Setting up social media accounts for your small business can feel like you’ve been sent to walk the plank blindfolded. You know you’re about to fall into the great unknown but there’s a small hope that you’ll get lucky and the tide will carry you to safety. The anxieties people have about social media tend to reflect how many of us feel in the real world.
‘Will anyone want to listen to me?’
‘Am I doing things wrong?’
Will people get bored?
One of the biggest concerns for many people is that they don’t know how often they should be posting to their social media accounts. There seems to be a battle going on between wanting to be noticed by enough people but also not wanting to overwhelm followers with posts. Some even think that others might become annoyed or bored. Thankfully, social media algorithms tend to prevent the latter from becoming a reality for most people.
How do social media algorithms work?
As social media platforms have grown over the years, the teams working behind the scenes have had to take steps to make sure people stick around after they’ve signed up. After all, social media platforms are businesses that rely on people being there to advertise to.
This has led to a change in how the platforms work. Long gone are the days of feeds being filled with updates about Karen’s plan to cook pasta for dinner or how Kevin has spotted some rain outside the window. People want to see higher quality content than this and that’s where algorithms come into play.
Historically, social media feeds were ordered chronologically. The newest posts from people you follow would appear at the top and you’d scroll down to see what others had been saying over the course of the day. These days, algorithms work in the background to push content that is perceived to be of a higher quality or more relevant to the top. For this reason, you’ll tend to see more content from people you interact with frequently and less of the background noise that you’re probably not too interested in.
How often should you post on social media?
One of the trickiest things about social media algorithms is that they’re constantly being updated. We don’t know exactly how each one works, and this makes it difficult to know how to best approach how we post.
Even so, we do have a general idea of how they work, and we can deduce that social media platforms want to encourage people to post high-quality content. When we take this into account, the best course of action is to post as often as you can so long as you’re adding something of value.
To clarify, this doesn’t mean you should look to schedule random posts every 15 minutes throughout the day. However, you also shouldn’t be thinking ‘I’ve already posted today so I shouldn’t post anything else’. If you can maintain a level of quality that your followers expect from you then you’re probably okay to post.
If you are posting high quality content, then most people who follow you will want to see it. The algorithms will work to protect those who don’t engage with you as much or who aren’t interested in the topics that you’re posting about by keeping your posts out of their feeds. This gives you the freedom to be yourself and post on a schedule that best suits you.
A final point here would be to consider that you can be active as a small business on social media without having to create ground-breaking content several times each day. You also have the option to interact with other peoples’ posts, reply to customers or followers directly, and simply increase your overall engagement. This is a great way to continue to gain exposure and allows you to put across your values to others without the need for content spam.