What Does Alaska Have to Do with How Often Your Business Should Post?
People move to the beautiful, rugged, and remote state of Alaska for many reasons. They may be moving toward something, or away from something.
But regardless of the reason, most eventually get discouraged by the extremes they encounter and wind up moving back to the lower 50. One of the most common and prohibitive extremes is the sheer loneliness they experience during the long winter months.
Consider this: 82% of Alaska communities are not accessible by road. Among other things, this requires mail, packages, and people to be delivered by plane. Mail runs are usually weekly, although extremely bad weather may extend that time considerably.
Not surprisingly, residents of the more remote areas eagerly look forward to these runs, not only for mail and deliveries but also because of the personal contact with the pilots. They may not see another person for months.
So, while by most people’s standards these mail runs are infrequent, they happen often enough to keep people from feeling completely isolated and out of touch. And, more frequent deliveries might take away from the very sense of remoteness many of these people sought in the first place. Frequency matters.
How often you post articles for your business matters, too.
Businesses seem to fall into one of two camps when it comes to publishing content:
Unload on the unsuspecting public with daily (sometimes hourly) social media posts and emails, or
Put something out whenever the spirit moves them.
So be honest. At this moment, into which camp do you fall?
There may not be a magic button that you can push to have your article written and posted for you, but then again - there is - you can hire it out to a professional content writer.
Either way, whether you offer coaching or healing services or the best product on the market, you’re in business, and businesses need to make money. To do that, you need to post content. If you don’t you’ve got a hobby. Nothing wrong with that. Just know there’s a vast difference in the way you’ll approach each one.
We also need to recognize that there are ever-changing algorithms for the best days and times to post as well, depending on various factors such as the social platform itself and your target audience, which I’ll cover in another article.
So, that brings us back to this week’s question: How often should you post?
According to HubSpot’s 2020 Not Another State of Marketing Report, out of 3,400 markets surveyed, the majority post between 1 and 6 times per week. That’s quite a spread.
Let’s see if we can figure out a reasonable solution, one that’s helpful and effective but not deafening or obnoxious.
When the urge hits
Surprisingly, that’s how many businesses go about it, which ends up looking like they don’t take their business seriously.
Post too frequently and you simply become spam; too infrequently and your audience forgets all about you. The happy medium also depends on the platform on which you are posting. Hubspot recommends posting according to your audience’s demands, and I agree wholeheartedly. I know answers like “it depends” aren’t very satisfactory, but they are often legitimate.
With that in mind, here are some general guidelines:
Facebook: Between 3-5 times per week is recommended.
LinkedIn: Publish up to 5 times a week; more doesn’t appear to be beneficial.
Instagram: Posting is typically once or twice per day, but more often is better.
Twitter You can post here even more frequently; in fact, in general, the more the better.
There are other factors to consider, depending on your level of experience with writing and posting content, so I’m going to talk about that a little, lest you get discouraged by trying to post 5 times each week and give up before you’re able to establish a sustainable schedule.
If you’re just starting out writing articles, you’ll want to begin with an easily achievable goal and go from there.
Write, write, and then write some more. You don’t need to publish everything you write, just one decent article weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Get rid of any pressure - especially internal - and just write - consistently. Get ‘er done.
There are many books and online tools that can help you improve your writing skills, many of which are free. Take advantage of them all and learn your craft, if this is what you want to do.
Definitely post at least weekly, preferably twice weekly, but don’t stop there. You can re-purpose your content and use it elsewhere. This means that you don’t have to write multiple articles for each separate form of media; you can change the wording just a bit if you’re making a video or podcast. If you’re writing on your blog, share it on LinkedIn and Facebook, at least. You can share snippets on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest as well.
Be consistent. People will begin to expect and even look forward to hearing from you. It may not seem fair, but if you don’t show up as expected, their perception of you may extend to your service or product.
If you’re used to churning out articles daily, go ahead and post daily. Here’s when you can go wild with your content. Add a teaser to your email and drive them back to your website to finish reading the article.
Try guest blogging if you’re not already doing that. Make a short video for YouTube and other media. Wherever you decide to publish, offer real value.
Keep a few articles on hold for those inevitable days that slip away from you, when you go on vacation, and when you can’t write a new article because - well because life happened that week.
Regardless of where you are in your writing proficiency, be consistent. People will begin to expect - and even look forward to - hearing from you. It may not seem fair, but if you don’t show up as expected, their perception of you, and by extension, your business, may suffer for it.
One useful tool that can help you write consistently, efficiently, and effectively is to create a Content Calendar.
The idea of a content calendar is to plan out a sequence of strategically thought-out topics over the next 3 months, 6 months, or ideally one year. With your content strategy in place, you’re not left wondering what in the world you’re going to write about. And these aren’t random posts, either. They’re designed to focus all your marketing efforts cohesively, working towards the same goal.
Content calendars can take several forms, and I won’t be able to give full justice to them here, but for our purposes today a social media content calendar is where you plan all the content you’ll be putting out on whatever social media channels you choose, along with the days, times, and how you’ll repurpose each.
So, that’s it for this week. I realize we covered a lot of ground, and that there are multiple individual articles that can be expanded on in the future. Just know that the rules for posting on social media are always changing, so be sure to know your audience and when they’re most likely to read your offerings. You’ll get to know what the best frequency is for your business.
Still thinking about the Alaskan wilderness? We were created to be in relationship, or fellowship, with others. We need that contact to really know ourselves and to become our best. Left alone for too long, neither can happen.
Don't let your business become like living in the Alaskan wilderness - your business needs to stay in touch frequently to stay in business. Otherwise, your clients and potential clients will also move away.