Working in Account Service I hear a lot of talk about different ways to communicate – Facebook, email, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, blogs, Instagram, Vine – and new ones that pop up daily. The question that always follows is how often we should communicate — every day, twice a day, once a week, twice a week? I have seen a lot of loose conclusions around timing, but what do we really know? Timing depends on your objectives, audience and resources. So does your content.
One thing we can say for sure is that your message should be more substantive than “I’m at lunch” sorts of updates.
Let’s say you figure out your social sharing schedule. That’s the easy step. The next is to fill that framework with content. For the sake of this blog, I’d like to focus on the message and not necessarily the outlet. Let’s assume we’re talking social media in general.
Of course content must be relevant. However, with a potentially wide-ranging audience, how can we determine what is relevant to each person? We can’t, not exactly, but we can be consistent. People go to Huffington Post for a break in the day, something fun and insightful. We click to CNN for news. The Weather Channel – well I think that one is self-explanatory. My point being that if you are consistent, people will learn what they are to expect of you.
We’re a branding and design studio, and we like to help brands that help people, so our messaging will naturally lean toward what we do.
That being said, it’s good to mix it up, to throw an oddball in there. If you consistently share heavy content articles, throw in something fun like “The Top 10 ways to _____”. People love lists. They should still relate to your business, but remember, social media is quick and should grab attention.
Don’t bombard your audience, especially if your message doesn’t change. Remind them, but eventually back off a little. Use subtlety and introduce other ways of saying things. For instance, if your brand is family-oriented, don’t keep saying: “we care about your family”. Post a blog about an aspect of family life, resolving family problems, or products that help families. Tweet an article from a parenting magazine. Say it without saying it and you’ll organically accumulate a larger following.
Be personal, have a personality. You don’t want to inhabit social media with hundreds of corporate-style sales messages, unless you’re selling used cars or mattresses. People react and respond positively to a more personal message, even in social media.
Finally, make sure you’re being clear. If you really want to cut through the clutter, get to the point. This may seem to be in contrast to my opinion of subtlety, but they actually go hand in hand. One cannot afford to be subtle if one has not been clear. Make it easy. Your audience is busy and may only visit your given outlet briefly, unless you’ve given them a reason to stay longer. Tell them why they should stay. Like if you work with dRC, your brand will be healthier.
With that in mind, I give you a summary list of what I’ve said above (because people love lists):
- Be relevant.
- Be consistent, but throw in an oddball every once in a while.
- Mind your audience; don’t overwhelm them.
- Be personal.
- Be clear. Get to the point.