are not tactics. They are not even strategies. They are rules.

Like a painting, using this list will give you the broad brushstrokes you need to start building your own social media work of art. Don’t be mistaken, social media is an art. It may have certain steps you need to take like a science experiment or an instruction manual. In the end, though, you are really just talking to people, and that, my friends, is truly an art form.

It’s not an art form that’s hard to learn, though. It just takes time.

Understand What Your Audience Wants, Needs, or Desires

The most important thing you can do today for your social media results is to understand what your audience wants, and not what you think they want. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. Your audience may want something completely different than you’re delivering to them. A quick hint: they’re probably not looking directly for your service or product. At least not that they know of.

That’s where listening comes in. There are many different ways to listen. You can listen to your own customers when they tell you why they used your product, or how it helped improve their life. You can poll your customers (if they’re not telling you these things). You can set up keyword searches surrounding the thing that your product helps to improve (or the pain point). You can set up these searches through Google Alerts, or by using Hootsuite or other social media listening services to actually gather what people are saying on their social media accounts right now. You can see how your competitors are positioning their products. No matter how you decide to implement this, you must listen to really start to understand.

Also, listen to what else your audience is talking about, and how they are talking about it. This will give you ideas on the other content you can post to your page.

Listening is not a one-time activity, either. As your customer base grows and evolves, so will the ways they use your products and what they think about them. You need to always have your ear to the ground, observing what your customers are saying, and sometimes, what they’re not saying.

Define How Your Audience’s Needs and Desires Align With What Your Brand Offers

Understanding what your audience wants or needs in their lives is only half the battle. Now, you need to figure out if or how your product fulfills those wants and needs. The most elegant way I’ve ever seen it put is this: “Publications don’t sell horse saddles. Publications sell the idea of horseback riding.” Steve Bryant, who wrote this brilliant post is referring to how magazines sell their products (which for them is ad space and actual copies of their product), but it applies to social media as well. In fact, as he points out, it applies to many other types of content.

You are not selling what product you’re offering, but what that product can do for someone. How your product can save someone time or money, or even how your product can change someone’s life.

The key is to find out how your product delivers a solution to what your customer needs, and why they would choose your product over another to fulfill that need. That’s how you will start to develop your slogan, marketing copy, and graphics. That’s also how you develop the language that you use to interact with your customers online.

I can’t tell you what your language will be, although you are welcome to contact me if you want help with that. All I can tell you is that your language will likely be unique. In fact, it needs to be your own, especially if you want to stand out from the pack.

Learn How to Use the Social Media Platforms

Don’t know how to schedule a post to Facebook? Don’t understand why a post with an image performs better than a post with just text? Then your results are likely suffering. Understanding how the different social media platforms work, what works on them, and how your brand in particular can use those tools is paramount to your success in social media.

Picture this. You walk into a job interview for a management position wearing an old tank top, jeans, and flip flops. You haven’t taken the time to really understand what the position is about, or what you bring to the table that will help the company not only fill their staffing need, but also help them improve the area you would be working in. Not surprisingly, after a short interview, you don’t get the job.

Why? Because job interviews have rules. So do social media platforms. They work a certain way, and you are expected to work within them. Do things outside those rules and you risk the consequences: mediocre results or, worse, getting kicked off the platform entirely.

There are many, many tutorials out there that explain how some features work on a certain social media platform. Most of the social media platforms even have their own set of help files, or you can hire a business like mine to train you on how to use them.

No matter what, though, you need to understand how they work and how you can work within their rules.

Develop Your Unique Voice

Your voice matters. It’s part of what makes you stand out as a company or brand. Anything you can do to differentiate yourself from your competitors is a good thing.

Developing your unique voice isn’t easy, though, and it almost always takes a while. That’s because your voice is not just what you say, but how you say it. It’s the intersection of how you talk about your product, how and what your customers think about your product, and your experiences trying to have conversations about your product.

