You are ready to start your business, maybe as a second source of income or maybe you want to follow your entrepreneurial dream. You are almost ready, the only thing missing is to set up your social media accounts. You start researching:
- What Social Media platforms should I set up for my business?
- What content should I post?
- How often should I post content?…
When you get to this question, your hands get sweaty, you feel tightness in your chest. Everything you have read up to this point about social media stresses the importance of your consistent presence in your different platforms. However, now you are supposed to get the time and resources to post 1 time per day on Instagram and Facebook and up to 15 times per day on Twitter ? On top of this you are supposed to generate unique and high quality content? This seems impossible! How are you possibly going to have the time to do all this AND actually develop your product?
Don’t get discouraged, these guidelines are almost impossible to follow and the information and algorithms change so often the last thing you should worry about is how often you are posting. Concentrate in the quality and consistency of the content.
The fault in the guidelines
61% of people with a side business have a full time job. When you take into account that the side business usually represents around 10-15 hours of extra work for week. How many hours will you spend in your business simply following an unrealistic social media plan? Are you really supposed to post around 119 times per week (1 time per day for instagram and Facebook and 15 times per day for twitter). Will you have any time to actually develop your product? Are we looking at 95 hour work weeks? How you ensure your content remains of high quality?
The actual problem with these guidelines is that you are supposed to uber customize your social media plan depending on your product. However, here, a generalized statistic is supposed to apply to all types of business and of all sizes? If my company had a full time social media coordinator, these benchmarks don’t seem so unobtainable. Nevertheless, in a small company, having the resources to invest on a full time employee just with the purpose of social media management seems unlikely. The job falls on the 2 or 3 founding members and creating an unrealistic plan with hundreds of posts per week just seems almost impossible. Even if the best of cases, how long will you be able to stick with this posting plan? Committing to this type of schedule represents an unnecessary risk, as in reality, consistency and quality of posting are valued higher than frequency.
The answer is… elementary
When creating a posting strategy, the key is consistency forget the optimal numbers and concentrate on the minimum amount of posts recommended by these blogs. If you concentrate on the low or bare minimum recommendations, the numbers already go down from 119 posts per week to less than 10 (when taking Instagram, Facebook and twitter as key platforms). This is more realistic for a small business and it will be easier to post consistently. As your business grows you can reconsider a social media plan revision, to increase the number of consistent postings per week.
Another thing that you should consider is concentrating your efforts in your key platforms, if your business is highly visual, why should you concentrate your efforts on a platform like twitter?. If you own a financial consulting business, will you even find something to pin on Pinterest? If your product is targeted to teenagers and young adults, is sharing on Linked in essential for your business? Consider this, and concentrate your social media efforts in the most used platforms for your key audience.
Finally, always be on the lookout for changes in the algorithms of your key social media platforms. These can change from one second to another and completely turn around your social media strategy, like in 2016 when instagram stopped presenting your feed in chronological order. Look for posts with the most up to date information, social media platforms are in constant flux. For this reason, following the content advice of a 5 year old article that includes platforms such as Google+, that no longer exists, becomes pointless for your social media strategy.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed when trying to look for the best social media practices? What do you feel when you search for something on social media and you find conflicted information about it?
Overwhelmed by the social media guidelines? Check out my latest blog! https://wp.me/p3QRy0-poI
Stressed out by the social media #guidelines ? This is why you shouldn’t let them rule your life https://wp.me/p3QRy0-poI