Many authors are unsure not only what to share on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc., but also how often. Assuming you’ve identified your keywords and areas of interest, let’s take a look at how often today with a little bit of what thrown in.
There are a number of schools of thought, so let’s review them. I’ll also share exactly what I do, my own formula I’ve devised after having been on social media in many capacities since 2008. Honestly, do what works best for you timing-wise, because let’s be honest, there are too many variables to dictate which way is ‘best.’
Promotion: Any tweet that has a link is considered to be promotional, even if it’s not about you or your stuff, even if it’s a retweet (RT), even if it’s a photo. Anything with a link.
Content: Any tweet without a link is considered content. This could be an original tweet, a quote, a reply to someone, a conversation, whatever – no link, it’s content.
80/20: Some folks ascribe to the 80/20 ratio: 20% self-promotion, 80% ‘other’ promotion. Remember that you still need to fit non-linked, content tweets in that mix.
3 to 1: Some people prefer a 3:1 ratio, meaning 3 content tweets for every 1 promo tweet (no matter if that’s for you or someone else), or vice versa.
5 to 1: Meaning 5 content (no links) for every 1 promotional.
My choice: For my author stream @RachelintheOC, I do 3:1 (3 content for every 1 promo), though that varies depending on my activity (i.e., if I’m on Pinterest sharing pix, there will be more links), and on Mondays, because of #MondayBlogs (sharing posts, retweeting others).
Business stream: About the same, though I tend to more informative article and blog links. It’s not really an exact science, but more of a guideline.
Scheduling: I schedule (using Hootsuite but there are any number of programs) on my author stream @RachelintheOC every two hours, starting at 3am through midnight PST.
This may seem like a lot, and it is, but I’m also very interactive, promote others often, share quotes, pictures, videos, etc. You won’t see only links on my stream in other words, and when you do, it’s about my book maybe once every two to four days.
Busiest times: My busiest time has always been around 6pm during the week – it’s dinnertime on the west coast, after bedtime for the kids on the east coast, so people are on in the evening so I make sure to either be on live or sharing content at that time.
For my business stream @BadRedheadMedia, I schedule every three to four hours, mostly tips and articles (either from my blog or the array of expert blogs out there including this one), from 3am to 9pm. This is primarily because most of my business readers check in early and it’s pretty quiet by evening.
Live vs. Scheduled: Finally, while I’m a fan of scheduling in some things, I interact live as I can throughout the day. This combo works for me.
Facebook, I find, responds well to visuals and quotes, more so than any kind of ‘hard’ promotion (which I don’t suggest doing anyway on your personal page — where you do the ‘Friend’ thing). Facebook guidelines require that if you’re selling something – a product or service – you have a page (where you receive ‘Likes.’). Personal accounts should be used strictly for personal updates.
So…I find that posting less but with impactful shares brings the most likes, comments, and shares; therefore, I post about every four hours on my personal account and maybe three times per day on my business pages.
I also find that, perhaps because of having more room to comment, Facebook temper tantrums are more common on Facebook than on Twitter (this is only my personal observation). Perhaps this is because people are freer to share their personal views more openly, especially about religion and politics – two topics that can be particularly polarizing for any author.
Similar to Facebook above, Google+ has instituted personal accounts and pages, for the same reasons.
I tend to post to my personal account more (because it’s easier to follow – aka circle – people) than with pages. So every 4 hours for personal, maybe two times per day to my page.
Why even bother with social media? Well. So many reasons, but the main one is that social media builds relationships. If you focus more on curating and sharing cool content as opposed to being a link automaton, you’ll make friends.
The old sales adage ‘Make a friend, make a sale,’ applies in critical ways to our author platform.
What are your thoughts? How often do you post? What do you share?