Your voice, like most things in marketing, will likely evolve over time. Again, it may take a while before you find your voice. That’s why you have to start now, and you need to be willing to do the things below to make it happen.

  1. Experiment, try stuff out. You never know if something’s going to work until you try it out for yourself. Your situation is unique. What works for someone else may not work for you and vice versa.
  2. Read. Read like your life depends on it. Read stuff by your competitors, by bloggers who inspire you, and by those that don’t. Learn how they talk about stuff and then decide if it will work for you.
  3. Be human. Long gone are the days when people expect companies to sound like robots in their content and when they respond to complaints or feedback. Don’t be afraid to be human. To make some mistakes. That’s the only way you’ll learn and understand what your customer-base expects from you.

Be Consistent

Actually this section should be titled “Be a Scientist”, here’s why. In order to test a theory and prove whether it’s true, scientists run experiments over and over again. If done right, each of these experiments has a core set of steps that need to be followed, or the experiment is invalidated. Your social media strategy will benefit from this approach too.

You have to think of your social media accounts like one big experiment that you’re running. Because they are. Until you’re sure that something works, you are really just running an experiment.

How does consistency play into your big experiment?

Remember that an experiment has lots of steps that are done over and over again throughout each iteration? Well, that’s consistency. It’s all in doing the same things over and over again, so you will start to build your own set of steps that you can test other steps and variables against.

How to be consistent

There are many ways to be consistent. It isn’t just about how much you post, but what you post, what times you post at, what types of content you post on different days, and how you craft those posts.

Why does consistency matter?

Because most social media platforms are either very crowded or have some kind of algorithm that keeps everyone who follows you from seeing your posts. Posting at a number of specific times a week or day means that you have more opportunities for more people to see those posts. Being consistent in what you post means that you can start to understand if it’s working. You can’t try something once and expect to know if it succeeded or failed. Maybe you had an off day, or maybe most of your social media followers were not online that day (for whatever reason).

The point is that you need more data before you can decide if something worked. Data comes from consistently doing the same things over and over again, and only tweaking small bits along the way.

Understand the Difference Between Social Media Strategy and Tactics

This is a big one. Strategies and tactics are not the same. Pause for effect… I’ll say that again. Strategies and tactics are not the same. Unfortunately, these terms get used interchangeably by a lot of people, and that’s dangerous because you have to understand what something is before you can understand why it worked.

First, let’s cover the difference between the two.

A strategy is a set of tactics or a plan that is developed in order to achieve a certain goal. Like the “Be Consistent” rule above, this can be likened to the plan that scientists put in place to prove their theories. Basically, it’s a set of steps or rules that you want to follow to try and create the outcome that you want.

Tactics are the actual actions that you take during the strategy. They’re specific and usually involve a specific way to do something.

For instance, a social media tactic that is popular at the moment, is to create an image with a beautiful background overlaid with a quote in fancy text, rather than just posting the quote as text. A strategy would be deciding that you are going to share these images once/week on your social media accounts (along with other links, images, etc.).

For the most part, I have found that strategies work better than tactics in the long run. That’s because tactics are usually short-lived. Once they gain in popularity, then their effectiveness starts to drop off drastically, mostly, because everybody’s using them. Strategies on the other hand are evolved over time and have been proven to work over and over again. Also, tactics that have been proven to work over and over again, can be added to your overall strategy.

Now that you know the difference, the next time you come across a social media tip, you should be able to tell which one it is. This will give you an advantage, because you will be able to tell if it’s just a tactic that will give you a “short boost” or a plan that you can use again and again to get great consistent results.

Effectiveness is Measured in Time

Being effective at social media is not always easy, and it’s not always fun. There’s a lot of work involved, and it takes time. But there are things that you can do to boost that effectiveness. Employing these rules is a good place to start when you want to get better.

