I see a lot of articles on rules for sharing on social networks. It’s interesting to see people claiming to have the scientifically proven answer for the perfect amount of characters to post with each network. Especially because every one of these posts has a different answer.
As marketers, we like data, and we like to treat socialization as a science. However, I would argue that social networks are meant to be casual. Instead of breaking down every person into an objective science (an impossibility) concentrate on engagement.
Answer questions, comment on other people’s thoughts, have fun and socialize.
That’s not to say I don’t recommend following any general rules. There are a few tips that I try to stick to.
Do NOT auto schedule – The last thing you want to do is phone in your marketing strategies. As convenient as auto-posters and tools like Buffer are, people know when you’re not trying.
Details, Details, Details – I try to create a different message for every social network I post to. Share what you find interesting about what you’re posting. Pick a good quote out of it. Tell people why you’re sharing it. These details, to me, are much more important than any specific length.
Always Include Visuals – Where possible, include a picture or a video with your shares. Not only because it attracts the eyeballs, but because it is helpful to visualize what you’re trying to say. It makes things more clear and easier to digest for your reader.
Share More Than Once – The thing about social networks is that anything on them has a very short lifespan. It only takes a few new posts by other people for your article to disappear under the pile.
For that reason, share often. Not so much that it looks spammy. And change your message for each. Here’s my schedule (that I use Google Calendar to remind me for, I never let robots socialize for me.)
- After Publishing – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Reddit, Delicious, Stumbleupon
- 2-Hours Later – Twitter
- Next Day – Twitter
- Next Week – Twitter, Google+
- Next Month – Twitter, Facebook, Google+
- Two Months – Twitter
Pay Attention to Local Custom – Some subreddits don’t like it when you just post a link with the default title. Instead, they prefer you to create a text post, summarize the article, and link to it at the bottom. Pay attention to these things across social networks. What do people appreciate and consider spammy? Chances are it’s different across social networks. (More reason to customize each message.)