How Often Should You Post to Social Media?

I’m often asked “how often should we post to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/etc.?” I pretty much always say the same thing (I’ll give my response in a sec).

First, read these two articles. The have really different takes on the question “how often should I post?”:

I’d agree with the second article. The first article is based on average posting frequency research. For example, one study they mentioned looked at thousands of tweets from brands, and found that 2-3 tweets per day gained the highest engagement levels. Fine research, but the article then says “ok, so do 3 posts a day in Twitter.”

I’m not certain that’s the best conclusion. It’s like doing research on how tall people are. You might find out that the average height of a male is 5’9″. Then, based on that average height, you’d tell clothing companies to make pants to fit a 5’9″ man in order to sell the most pants.

You see the problem, right (I certainly do, since I’d be wearing high water pants!)?

 

Second, here’s how I answer the question “How often should I post?”:

  1. Post more than you’re currently posting. For most libraries, this advice works great. Why? They don’t have a dedicated posting schedule, or posting goals. Or they post sporadically. Maybe no one posted last month. Sometimes I say post enough to look alive in that social media tool, so at least once per day.
  2. Figure out your organization’s optimal posting frequency. Start experimenting with posting more, then look at engagement rates, daily unlikes (on Facebook), etc. and adjust accordingly. Or, just ask your social media followers if they want more or less from you, then go with the flow.

The real answer? It varies by organization and by social media tool. How often do you post? Is it enough? Please share!

Cool numbers image by Denise Krebs

Improve your Twitter Engagement

Twitter recently posted an interesting article on their blog – What fuels a Tweet’s engagement? Good read!

They did a study of over 2 million tweets, and discovered that there are a few simple things that help increase Retweets. These include:

  • Adding a photo – averaged a 35% boost in Retweets
  • Adding a video – averaged a 28% boost in Retweets
  • Including a quote – averaged a 19% boost in Retweets
  • Including a number, of all things – averaged a 17% bump in Retweets
  • Including a hashtag – averaged a 16% boost in Retweets

In the world of Twitter, Retweets = engagement with your content. People find it interesting, so they share it with their friends via a Retweet. So make sure to walk around your library once in awhile, take a smartphone photo, and include that photo with your tweet (or a video, quote, number, or hashtag).

Then see what happens!

Follow me on Twitter!

Twitter logo from Twitter

 

Engaging People via Twitter

Twitter recently created a new best practices site – check it out at media.twitter.com. There’s some really useful info there, but you have to wade through it a bit to find the good tidbits.

I did the wading for you – here’s the good stuff!

Best Practices on Engaging people via Twitter:

  • Use @mentions. This makes it more likely that people will find your conversation and join in.
  • Include photos and videos. Inserting media into tweets makes them more likely to get favorited and retweeted. Tweets with photos get 1.5x the number of Retweets compared to the average Tweet, and 2.3x the number of favorites.
  • Tweet regularly. Twitter users like to see conversations. Set a schedule if you need a reminder to Tweet.
  • Hold a Q & A live tweet session. This can be a fun way to involve other Twitter users.
  • Find conversations. Listen for people talking about you, and join in if it makes sense.
  • Use Hashtags. Picking the right hashtag is a great way to reach more readers and make your Tweet a part of a larger conversation. Including a hashtag can double engagement for individual journalists and boost it 1.5x for news organizations, for example. So in our industry, it can’t hurt either, right?
  • Show what happens “behind the scenes.” A fun way to connect with followers is to show them what happens behind the scenes.
  • Use a call to action and a hashtag together. specially for things like live tweeting, events, or a Q&A session
  • Vine videos are useful, too. Vine videos drive high engagement (Retweets and favorites).

And an interesting tip. Are you familiar with this command – .@ (a @reply command with a period?)? I wasn’t. Here’s what it does: Tweets that have a period (.) before the @reply are meant to be seen by all of a user’s followers, not just those who follow both the sender and receiver. Twitter calls a normal @reply narrowcasting, and a .@reply broadcasting. Interesting!

Are you successfully connecting with customers through Twitter? I’d love to hear about it! Share in the comments. Thanks! Oh, and feel free to follow me on Twitter too, while you’re at it :-)

Photo by Maryland GovPics

Tidy up your Twitter Followers

I recently went through my library’s Twitter followers and “cleaned up” our follower list. What was I looking for? Mainly, that we are following people living in our service area. Here’s what I did:

First off, I used FriendorFollow. It’s a pretty handy tool that shows, among other things, who follows you, who doesn’t follow back, etc.