The Basic System to Rock Any Social Media Platform Part 1: The 3 Phases of Social Media Success

ThreePhasesOfSocialMediaSuccess

Anyone worth their salt as a consultant will tell you that you need a plan to get the most out of social media. This is absolutely crucial to your success. What’s missing from most social media plans, though, is a system. A set of rules, if you will that governs how effective a plan can be. It’s a way to implement the goals that you have and an order to do them in.

I’ve seen and built a lot of social media plans. Some were successful, and some were not. The ones that were successful had one thing in common: they setup their plan with a systemized approach. In other words, everything in the plan is built to fulfill a specific purpose. Nothing in the plan deviates from that purpose.

There is a better word than purpose, though. Some people like to call them “goals”. I like to call them “phases”, because you can have multiple goals within a phase and still be working towards that one purpose.

There’s really only three major phases that you can shoot for in social media. They are:

  1. Building an Audience
  2. Building Engagement
  3. Converting Followers

Want to know what the most successful social media plans had going for them? They tackled these phases one a time and in order.

Phase 1: Build Your Audience

When I first started in social media, the company I was working for didn’t have a social media presence. Since this was my first social media job, I had to learn how to set them up and make them work. I had read a lot of stuff about how social media was so powerful. About how it could increase your sales and popularity far beyond what you could achieve normally. So, I had hope that it would work.

When we first started with Facebook, it was still pretty early for businesses to be jumping on. It was easier to build an audience then. But that’s not what I was focused on. Instead, I was doing all kinds of things. And I didn’t understand why I wasn’t getting the engagement that I had heard about. Or why I wasn’t getting people to bring in the coupons we would post, or respond to our online sales.

It wasn’t until we ran a big “Like Us” contest that I really started to see engagement and conversions on our Page. In fact, our audience grew so much from that contest, that the engagement and conversions had also skyrocketed. It was then, that I understood how social media works.

See, the simple truth is, you have to have an audience that will support the engagement and conversions. If you don’t, it won’t happen. No amount of pie in the sky thinking will deliver that for you.

No matter what platform you’re on, you have to build an audience first. Unfortunately, building an audience is actually one of the hardest parts of the whole process because it’s a step that consists of three separate objectives.

The first objective is to get people to show up. The second is to get them to pay attention. The third is to get them to want to come back and read more. We’ll tackle how to get all of these to work together in a later post. For now, let’s just look at the basic activities you need to do to get started.

  1. Post content consistently.
  2. Use the basic tools of the platform (e.g. Twitter = hashtags, Facebook = shares and likes).
  3. Ask questions.
  4. Be funny.
  5. Be real.
  6. Use what’s working on the platform now (e.g. Facebook = video)
  7. Look outside of the platform for followers (e.g. Facebook Like Button)
  8. Run a Contest or Promotion to generate excitement.
  9. Find your voice.

Phase 2: Build Engagement

The next phase to tackle once you’ve built your audience is to get them engaged. If they’re already engaged, then that just means you have an advantage. But if they’re not, you may have a hard road ahead of you.

My first success had really taught me that you could be achieve your goals with social media if you focused on the right phase at the right time. But, later, I struggled with building engagement on other platforms and social media accounts.

A couple of years after I started doing social media, I started to take on other clients on a freelance basis. I thought I knew what I was doing by that point. After a few months, though, it became clear that I really didn’t.

I used what I knew worked: I focused on building an audience before building engagement. But I wasn’t getting the same results. I didn’t understand why it seemed to only work once. I thought, that must have been a fluke. But I questioned that assumption, because I had read so many articles telling me different. So, I decided to dig deeper and figure out why it had worked so well the first time. I did this by trying a ton of different things to build engagement (including running more contests).

My conclusion was this: in those early days we had grown our audience so fast by harnessing the excitement that a contest produces. This meant that our audience was already engaged. It gave us a leg up when it was time to move to this next phase. Because we were also posting consistently to Facebook, and we understood what was working on the platform, we were able to keep that engagement going.

