It’s Not How Often You Talk, It’s What You Say

In high school and college, there was always that one kid in class that sat with their hand up the entire time just waiting to be called on, even though it was apparent that they never had anything valuable to say.

Then you graduate and you figure that there can’t possibly be business people, real-life actual mature adults, that are still just as obsessed with hearing their own voice, right? Wrong. Go to any conference and wait for the person who raises their hand during the Q&A and says “I would just like to say…” and 12 minutes later, no one has any clue what the question is (Hint: Usually, there isn’t actually a question).

The lesson here is an important one and it applies directly to social media: It’s not how often you talk, it’s what you say.

One of the most common questions I ever get asked is, “How often should I be tweeting/posting? What’s too much? What’s too little?” And the right answer that nobody likes to hear (and people rarely enjoy giving) is: there’s no right answer. Thinking about posting as an obligation, something that MUST be done at least 2-3 times per day, every day, no exceptions in order to stay relevant is the wrong approach to social media. Yes, you want to stay in people’s minds; you don’t want to be the kid who sits in the back and doesn’t say a word the entire semester. And you can’t grow an audience or increase brand awareness by letting your accounts go stale. But users are smart and if they feel like you’re just talking to talk and not offering them anything valuable, they’re going to tune you out. I’ll admit, there are days that I’ve posted 8 or 10 times in a day; there have also been spans where I’ll go 2 or 3 days and not say anything. (I’ll give the social media experts a minute to regain consciousness after that surely earth-shattering revelation.) There are definitely some very smart people out there that I have chosen to unfollow on Twitter because they post links to their 8-month old blog posts every 3 minutes just to stay on my feed and I find it annoying and disruptive.

The key to the classic question of how often to post is this: You have to find what works for you. Make sure that the content you’re offering is valuable to your followership and that if you were a reader, you’d want to read it. Don’t be afraid to post a lot and don’t feel pressured to constantly be staying at the top of people’s feeds. What you’re saying, the messaging of the content you’re offering, and the perceived value of those posts, is much more important to the reader, than just the frequency how often you’re talking.

Besides, if what you’re saying is that interesting, people will be glad to wait patiently for your next bit.

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