How often should my company tweet or post to Facebook? Maybe never.

A friend of mine works for a big, I mean BIG, nonprofit. They have a Twitter account and a Facebook page. She asked me my opinion on the right frequency for posting to their social network streams. My answer to her was “never”.

I hear this question a lot. The answer is, “Post in whatever frequency your social graph demands.” It’s an easy answer, actually, but rarely the answer the asker is looking for. There is no fire code capacity beyond which will ban you for life from the social nightclub. There is only what is right for your unique mix of followers. If you’re answering questions, curating content, and starting discussions, you could conceivably post more than 100 times a day. See NPR’s Senior Strategist and one man tweet flood, @acarvin. On the other hand, the KISSmetrics Marketing Blog recently released an infographic on best practices for timing and frequency in Twitter and Facebook that suggests we should post to Facebook 0.5 times a day.


Image via Wikipedia

My friend’s company does not participate in online conversations. (Clarification update: It’s not that they have an official no-participation policy, but responses are purposefully extremely rare.)  That means that they do not respond to social media nor mentions in the press. Linking to or mentioning any entity or article online is out too, since it might be considered an endorsement. Participation in social media is a time and manpower commitment, and they do not want to spend time responding when they could be messaging.

Their current view of their Twitter and Facebook presence is one of broadcast messaging only. No conversations, no openness, no insight, just announcements.

Well, that’s hardly ‘social’ media at all! The purpose of having a social media presence should be to build 2-way, give and take, social relationships with your audience/customers/contributors that aren’t possible through traditional broadcast media.

To that end, I’d argue that participation and responding to their constituents via social media IS (or should be) a big part of their messaging. It shows they care about the individual contributor, they’re accessible, they’re listening, and that they’re an organization made of real people.

When I follow, friend, or add you to my social graph, I am inviting you into a mutually beneficial relationship. As a member of my social graph,

  • I expect value from your posts I can’t get elsewhere.
  • I expect there to be humanity and authenticity behind your posts.
  • I expect responsiveness. (think minutes and hours)
  • I expect your social media presence to be merely the technical vessel for communication with a real person I can engage with, and get closer to.

Make good on these expectations, and I’ll reward you with loyalty and by spreading your good reputation throughout my graph.

no tweet today

image by inezzy, on Flickr

Why the right answer for when her nonprofit should post is “never”.

It’s obvious that her company isn’t looking to make good on any of those social expectations. Their no-response PR practice calls them out as a bad friend, unworthy of social engagement. For them, it’s better to not have a social presence at all rather than having one that doesn’t even try to live up to to the expectations of the members of their social network. It might, in fact, be harmful to appear to have a social presence but be unresponsive when a constituent invites them to a conversation.

It’s a trite analogy, but what good is a having a phone number if you never intend on answering the phone? (Other than my case in which I need to have a phone number I don’t answer to have a data plan for my iPhone.)


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SoMe infographics, Google’s Facebook killer, SlideShowPro goes HTML5, North reminds us that social media is not a channel

These are my links for June 29th through July 1st:

  • 10 Beautiful Social Media Infographics – I get pretty excited about pretty data. Good to see you, pretty data. Next stop for you guys? Keynote.
  • PayPal Launches Mobile Express Checkout To Enable One-Click Buying On Smartphones – Uh oh. Amazon is going to have something to say about this.
  • Cashmore: Google building a Facebook rival? Let’s hope so – – I’m looking forward to this for a couple reasons. First: competition is good for this industry. Second: I want to see how the “do no evil” Google mantra holds up in a social networking environment that is starting to push back on privacy. Watch for them to connect their search ad model. I smell new ad options in Google Adwords.
  • Introducing SlideShowPro Mobile – Video: The popular, robust slide show solution for Flash just released HTML5 support for non-Flash devices, eg iPad & iPhone.
  • The Social Media Problem for Companies – @daveatnorth from Portland agency North reminds us that social media shouldn’t be thought of as a fix for marketing your brand in this year’s web. Rather, it is a medium that makes it easier to act on our social nature. Let’s not forget that social media connects people and extends our ability to cultivate relationships. That’s the core purpose of participation in social media. Brands are guests at the party.

Social Media Marketing for Non-Profits links

Social Media for Non-Profits links

Author’s quick guide to Social Media Marketing, iPhone data plans explained, BP PR display ads, the useful 33% of Twitter users, jQuery for better columns

These are my links for May 31st through June 14th:

Pogue sells me an iPad, new Facebook Page type, can Twitter influence be bought?, iPhone/iPad UI design tools

DIY light kit, public beta, Should I put my URL in my ads?

These are my links for March 21st through March 24th:

WordPress 3, better Facebook search, a guide web typography, microformats ala Google

These are my links for March 12th through March 16th:

Digital ad spending overtakes print, Facebook ad spam, how to add YouTube video to your Facebook Fan page

These are my links for March 4th through March 8th:

Facebook Page ideas, why ginger ale on flights, picking the perfect color scheme

These are my links for February 24th through February 25th:

Can I remove the creator of a Facebook Page from the administrators?

Delete Facebook Page administrators

This just in from #SearchFest 2010 in Portland: email to have an original administrator removed.

In short, no.

Now, before you swear off Facebook altogether, this might be a feature, not a bug. My first notion was that any page administrator should be able to boot any other admin of that page. Simple enough – lots of management systems work this way.

Hold on. What if my company has a Facebook Page, and we have let one of the Page admins go? If the other Page admins don’t get there before the possibly disgruntled ex-employee, he or she could delete the other admins, and retain full control of the company page. Yikes.

With that in mind, I see why FB decided to make the Page creator non-removable. There’s a certain level of protection there.

One user in the discussions on the UWEBD was able to contact Facebook and have them switch the creator status from one admin to another. YMMV.

Until there’s a better way to manage admins for a Page where admins may come and go, choose your creator wisely.

See also: Removing the ‘permanent’ admin and How can I remove the creator admin?, both Facebook discussions.

Facebook to send posts to Twitter, whales to follow

Send Facebook Status to TwitterTechCrunch revealed that Facebook will be adding a feature this week that will allow you to send your Facebook status update out as a tweet. The tweets include a link back to your status on Facebook via the new URL shortener. Read that as monster inbound traffic for Facebook.

Of particular concern will surely be the strain this will place on Twitter, as millions of users with both Facebook and Twitter accounts suddenly increase their tweet frequency. More on that from All Facebook.

Prepare to be seeing more of the Fail Whale.

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