A Reflection on the Last Year in Social Media
If you asked me a year ago what it took to be successful on social media, I would have told you something along the lines of finding what platform your audience is on, posting a few times a week, creating visually appealing graphics (if on Instagram), managing comments and engaging with your community.
Today, success on social media INCLUDES all of that and so much more. On Instagram alone, we have carousels, reels, stories, oh my!
A year ago, I would have told you to keep Instagram post captions short and sweet. Today I’d say throw in a few extended captions akin to a microblog under your images to get followers to stay on your posts longer. Turns out the Instagram algorithm looks at the amount of time spent on posts too!
Video is both King and Queen with products such as IGTV and Lives available on Facebook and Instagram. Reels remain popular, and Facebook is even adding Reels to its mobile app, hoping to capitalize on the short-form video format. And don’t get me started on Tik Tok. That’s a whole other story.
And all this happened in just the last year!
– Photos or videos to the main feed 3 times a week
– Stories 8-10 times a week
– Reels 4-7 times a week
– IGTV 1-3 times per week
Recently, Later, a social media posting platform, published an analysis of 81MM social media posts and found that the best reach and engagements for small accounts happened at 14 posts per week. Between the NY Times article and the Later analysis, I’m reading between the lines: the most effective strategy on Instagram requires multiple posts per day.
With all that is changing on social media and the demand for frequent posts, how are organizations like small businesses and nonprofits supposed to keep up?
I love seeing small businesses and nonprofits succeed. I come from a long line of small business owners, and I’ve worked and volunteered for quite a few nonprofits. Small businesses make the world go round, and nonprofits keep us all healthy and sane.
In today’s world, nonprofits and small businesses need to be on some sort of social media to stay relevant. But they should be focused on getting stuff done and making the world a better place. Not learning about algorithms and how many times per day to post.
If there’s one thing that I have learned about social media in the last year, I would tell you that it changes fast and is a lot of work. And this is not just shameless self-promotion but my genuine belief: if you don’t have the time to keep up with it, leave all this social media stuff to the pros. Whether it’s New Why or another company or someone you hire to work in-house, give the social media stuff to someone who has the bandwidth to do it and wants to do it.
Digital marketing changes so fast, and if you want to do it right and do it well, you have to be intentional – thinking about it and working on it – all the time. And when you’re running a business or busy saving the world – who has time for that?
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