Once I understood that, I knew that the key to getting more engagement was to give it a kick-start. Contests work well for this purpose, but they’re not the only answer. Sometimes, they’re not even the right answer for the client.

There are lots of activities that build engagement. Most of these same activities you’ll notice are also ones that are used to build an audience. That’s because the same characteristics of social media that build connections, also help spread those connections farther than they would normally go.

Below are a list of activities that you can use to build engagement.

  1. Post content consistently.
  2. Run a Contest or Promotion to generate excitement. In fact, run these multiple times throughout the year to get the most benefit out of them.
  3. Ask questions.
  4. Be funny.
  5. Be real.
  6. Find your voice.
  7. Connect with your audience.
  8. Use tools outside of the platform (e.g. share buttons on your blog)
  9. Use the basic tools of the platform (e.g. Twitter = hashtags, Facebook = shares and likes).
  10. Use what’s working on the platform now (e.g. Facebook = video, Twitter = Twitter chats)
  11. Bring them into your sales funnel.

Step 3: Convert

Conversions matter in social media. It’s the return part of “Return on Investment” that we’ve been hoping for. That doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling and the connections we make with our community. Those are important, too, and can keep us going when the conversions aren’t happening like they should. But most of us want to get something more out of it. Most of us want to be able to justify the time we’re spending talking with people, researching content, posting, spending money on ads, and the hundreds of other things you need to do to keep up with your social media accounts.

Conversions are tough to achieve, especially on social media. That’s mostly to do with a glaring difference between a business’ motivation and a person’s motivation on social media. People get on social media to connect, or to find out what’s going on, or even just to unwind. Businesses on the other hand want to connect with their customers, but they also want to make the sale. Those motivations just don’t line up. Often times, this means that social media posts by businesses can be seen as an intrusion. Or at the very least, they can seem out of place.

So if conversions are our goal, then how do we go about getting them?

Some of the same things you do to build an audience and build engagement also work for making conversions on social media. Again, this is because of the way social media works. The main thing that companies who make conversions on social media do, though, is they connect with their followers. They learn what their audience likes to hear, and what they like to talk about. Then they take that information and they apply it to how they sell their product. That’s why these same activities can work for conversions, just as well as building an audience and engagement.

Here’s the list of activities that will help convert your followers into customers:

  1. Post Consistently (tired of seeing that yet?)
  2. Post a sale or a promotion
  3. Run a contest (yep, contests can even be used for conversions!)
  4. Ask questions.
  5. Be funny.
  6. Be real.
  7. Find your voice.
  8. Connect with your audience.
  9. Use the basic tools of the platform (e.g. Twitter = hashtags, Facebook = shares and likes).
  10. Use what’s working on the platform now (e.g. Facebook = video, Twitter = Twitter chats)
  11. Ask for the sale
  12. Run ads or use other promotional tools.
  13. Bring them into your sales funnel.

As you can see, the main difference in most of these phases isn’t the activities, it’s the intention and execution. It’s the focus of the conversation.

I have been successful and have seen others be successful in social media from following other systems. But I’ve achieved the most success when I followed this system step-by-step.

Your turn. Have you found a system that works for you? Are you having trouble building an audience, your engagement, or your conversions? Have you seen success when you focused on one goal at a time? Let me know in the comments below.

Tutorial Infographic: How to Add An Admin to a Facebook Page

One of the most common questions I hear about Facebook, is how someone can add an admin to a Facebook Page. I put together a tutorial I use to send to my own clients and thought I would share it. This has been updated for the latest changes to the Facebook Page admin area. It’s setup as a one-page downloadable image. You are welcome to save it to your desktop, pin it, or share it with your own audience.  As always, if this was helpful to you, drop me a line in the comments below.

FB-HowToAddAnAdminToAFacebookPage

 

Want to Know How Often You Should Post to Facebook?

FacebookPostingFrequency

So you want to know how often to post to your Facebook Page… So, does everyone else.
In fact, this is the number one question I get asked about business Facebook Pages.

