Yes, as any good comedian knows, timing IS everything. But when it comes to Twitter, Facebook, or any other social medium, we’re not in it for laughs. So how much is too much? Or too little?
Here are the polar opposites of tweeting: a popular blogger who took a cross-country road trip and tweeted the miniscule details of her journey about every four minutes. After 24 hours of non-stop tweets, we unfollowed her. On the other end of the scale is the church pastor who tweeted once in 2011 and hasn’t been heard from since. Obviously, somewhere in between these two is the happy medium of social media.
Finding the optimal number of times to post to your blog, update your Facebook status, or send out a tweet to your followers can definitely increase your social media effectiveness. Too often and your fans and followers may forsake you because you’re overwhelming their timelines. Not often enough, they’ll lose interest in you and disappear.
Here’s the bottom line: there is no one right answer. What stresses us out when we’re trying to decide on an SM schedule is basically our fear that we are annoying our followers. However, if your fans are forsaking you, it’s probably not because you posted too often, it’s because your posts were not interesting.
When you’re setting up your own SM schedule ask yourself these questions:
- What do I have to say?
- Who’s listening?
- What do they want to know?
When you’ve answered those three questions, you’ll be in a better position to set up a realistic communication schedule.
What do I have to say?
Don’t be posting just to post. Your fans and followers will see right through that strategy. Share great content with your readers. Link them to resources they can use. Be a go-to place for reliable and interesting information. A Realtor generally has at least three major sources of content:
- Current financial data
- Community facts and resources
- Local market information
You can find the answer to this question in several different ways. Google Analytics, which we’ve discussed before, tells you where your blog readers are coming from and what they do once they get to your site. TweetStats gives you cool color graphs and timelines, making your frequency and effectiveness highly visible. TweetEffect, currently in a beta test mode, tells you about your followers, who’s retweeting, who’s unfollowing you. Most web hosting services also provide some level of similar statistical information about your audience.
Study statistics regularly, of course. But use your own intuition and information too. Ask for feedback from your readers. Ask them to “like” your facebook posts and see how many respond. Use that information to refine the type and timing of your posts. Which leads us straight into. . .
What do they want to know?
Believe it or not, you are the best judge of that. You know your market. You know your clients. But know this too: social media is a two-way street. You have to give before you get. So here are the three basic kinds of content you can share:
- Basic content posts
- Personal posts
- Conversation posts
Basic content is non-self-promoting. This is where you share information about mortgage rate changes, new properties on the market, links to community resources and happenings. The minimum acceptable number of basic content posts, we think, would be five a day on Twitter, one or two on Facebook, and at least one blog per week. Spread your content throughout the day—never pile one post on top of another.
Personal posts are like chili powder on a taco—a little spice is a great thing, but too much can burn you! Personal posts might include comments about the weather, a funny story or picture once in a while, a new restaurant you tried. It’s a chance to share your SELF without getting too personal. Once or twice a day on Facebook or Twitter is a good rule of thumb. Add a similar personal touch to your blog posts whenever it seems easy and natural.
Conversation posts are where the two-way street comes in. Always respond to reader comments, and do it quickly. If someone likes or retweets your post, thank them and keep the conversation going. That’s how you build a following.
Now if you’re sitting there thinking there’s no way you can get all this done, no way you can even do the minimum acceptable, we have some news you can use. Shortly after Labor Day, we’ll be launching our brand new blogging service designed strictly for Realtors. We’ll provide customized, quality content—all you have to do is use it.
Now, doesn’t that sound easy?
— Richard M. Hartian (@WinningAgent) August 21, 2012