This creative and funny post at Collective-Thoughts got me thinking. There’s social media frenzy all around us, and oodles of statistics to support it. Here are a few:

•    48% of 18 to 34 year old check Facebook when they wake up
•    28% check on their smartphone before getting out of bed
•    There are an estimated 500,000 posts or comments per minute on Facebook
•    Average user creates 90 pieces of content monthly on Facebook

Twitter just reached an average of 200 million tweets a day. That’s more than a billion tweets out monthly. They put it in perspective:

“For perspective, every day, the world writes the equivalent of a 10 million-page book in Tweets or 8,163 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Reading this much text would take more than 31 years and stacking this many copies of War and Peace would reach the height of about 1,470 feet, nearly the ground-to-roof height of Taiwan’s Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world.”

But we don’t really even need the overwhelming statistics to prove this point, because most of us experience it daily. Don’t we all have the friend on Facebook who has posted something new every single time you check your page? And most of the updates go something like this:

6:12 – Just walked in from work.


6: 14 – Think I’ll make a snack.


6: 24 – Turning on the TV!

You might be laughing or nodding because you’re already thinking of a person you know who is guilty of it (and if you aren’t, it might be you!) But usually, it’s harmless and no big deal. It’s important and healthy to stay engaged and active socially. There are certainly cases where a social media ‘obsession’ turns in to legitimate dysfunction, but those are few and far between.

Users in our personal social networks will get leeway in these situations. We can often laugh them off or use them as stories to tell friends later, but seldom will you totally remove these people from networking with you. But guess what? People are not so lenient with businesses.

Aunt Sue or your college buddy might be able to get away with being a little obnoxious with their hyper social media activity, but your business will get the axe fast. While it’s important to consistently create and share content within your networks, it’s imperative that you don’t exhaust them.  So, how much is too much? Should Facebook activity differ from Twitter or other social networking sites? Dan Zarella conducted a study examining exactly this and found that Facebook pages with less than one post per day were ‘more liked’ than Facebook pages posting more than once per day.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t post everyday on Facebook. Different businesses reach different audiences with different thresholds, it’s a decision you need to make based on your own knowledge and findings. But what Dan did find is that posts and likes are inversely related and that it’s worth being careful about when you are sharing. Keep in mind that most of your audience will be engaged through a news feed or stream; they won’t usually be engaged by directly visiting your page. So it’s our job to not bombard them with information but to make the information that does connect to them valuable and worth reading. (A piece of new content is worth more than a shared link, and sharing any information on your page should be reserved for information you think your audience will have a genuine interest in.)

Twitter is a bit different. The nature of the platform begs for more sharing of content because of ‘retweeting’, and your decision for how often you should tweet will be the result of your own observance of your Twitter feed and your interaction with followers. You don’t want to tweet so often that people might skim over the tweets containing the real valuable content, but you do want to share content of others and stay involved enough that your original content will fall in to the cascade.

It’s my hope that messages aren’t mixed in these blogs. I preach how crucial consistent engagement is with your network, and how much Google appreciates it too. You can’t neglect content or your network, but don’t overwhelm them. Be as considerate as you’d like business pages in your network to be. And when your turn to engage them comes, do it with unique and quality work.

Chris Vaughn is the Content Marketing Director for DigitalSherpa, the world's largest content marketing provider for small businesses. With the recent acquisition of SocialTract, DigitalSherpa is thrilled to welcome the HVAC community in to our client family. Learn more about content marketing and check out our free e-books and whitepapers at http://digitalsherpa.com. Connect with Chris and the DigitalSherpa team on Facebook and Twitter or e-mail Chris directly at cvaughn@digitalsherpa.com.