Almost every client we work with raises the question, at some point, of how frequently they “should” be tweeting, posting to Facebook or updating their other social networks.

It’s another of those areas where there is some absolutely terrible advice doing the rounds (some of which we’ll share with you below) so an article here seemed to be called for!

Tweets and Facebook posts – back to basics

Hopefully, before you even think about tweeting or posting on your business Facebook page, you already have a strategy. You know who your likely audience are, and have figured out what you can offer them that they value. That means, you have an outline idea of the type of content you’re going to be sending out. If you haven’t done this, go back a stage and get your strategy sorted; it’s amazing how much else will then come into focus.

Like the answer to today’s question. You know what your value is to your Twitter and Facebook audience, so you should Tweet or post….when you have something interesting or relevant to say.

But won’t we lose followers?

Let’s explore this a bit further. I’ve been told, just this week, by the social media team in a large and prestigious organisation that they have to post constantly because

“we were told by a big Social Media company that we must tweet and post several times each day”

Unpacking that a bit further, it seemed that the “reason” was to do with not losing followers, and with gaining new ones.

Will somebody please think of the children users!

As with so many things in marketing and comms, if you’re able to put yourself into your audience’s shoes for a moment, the lack of logic behind this becomes pretty clear.

From the point of view of one of your Twitter followers or Facebook Likers, they have connected with you because they think that your content is going to enhance their Timeline in some way.

If, after a few days or weeks, they often see content coming into their timeline which is not interesting to them, what will their likely response be? They will unfollow you. It might take a while for the irritation to build, but sooner or later, they will depart your social media shores.

Now let’s look at the alternative. Someone connects with you on social media, and in the first couple of weeks they only see a couple of pieces of content from you in their timeline – but both of those are useful or funny or whatever.

Who on earth would think “ah, but two days have gone past and I heard nothing from that company, so dammit, it’s not good enough. I’m unfollowing them.” Nobody, that’s who.

Silence is golden

Basically, very few people will break their connection with you on social media because of what you don’t do – unless your account really does go completely dormant for a significant period. You get unfollowed because of what you DO do. Posting irrelevant, repetitive or just plain dull stuff repeatedly into their social media feed.

So in summary, never, never post or tweet for the sake of having posted or tweeted. The only exception to this is if you are actively pursuing a spam strategy of the “chuck enough mud and some will stick” variety, like the one suggested in the helpful article here. Nobody likes mud anyway, and you might not like what it sticks to, but as with all kinds of spam it must do something for someone or nobody would do it. However,  if you’re a reputable company, this is not a road you want to travel. In fact, “ get noticed, you will need to tweet a lot more frequently” may be one of the worst pieces of social media advice we’ve ever seen – time to start a Hall of Fame, perhaps…