How Often to Post on Facebook
One of the most frequent questions I get from small business owners relates to how often they should post updates on their Facebook business page. Additionally, I get frustrated when I go to a business page and see very infrequent updates, with gaps of sometimes days or weeks.
So, how much is too much? or too little. How often should you be posting on your business page?
First off, there is no formula, no “one size fits all” answer. There are a number of factors that might determine the frequency of your posts. The one thing that I always tell businesses is:
You are only as good as your last post.
When people log in to Facebook, the first thing they see is their news feed. Most people don’t spend a lot of time scrolling down to check out everything that’s happened since their last log-in. If you aren’t in someone’s news feed when they log in, chances are they won’t see you. If they don’t see you, you don’t exist. Plain and simple.
Having said that, you need to find the right balance for you in terms of posting frequency. Here are a few basic guidelines I think will work for most businesses, while keeping in mind that every situation is unique:
1. Post at least one update a day – With at least one update a day, there’s a good chance that a number of your fans will see you on a given day. One update a day will almost never be seen as “too much” by any of your fans.
2. Two or three updates is better – A few updates spaced throughout the day will give you a greater chance of being seen. Vary the content and you might see an increase in impressions and engagement. Often when I tell businesses to make the jump from one to three posts a day, I hear “So you mean I need to hire a full-time Social Media person?”. Not at all. An update can be very simple and take only 10 to 30 seconds to create. You can create a few meaningful updates in fewer than ten minutes a day.
3. Vary your posting times – Don’t necessarily post at the same time every day. If you mix up your times you have less of a chance of being seen as spammy, and you’ll have a better chance of being seen by more people based on their Facebook using habits.
4. Some posts might require consistency – One exception to the above guideline is if you have a particular feature that should be posted at the same time every day. One of my clients, Isaac’s Famous Grilled Sandwiches, is a regional chain of 20 restaurants. Each day, each of their stores is inundated with phone calls asking about their soup of the day. Many people make their dining decisions based on what that soup of the day is, so as a result, Isaac’s posts their soup of the day on Facebook each morning, as a way of notifying their customers, and these daily posts not only perform well in terms of impressions, but they also do well in terms of engagement, or what Facebook refers to as “feedback”. It’s a post that makes fans actually seek out the fan page each day.
5. Vary your content – Status updates can be statements, questions, photos, videos, notes, events, links to interesting articles…pretty much anything. If you have a blog, link your blog to Facebook to post automatically via the free Networked Blogs app. Questions are great because they spur on engagement; some people feel compelled to answer. People also love photos and videos, especially if you have the ability to tag them. Also, remember that not all of your post content should be about you. Generic statements and random questions about current events or local events will also work.
6. Know your audience – You need a good understanding of those who are in your audience on your business page. Who are they? What are the demographics? How many people like your page? One of the reasons this is important is that different types of people have different tolerance levels for frequent posting. In particular, if your fan base is made up of an older demographic, remember that those in that category tend to have fewer Facebook friends, so if you post frequently, they are more likely to see all of them, and will have a lower tolerance for what they see as spam. The older demographics also tend to be newer to computers and Facebook, and therefore might be less tech savvy, and more easily overwhelmed.
7. Check your analytics – Not only will your analytics give you the aforementioned demographic info, but you should frequently take a look at how many people are unsubscribing (hiding) from your updates, and how many are unliking your page. If you see any spikes in either of those, try to figure out what you may have done to cause that. Did you post too much or too often? I have one client who noticed a spike of unlikes on one particular day, and it seemed to correlate with having posted a few updates in a fairly short period of time. They have been more careful since that time, and haven’t seen any more spikes of people leaving. Also, look for the types of posts that get the most feedback or the least feedback and use that information as a guide for future postings.
Those are a few guidelines, but to provide a simple answer to the question asked in the title of this post in a quick and concise way, I’d say:
Post at least once a day, but two or three posts throughout the day might be better.