Before we dig into the answer (and why it’s not so cut and dried) let’s look at why this is such a big question.

Why the Heck Does it Matter How Many Times I Post Per Day on my business Facebook Page?!

Did you know the number of times you post per day could be limiting the number of people who see those posts? It’s true.

The reason?

Facebook is ruled by this super-complicated algorithm. Now, no one really knows (except for the people at Facebook) how exactly this algorithm works. But we do know a few things. We know that Facebook calculates the importance, popularity, share-ability, spaminess, etc. of each post that is published. These numbers get modified the longer a post lives.

Now for each of these posts, there’s also another calculation going on. That calculation is based on each user’s preferences. It is highly based on whether a person has liked your page or whether their friend has. Whether they have interacted with any of your content and how often, or the same for their friends. It also depends on how many Facebook Pages they’ve liked, how many friends they have, what else they’ve interacted with in their news feed, how often they interact with the people and/or pages who posted those other stories, and a ton of other factors.

This other calculation is the most important, because it determines which posts show up in a person’s news feed.

As you can see, it gets very complicated very fast.

So what does this have to do with how many times you should be posting to Facebook?

The number of times you post per day is also included in that other calculation.

If you post too little, your posts will eventually be shown less. So, you’d think the opposite would cause your posts to show up more, right? Unfortunately, that is not always true. In fact, you can post too much to Facebook, sending them the signal that you’re “spamming” your followers even if that was never your intention.

So how often should you be posting to your business Facebook Page?

A Case Study: How Often Should You Post to Your Facebook Page?

Ready for a definitive answer? A real solid number you can point to and say “I did that, now what are my results?”. I thought so.

Buffer, an amazing social media scheduling app, has put together some research and a great blog post on how often you should post to social media.

There’s even a great infographic from SumAll (shown below) that lays it out for you.

How Often to Post to Social Media

Infographic via: https://blog.bufferapp.com/how-often-post-social-media

Remember, Your Number May be Different

Now, this isn’t a truly definitive answer. The number of times you should post to get the maximum amount of interaction (what’s called the “sweet spot”) may be different than the number above.

What this is, however, is a starting place. Give it a try, you’ll never know if it works for you unless you do.

Tutorial: Get More Facebook Likes by Adding a Facebook Like Button to Your Website

One of the easiest ways to get more Facebook Likes for your Facebook Page, is to add the Facebook Like button (targeted at your Facebook Page) to your website.

This is a simple and often overlooked tactic which could result in more Likes for your Page. Why does it work?

Consider these two scenarios.

In the first one, a visitor to your website sees the Facebook icon and is enticed to click it. Once they click it, though, they have to actually go to your Facebook Page in order to “Like” it.

In the second one, a visitor to your website sees the Like button and is, also, enticed to click it. Once they do, that Like is immediately translated to your Facebook Page.

It’s so much easier for a person if they only have to click once. Anytime you can make a conversion easier on the consumer, the more likely they are to do it.

How Do You Get the “Magic” Facebook Like Button?

First of all, how does it work like magic? The Facebook Like button works auto-magically with one click as long as that person is logged into Facebook. These days, who isn’t? Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I logged out of Facebook. And I would bet my right arm that you can’t either.

Facebook makes it easy for you to get this code to install on your website. To get started go to: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/like-button

As you can see from the screenshot below, there are some options that you can choose to enhance the Like button. But they need to be weighed against how much space the button takes up. For example the first set of options makes the button (and all its attributes) really big. The space you want to put it in may not be big enough to hold everything, and it will cut part of it off. All of the attributes are optional, except for your Facebook Page URL.

Facebook Like Button

A Quick Note: The “Width” option will not increase the size of the Facebook Like button (which is quite small). Instead the width controls the overall width of the Like button element. For instance, in the example above, the Like button element area covers the Facebook Like Button, the Facebook Share button, and the words describing the number of likes. So, increasing the width would only increase the space around the entire button set.

