Written by former LiveWorld employee, @BryanPerson
It’s one of the most common questions bandied about by Facebook marketers, and it’s a topic we’ll be tackling head on during a panel on Facebook News Feed Optimization that I’m leading next Wednesday afternoon at BlogWorld & New Media Expo (#BWENY) in New York City.
Ahead of this particular discussion, I asked my three panelists – Helen Todd (top left in photo), Chad Wittman (bottom left), and Dennis Yu (top right) – to weigh in with their initial views:
It depends. The best rule of thumb is quality over quantity – don’t just post content for the sake of posting something. That said, the more you post content, the more opportunities fans will have to engage with you (just like participating in a normal conversation).
The key to content is relevancy. Know your audience, and post content that’s relevant to them. Once you have the content, it’s OK if a Facebook Page posts three times a week, daily, or even 2-3 times a day. For multiple posts in day, make sure to space them out, with a couple of hours in between each post.
Ask your fans for feedback, and also look at the feedback on the posts while using Facebook Insights to gauge if you’re on track. A spike in unsubscribes/unlikes to your Facebook Page could be an indicator that you should post less often.
Before clicking the “Share” button and publishing a status update to your Page, always take off your marketer’s hat, put on your fan’s hat, and ask, “If I were a fan, is this content I’d want to see in my News Feed?”
The golden answer is: however often you have engaging content to share. Truly engaging content wins out over perfect timing every time. Your target fan base and audience should determine the frequency of your updates. We’ve seen some fan bases get blasted every hour, 24/7, and remain fully engaged. We’ve seen others balk at once a week. If you don’t have anything engaging to say, really ask yourself if the post is worth publishing.
Dennis Yu, BlitzLocal | @DennisYu
You should publish as frequently as your customers expect to see content. You’d expect that the number of updates from the Dallas Mavericks during the playoffs is going to be a lot more than the updates you’d get from an ice-cream brand in Alaska when there’s a blizzard outside.
There is no “magic number” of updates to send to magically get more fans and engagement. I’d love to say that you should post exactly 4 four times per day at these certain time windows, of which one post is a question, one is a video, and one is an offer. But that’s ridiculous. I’ll ask you this: How often should you call up your best customers? Only on their birthdays? When you have a sale? When your revenue is below plan?
Every brand, industry, and situation is different. You can send messages to individual audiences, as opposed to spamming your entire fan base. Why not take advantage of personalized marketing in the way that Facebook allows you to by running a good mix of ads, Wall postings, publishing to Like buttons, and social widgets?
There are general rules of thumb that we have seen work — a) don’t have more than one promotional post per day, b) align your messaging with when you fans are active online, c) time your Facebook efforts to mesh with your other marketing d) ask short questions instead of making promotional statements, etc. — but there’s not a golden rule here.
We’ve done analysis of tens of thousands of pages and, and at BlogWorld, we’ll be unveiling benchmarks for average frequency of posting, number of comments received, fan growth, and the like. But while it’s fun to compare against others in your industry, you can get false confidence here, since it’s the early stages for everyone. Take solace not in some artificial number, but in truly measurable ROI — revenue, e-mail signups, market share, share of voice, the conversion rates of other channels (which improve when you touch them in social), and so forth.