The Goldilocks Zone of Social Media Posting

A frequent question I am asked by people new to social media – particularly those using it for commercial purposes – is how often and when should they be posting content.

First, there is no one-fits-all answer. A general rule is don’t not post. In other words, don’t create a Twitter, facebook, Instagram et al account and then not use it. Frequency of posts definitely affects how often people will interact with your content.

But what is that sweet spot between not enough and too much? I’ll call it the “Goldilocks Zone” of posting. I borrow the term from astronomers who look for exoplanets in their “Goldilocks Zone” which is the habitable zone where a planet is in the range of distance with the right temperatures for water to remain liquid and life can occur.

Just like when email marketing becomes overwhelming and followers opt to unsubscribe and the other end of the zone where followers forget you exist, there is some point in between that is right for you.

Hootsuite makes these suggestions:
On Instagram, post between 3-7 times per week.
On Facebook, post between 1 and 2 times a day.
On Twitter, post between 1 and 5 Tweets a day.
On LinkedIn, post between 1 and 5 times a day.

For my personal social media use, I try to post once a day but rarely post anywhere 5 times a day. But if I was promoting a product, that might change. Do you have new content on your main site every day? That would be a reason for daily posts. Do you rarely have new content on the main site? That might be a reason to be more active on your social media accounts.

Tools like Hootsuite make it easy to share posts on multiple sites simultabeously. That makes it easy to do but it is isn’t necessarily a good thing. If someone follows all your social media, you don’t want them seeing the same thing posted 4 times at 12:00PM. At the least, if you’re litearrly using the same content on 4 platforms, spreadthose posts out during the day.

Which brings us to when is the best time to post? Again, according to Hootsuite:

The best times to post on social media overall is 10:00 AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
The best time to post on Facebook is 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The best time to post on Instagram is 11:00 AM on Wednesdays.
The best time to post on Twitter is 8:00 AM on Mondays and Thursdays.
The best time to post on LinkedIn is 9:00 AM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

But you need to test and analyze the results of your posting times. You see that those times all fall withing the 9-5 business day on weekdays. there arereach people after work when they are home and relaxing and on weekends when they have time to read and place orders.

Do you have an overall social media strategy? These timings and a calendar is certainly a part of it.

Look for articles on these topics and especilly for the specific platforms you are using. For example, look at how to use Facebook statistics and Facebook demographics. With all the criticisms of Facebook, it is still the world’s third most-visited website with more than half of American users checking it several times per day and the average user spending 34 minutes per day on Facebook. Also keep in mind that 80% of those people accessing the platform are using mobile only. Is your site optimized for mobile? Luckliy, all the major social media sites are optimized for mobile.

Are You Social Listening?


Social listening (or social media monitoring) is paying attention to  your brand’s social media channels for:
– customer feedback
– direct mentions of your brand
– discussions regarding specific keywords, topics
– those same things in your competitors and industry

Of course, monitoring alone isn’t of much value if it is not followed by an analysis to gain insights that you can act on.

Some people refer to this as “conversational research” because it is kind of like listening in on other people’s conversations about you – which in real life is hard to resist.

Though a starting place can be a simple “vanity search” on your name or the name of your company, most professionals will use social listening tools to monitor all four items noted above.

Tools can filter the data in more granular grouping conversations by fields such as geographical locations, online channels (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums, etc.), positivity, recency, language, and by specific groups based on sex, age and many other demographics.

Not doing social listening is the equivalent of not listening to your friends and co-workers’ comments about you. “I don’t want to know what they think of me,” is not really a good attitude.

Marketing is certainly a part of any organization and specialized software is needed to complete complex searches and scan the 80+ million online sources for mentions. Depending on your budget and goals “listening” can start small and free and go all the way up to being a full time job.