Three Social Media Rules Your Business Needs to Break

Matthew Kobach
Matthew Kobach CEO, Social Research Strategies

Posted on May 15th 2014

Three Social Media Rules Your Business Needs to Break

social media rules to break

If you stay up to date on social media trends and advice, you have likely heard that you need to post a lot of content, get as many fans/followers as you can, and post when most of your fans are online. Rules are meant to be broken, and I'll explain why it is necessary to break each of these rules. 


1. Post a lot of content

Yes, you need to post content. A lot of it. But this stress on always posting can result in substandard content. On Facebook, you should never post more than twice a day, and even twice a day can be too much. Instead, aim for 5-7 times a week. When you post too much content, you increase your chance that you are just adding to the social media "noise". Instead focus your effort on creating smaller amounts of high quality content. Quality over quantity.

Why to break this rule
The Facebook algorithm works in a way that it tries to guess what you want to see. One way this is accomplished is that if you normally click on a business' Facebook page, it is more likely to show you their content. If your business is posting too much low quality content, people will stop clicking. And when you actually do post good content, less fans will see it.

Real world example
There is a restaurant I frequent that I "like" on Facebook. They post any and everything on their Facebook page (they post about 5-10 times a day), whether it is related to the restaurant or not. The result is that I NEVER see their content in my news feed because I first ignored their nonsense posts. What good is my like if they never get their message to me?

2. Get as many fans as you can

We all want more fans. But if these fans are never going to purchase your product or service, what good are they? Social media can easily become a popularity contest: "we have more fans than you." But worthless fans are, well, worthless. Actually, they can be much worse than worthless....

Why to break this rule
Remember that Facebook algorithm? Another way it works is that when you post content, it shows it to a handful of your fans. If these fans interact with your content, Facebook then shows it to more of your fans. If you have fans that don't actually like your product/service, they won't interact with your posts. This means that it will be more difficult to reach your fans who actually are actually interested in your business.

Real world example
While doing consulting work with an Italian restaurant, we quickly learned that if we focused our Facebook advertising to the local area, we received two-three "likes" for every dollar we spent. When we just aimed for total likes, we doubled that number. We could have spent a relatively small amount of money and gotten hundreds of likes. The problem was that the likes all came from Italy, a demographic that was unlikely to ever visit the restaurant or interact with the content. Aim for quality fans over a large quantity of fans.

3. Always post when the most fans are online

You want to get your message out to fans, and you want that message to reach the most screens as possible. Knowing when your fans are online is essential. The Facebook newsfeed works in a way that rewards current content, and makes older content unlikely to show in a person's newsfeed.

Why to break this commandment
You certainly need to post when most of your fans are online, but you do not need to do it religiously. Focus most of your posting at peak hours, but switch up your timing once or twice a week. This is important because certain fans have different Facebook use habits. This means that if you always post at the same time, you are likely missing fans that have different schedules.

Real world example
We found that a sports rehabilitation physician had more success with his posts after he varied up his posting schedule. He often included exercise tips, and saw his engagement increase after he started posting later in the day. By posting later in the day, he was able to reach fans that otherwise had been missing his posts. Now, these fans are more likely to see all of his posts, no matter the time of day he posts.

Matthew Kobach

Matthew Kobach

CEO, Social Research Strategies

After Matthew completed his Master's degree in Mass Communication at Indiana University, he turned his attention to social media. Interested in how businesses could best harness social media to increase their bottom line, he focused his PhD studies on the prediction of social media behavior. Matthew advises executives on how to best utilize social media to enhance their brands. Matthew's credentials include presenting his research at competitive national and international conferences, publishing papers in top academic journals, and co-founding Social Research Strategies, positioning him as an authority in the field.

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