“I’m hungry.” –Unnamed Facebook friend
“Ugh. So much laundry. #Housework” –Unnamed tweeter
“So what?” The followers of these people
We all know someone who shares too much. So much, so often in fact, that they run at risk of turning followers off, causing them to unsubscribe entirely or, horror of horrors, unfriend.
It’s one thing to annoy your personal friends, but when you’re using social media to promote your business or association, you could be risking your professional reputation.
Think about it. You wouldn’t send direct mail ads every day. You wouldn’t make the same sales call several times a day, but that’s exactly how a news feed full of your tweets and posts can be interpreted.
There are a couple ways to fall into a toxic-content trap.
1) Post constantly
Your members, customers, and partners use social media for a variety of reasons, but chances are they don’t want the “Your Association” show. The key is to time your messages so that they seamlessly interact with their friends and other pages’ content.
2) Post irrelevant content
We’re not suggesting that anything you post is irrelevant. It’s important to you, but what about your subscribers and followers? Your posts have to be a blend of what you want them to know and what they can use or would enjoy seeing.
3) Post long or boring content
If it requires a “read more” button, it’s too long. Also if you have to abbreviate your content to the point that your message is unrecognizable or looks like a teenager wrote it, it’s too long.
If, at any point, you find yourself screaming at your laptop you're probably doing something wrong.
Some helpful tips
1) Keep it short and sweet. Think “T-shirt”
If your content would fit nicely on a t-shirt or a bumper sticker, it’s very share-able. Shares and retweets are good! They get your name out to strangers by way of someone they trust, your mutual friend.
2) Check your analytics and insights
You can tell a lot about your audience thanks to these handy web tools. Try and get a read of your peak audience times. As a basic rule, working professionals tend to hit high points on line during their lunch hours. You never know, though. Your audience might be different!
3) Keep it multimedia
Text-only messages are so 2005. It’s so easy to share photos and video on facebook and twitter that you would be left behind if you didn’t. And why wouldn’t you? Multimedia messages are sharp and creative and eye-catching, and add another dimension to your content.
If you’re smart about your social media use, you can potentially reach hundreds or even thousands of people. Just try not to tweet about what you had for lunch!