Big or small, most businesses these days have a Facebook page.

Research from MYOB found that businesses active in social media are more likely to increase revenue. In addition, research by the IAB Social Media Council in the UK found that consumers are more likely to recommend brands they’ve seen on social media. Clearly, it’s an important part of any marketing mix.

But the conundrum for business owners is: how often do I post?

It’s a question I get asked a-plenty.

Post infrequently and risk missing out on valuable exposure?  Or post incessantly and risk irritating customers? How much is too much?

Frequent posting is okay – as long as the content is varied

We’ve all blocked a brand that irritates us up to our eyebrows with too many posts.   Most often, it’s not that the posts are too frequent – they’re too similar.

The aforementioned IAB Social Media Council survey also found that repeat exposure on Facebook actually increased brand engagement, so feel free to post a lot. Do not post the same content over and over.  Keep your post content varied and engaging.  It’s wise to slowly increase your frequency to test out the reaction.  Wind it back if your responses are dropping.

Don’t post more than once a day

The average lifespan of a Facebook post is three hours.   Yep, in three short hours your Facebook post will be toast.    That is NOT a reason to post every three hours to stay at the top of news feeds!

Facebook officially recommends posting once per day.  They’d know.

Also, research by Track Social found that when brands publish two Facebook posts per day, likes per post drop by 43 per cent.  Ye-owch.   KissMetrics found that one post every two days generates the most posts on Facebook.

Don’t worry about frequency, worry about timing

KissMetrics estimates that there’s about 30 billion posts on Facebook each month from 500 million active users.  But when are they using?

Catch your users when they’re on Facebook.  Typically, that’s first thing in the morning (6-8am) lunchtime (around 1pm), and evenings (8-11pm).  If your customers are in business, avoid mid-morning and mid-afternoon when they’re working. If your customers are busy mums, avoid the school pickup hours.   BuddyMedia found that brands posting outside business hours had 20 per cent better engagement on Facebook.   KissMetrics found that most Facebook shares occur on Saturdays and generally the busiest times of day are noon and 7pm.

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But the only way to find out what works for you is to trial it on your page.

A final note: Keep your posts short

BuddyMedia found that posts with 80 characters or less generated 66 per cent more engagement.

And if you want to generate discussion and comment, ask your fan a question.  BuddyMedia found that posts with questions generated double the number of comments.

To summarise

  1. post on Facebook every second day – and build up gradually to this level
  2. post varied content
  3. post when traffic peaks (early morning, lunchtime, evenings, Saturdays)
  4. trial what works for you
  5. ask questions to generate discussions

Good luck!

 

This article also appeared on Dynamic Business online.