The Wall recently published this article by me about brands oversharing on social media. They've been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below.
We are in an age of Too Much Information. The proliferation of social media, coupled with our desire to share every moment of our lives with friends and followers means we’re constantly exposed to (depending on how old you are) babies, weddings, foodporn, running routes, holiday photos and party pics.
Sharing is a huge part of being social, and keeping up to date with these events is why so many of us are addicted to checking social media, even if we don’t always want to admit it. However, we do have a breaking point. Everyone has THAT friend on social - the one who takes sharing a step too far, spewing out updates on the most mundane aspects of their lives to clog up our news feeds. And it’s not just our ‘friends’ who are guilty of this cardinal social media sin - brands are at it too.
After an awkward initial introduction into our news feeds and Timelines where we frequently saw terrible brand content, many have now got to know what their audience likes to see and what turns them on. The quality of social media marketing has improved dramatically over the last couple of years. But, as brands see more success on social, they’re tempted to do more. And more. And more.
In the same way that sharing poor quality content on social was never going to win brands any brownie points with consumers, likewise, constantly bombarding them with updates is just - if not more - annoying. Salesy updates, commenting on a non-relevant topic, shoehorning into a hashtag for the sake of it - these are all examples where brands just need to say no to posting on social. If you don’t have anything clever or interesting to tweet, don’t tweet anything at all.
Having said this, of course social media is an increasingly important platforms for brands’ marketing efforts, allowing a level of creativity, engagement and consumer interaction that other mediums will never have. So what’s the right balance for brands on social?
The first point to consider is that there’s no one size fits all solution. Socialbakers’ research into Twitter content suggests three tweets per day is about right for a brand, but in reality, this depends on the identity of the specific brand. Each marketer should develop a social content checklist, asking themselves questions such as: is the story relevant to the brand? What is the brand’s role on social? If it's to be inspiring - does each post REALLY inspire? And if you’re going to do something reactive, make sure it’s relevant to the brand.
After answering these questions, and establishing that the content is indeed relevant to your business objectives, consider the audience. Have they seen this content already? Is it too late, have you missed your moment? How many posts like this have you already shared today? As we've said before, brands' focus should be on total reach you’re getting at the end of the week/month, not that of each separate post. And Facebook's algorithm makes one engaging piece of content that drives user interaction more valuable than a number poor ones.
Of course, strategies will differ platform to platform, but essentially, finding the balance is key and asking yourself the questions above should help determine if your post is one worth sharing. But please, brands, don’t be THAT friend on Facebook, or you’ll soon find yourself without any.