The screenshot below shows my Facebook Page address (or URL) in the text box below “URL to Like”. To find your Facebook Page URL, go to your Facebook Page and copy and paste what’s in the address bar into the top-left box (as shown below). That’s step one.

Facebook Like Button Address

The next step is to decide what you want the overall button to look like. I’ve already talked about how the default set of options gives users a lot more information, but makes the button much bigger in size. I’ll explain that extra information, and go through the rest of the options, with screenshots below.

The first set shows the like button in the “Standard Layout” which adds the additional information of the person’s friends (the name here has been covered up for privacy reasons) who Like the Page. This is great for showing “social proof”, which can help your Page seem more Likeable, especially if you have a lot of Likes already. If you have a smaller number of likes though, I’d suggest going with one of the other options. You can also see below that there is an extra button (the share button) and that there are faces shown in the screenshot below. Most of these have been covered up to protect the privacy of people, but I left my own mugshot there, so you can see an example of what they will look like.

Facebok Like Button Standard Layout With Share Button and Faces

If you uncheck the “Show Friends’ Faces” option, it makes the button are look cleaner. This option works well for those who don’t want the added space the “faces” take up and for those who don’t necessarily care about social proof.

Facebook Like Button Standard Layout With Share And Without Faces

You can, of course, disable the share button. Since you’re trying to get people to Like your Facebook Page, adding a Share button only confuses the issue.

Facebook Like Button Standard Layout Without Share Or Faces

The next layout type is the “box_count”. This displays the Like button with a Like count over it, and everything is stacked on top of each other in a, you guessed it, “box” configuration. This layout, and in fact, the rest of the layouts do not show faces. So, if social proof is important to you, go with the standard layout or the Like Box (which I’ll cover later). This option works for those site designs where a more square or vertical section is available to place the button in. It’s also good for those who want to still show off the number of likes they have.

Facebook Like Button BoxCount Layout Share and Without Faces

Since the box count does not come with the option to show faces (even if you check it), the only other option here is to take away the Share button. This makes the button into a nice compact design that could fit almost anywhere.

Facebook Like Button Box Count Layout Without Share

The next layout type is the Button Count. This layout is much like the box count layout, except that the number of likes is on the side instead of on top. This makes this button much more suited to a horizontal space.

Facebook Like Button Button Count Layout With Share

Of course, once you take the Share button away it will fit into an even smaller space. Again, this type of layout with the number of Likes showing appeals to those who want to use social proof to encourage more Likes.

Facebook Like Button Button Count Layout Without Share

The last layout type is the simplest. That’s probably why it’s called the Simple Button layout. It is not only the smallest, but it’s also a great option for those Pages which have a smaller number of Likes, and don’t want to advertise that fact. This button, too, can be combined with the Share button, if you like.

Facebook Like Button Simple Layout With Share

 

The version without the Share button is tiny, minuscule even. This means you don’t have to worry about where the button will fit.

Facebook Like Button Simple Layout Without Share

Warning: Code Ahead!

A quick warning: this next section involves some html no-how. If you don’t know what you’re doing, forward this article on to your web developer or admin and have that person complete these steps.

Now that you know which button types are available, take a moment to choose which is right for your site.  Then, click on “Get Code”. You should see a box like the one below pop up. As you can see, there are 4 options for the code. I bet you thought you were done with options! We are almost done, I promise. 😉

The first three options require a little bit more work to install them and give you some more options for how much information you get when someone presses the Facebook Like button from your website. However, they are not necessary, in most cases.

Facebook Like Button Code Page

The easiest code type to use, and the one that will not bog down your site is the “URL” type. Which is just as it sounds, it installs a URL, which points directly to your Facebook Page, but has the added benefit of allowing someone to Like your Page with one click! Woot! Your next step here is to copy and paste the code into the html of your website where you want the button to appear. Again, if you don’t know what you’re doing get someone knowledgeable to handle it for you.

