How often should your charity post on social media?

 

             If you are responsible for the social media posts for your charity- how do you determine how many posts per day do you do? On my personal social media sites I post a little more frequently than our staff post on our RMH social media sites. Jill who is responsible for our social media always says “only post awesome” –I on the other hand am a little more willing to post something that is a little less than awesome. How often you post on social media does depend a lot on which platform you are using. When considering Facebook Mansfield (2012) suggests;” Large national and international nonprofits with well-known and much loved brands have a different experience on Face Book from that of most small to medium sized nonprofits. They usually have lots of fresh content to share and their fans are much less likely to “unlike” their page if they overshare on Face Book. Small to medium sized nonprofits, should err on the side of caution. Less is more.” Mansfield recommends Facebook status updates of 1 to 2 a day or less.

          I would tend to agree with her recommendations followers, on twitter seem much more tolerant of frequent posts than Facebook followers. On twitter higher volume seems to be a key. The social media expert who manages the site for our Global charity has told me that she tries to target about 12 tweets a day. Personally I have found the most growth and interaction on my personal social media when I am able to average about 20 interactions a day. Now keep in mind I don’t necessarily want to send 20 tweets a day out about our organization. I want some of those interactions to be mentions and retweets of other peoples content. Mansfield (2012, p.97) reminds us that: “Retweet unto others as you would have them retweet unto you is the golden rule of twitter. The more your nonprofit promotes others through retweets and replies, the more your nonprofit will in turn get retweeted and mentioned.” She goes on to advise:” Strategically speaking one of your primary goals on twitter should be to earn retweets and mentions by others because this is the fastest way to grow your follower base (Mansfield, 2012, p.97).

              Twitter followers do have more tolerance for more volume –but a good portion of that volume can’t be about you or your organization. Think about any relationship –who wants a friend who only talks about themselves. On a personal level this is discipline that I struggle with. There are so many things about our organization that are cool that I want to push out there-but there does need to be balance. To be quite honest sometimes I am good at creating this balance, sometimes I am not. Kanter and Fine in their book The Networked Nonprofit, remind that:” The key ingredient for any relationship is good listening. Rather than just talking to, or worse at people on-line, organizations should first listen to what people are talking about ,what interests or concerns them and how they view the organization. Listening is a terrific way for organizations to orient themselves online.”

           So I suppose how frequently or infrequently you post is important, but how much you listen and engage your followers is equally important. When someone who works for another charity is starting off on developing their social media sites and they ask me the question how often do you post? I usually suggest that they experiment with their own volume to see what works best for their followers and their charity. For my own social media my personal targets are 1-3 instagram posts a day, twitter 12-20 interactions a day and Linked In and Facebook 1 to 2 posts a day. I don’t always hit those targets although some days I post at a higher volume. Anyway your charity should test and experiment with different levels of posting, and as Mansfield suggests that with some platforms such as Facebook “less is more.”

 

References

Kanter, B & Fine, A,H. (2010) The networked nonprofit: Connecting with social media to drive change.

           San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Mansfield, H (2012) Social Media for Social Good: A how to guide for Nonprofits:  New York: McGraw

          Hill

       

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