Then, I went through our list of Twitter followers, one at a time, and friended these types of a accounts:

  • Do they live in Topeka or Shawnee County?
  • Do they seem to live in Kansas, and do we share some Twitter friends (another indicator that they are in our service area)?
  • If they mention Topeka or Kansas in their bio or recent tweets
  • regional businesses (probably have employees in our service area)

If they met these criteria, I friended them back.

I unfriended some accounts, too. Here’s what I unfriended:

  • If they haven’t tweeted in over a year – that indicates they don’t actively use the account
  • If they never tweeted
  • If their account is private
  • If they don’t live in our service area

So – I ended up unfriending some libraries, some librarians, some people who had moved out of the area, and some celebrities that we had friended. Not in our service are? We dump em.

What did that achieve? Hopefully, more interaction. More followers that might actually be interested in their local library and what we tweet. And several hundred more followers that we are connected to!

That’s what I did – do you ever clean up follower lists in your organization’s Twitter or Facebook accounts? If so, what do YOU look for? Please share!

Image from Michael Sauers

12 Tips on Making Better Vine Videos

Are you familiar with Vine? It’s an iPhone and Android video app that makes 6-second videos. With Vine, you can watch videos, follow other Vine video makers, and easily share your videos on other social networks like Twitter (Twitter owns Vine).

And … Vine is one of a handful of new, popular, visual social tools. Others in this category would include Instagram and Snapchat.

Vine has the potential to be a really powerful and fun medium when used well! So – first, go watch a bunch of Vine videos to get a feel for what can be accomplished. Done? OK. Now, let’s talk about using it well.

Here are 12 tips (that’s like 2 tips a second in Vine mode!) for making better Vine Videos:

  1. Plan, practice, reshoot. I know – planning and practicing seems pretty silly, right? I mean, it’s only 6 seconds – what’s to plan? Quite a bit! You have six seconds to get your idea across, share a joke, or show something off. So planning it out and doing one practice run might be useful. Then reshoot it until you’re happy with the video. There is no edit button.
  2. Share one thing. You want to make sure your main idea is communicated in six seconds. So no introductions. Just do the one thing you want to communicate, and get to the point fast.
  3. Good lighting is important. As always in video, even six second video, lighting is important. Vine videos are created on your phone, so you don’t necessarily need to set up a lot of fancy professional lights for that six second video. Just shoot outside, by a lamp, or by a window.
  4. Audio is HUGE. Arguably, the most important thing in a video isn’t what you see. It’s what you hear. That means you need good audio! Try using your headphone mic (iPhones come with with a mic/earbud combo – do Android phones? Not sure). Or get one of those “made for iPhone” mics, like the i-Microphone.
  5. Think in scenes. Don’t make one big, boring, six second scene unless it’s a beautiful waterfall, or you have discovered a Sasquatch in the wilderness. Otherwise, make multiple quick scenes, multiple angles, etc. You can break up your sentences, too. Speak one phrase, then lift off your finger, shift position, and then say the next phrase.
  6. Use another lens. Have a clip-on lens? Use them. I have an Olloclip lens that gives my iPhone a fisheye, macro, and wide-angle lens. They work for Vine videos, too!
  7. Shoot through something else. You can get some pretty cheesy effects by shooting through semi-transparent things. Shoot through see-through cloth, water, a foggy window, your glasses, etc.
  8. Animation – try it out. Animation is fun, and really easy to do on Vine. Just quickly touch and let go, and you have one “frame” of an animation. Usually animation is about 10-24 frames per second, so … this will be a little time-consuming, even for six seconds. But you can quickly move something around on a table, touch your Vine screen a lot, and see what you get. Make sure to use Vine’s Ghost mode for stop-motion animation, and think about using your phone in Airplane mode. You don’t want to be interrupted mid-way through!
  9. Fun effects. Want music? Turn on the radio or have someone play beside you. Sound effects? Same thing – have someone do them off-camera. Visual gags and effects can be done easily by stopping the video, changing out a prop, and starting the video up again. Experiment and see what you can come up with.
  10. Talk to another video. One funny thing I’ve seen done is talking to a famous person via a Youtube video. The on-camera person might ask a question, then have someone else “answer” the question using something they said in a Youtube video.
  11. Hands-free mode. Apparently, you can swipe left to right at the bottom of the recording screen in Vine, and the video will record in hands-free mode. I haven’t gotten that to work. But you can also set up an assistive touch gesture on an iPhone.
  12. Use hashtags. This will help other Vine users find your video.

Useful Vine Video links:

Finally – follow me on Vine! I’m davidleeking on Vine.