Facebok Like Button URL Code

Alternatives to the Facebook Code

There are some alternatives to just grabbing the code off Facebook. If your website is on WordPress, then there’s several options in the form of “plugins” you can install with no programming knowledge. I won’t detail all the options here. Just make sure to check out the number of stars each of these plugins has, check out some of the reviews, and make sure it’s compatible with your version of wordpress before you install.

There are also plugins for drupal, joomla, wixia, and other website builders or (content management systems). Just use Google to search for them.

Whether you choose to grab the code from Facebook, or use a plugin, installing the Facebook Like button is just one way that you can increase your Facebook Page Likes.

Likes Are Just the Beginning

Remember, though, that Facebook Likes are only the first step in the journey. It’s great to say that you have 1,000, 10,000, or whatever number of Likes, but it’s not your end game. Those Likes represent real people who (hopefully) want to buy from you. Even if they don’t want to buy from you, they have indicated that they’re interested in your business in some way. Now it’s your turn to give something back to them. Give them a reason to read your posts, and keep them coming back for more. This is the way that you start cultivating relationships online that lead to sales.

Consistency in Social Media is Queen

This week’s social media tip… be consistent.

 ConsistencyinSocialMediaisQueen

If content is king, consistency is queen. Consistently posting to your social media accounts is incredibly important for several reasons.

  1.  It trains your audience that you always have something to say, so they come back for more.
  2. It helps keep your engagement steady during those times that you’re not heavily promoting something.
  3. It gets you in the habit of publishing content, which may be the best reason of all.

But what does consistency look like? It’s not just about posting a certain number of times a day. Though this is important.  Consistent content is also about what you post. Remember that your brand voice is important. If you’re going to post something make sure it aligns with what people expect you to say.

Here’s 3 Rules for Posting Consistency

1. Pay Attention to Voice

Your voice matters. I can’t say that enough. Your audience doesn’t just recognize you from your profile photo online, they recognize you from your voice. If you suddenly switch up your voice, your followers may not recognize that it’s you. In extreme cases, they may even take offense to something you say or get confused. Remember the goal of social media is to get followers and keep them engaged. Voice is particularly important to this goal. Without it, people won’t have something to identify with. That connection with your followers is one of the real powers of social media. It’s part of what gets businesses the results they do on this marketing medium.

2. Post roughly the same number of times per day.

There’s a rule that most of us in the industry follow. That’s to pick the number of times you’re going to post each day and stick with it. Again the reason this is important is largely based on what your followers have come to expect from you. If you start posting more often or less often, you might see unfavorable results. The one place you can see this rule in action is on Facebook. It is here that you might see people unlike you or (even worse) hide your posts if you suddenly start spamming them. It is also here that you will start to see less engagement than you did before if you are posting less. The same is true for other platforms, but Facebook is the biggest offender when it comes to violating this rule.

That’s not to say that you can’t experiment with the number of times you post. Experimenting can actually be very important to figuring out what gives you the most engagement. If you’re going to experiment, though, do it slowly. Increase or decrease your posting by 1 post at a time and keep at that for a while. This will give you the best data on whether something works or not.

 

3. Post Around the Same Time Each Day.

This is another industry rule that works for a lot of different businesses. Posting at about the same time every day is another way that people can expect to read your content. It’s also important when you’re first starting out to establish a “baseline” that you can experiment against later. If you’ve been posting at the same time for the last couple of months, but feel you could get better results by changing it up, then you already have some data to compare it to. Just remember to keep any experimenting to a minimum.

 

Remember also, the time you post depends on your audience. For some businesses, posting just after people get off work gives them the best results. For others, it could be later in the evening. Again, posting at the same time each day will help you determine whether it’s the right time for you to be posting.
If you remember and practice these three keys to consistency, your results should also become more consistent. Which, is a good thing. 🙂