What is Social Media Overuse?

Frustrated by social media

Jenny Force Jenny Force, VP of Marketing

Everyone knows that it’s important for businesses to be active on social media. After all, your customers are almost certainly on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.

While most discussions surrounding social media marketing focus on establishing a strong presence, getting more followers, advertising, creating content and other such ways to connect with your followers – what about overusing social media? Is that even possible?

If so, how do you know if you’re doing it and what’s the solution?

How You May be Overusing Social Media

Social media overuse falls into the wider category of overexposure. This is when a brand repeats its message so often that it becomes borderline annoying. This can occur in any marketing or advertising context. A company may overdo it when it comes to TV ads, billboards, magazine ads and email marketing. They may also overuse social media.

As we will see, this may actually be a case of repeating the same ads or the same type of content rather than overusing social media per se. Either way, if your followers perceive you as being annoying, you are not accomplishing your goals. Here are a few examples of how you may be overdoing it with social media:

  • Repeating the same tweets day after day.
  • Frequently posting the same items to your Facebook page.
  • Posting the same content across different platforms. This is one pitfall of using automated tools such as Hootsuite, which can be beneficial if used correctly. But if your followers are seeing the same content multiple times, they can get tired of seeing it.
  • Having multiple employees posting to your business pages. This can cause redundant postings. In some cases, over-enthusiastic employees might post content that’s not appropriate for your business. (that’s why it’s best to establish firm rules in your business for social media posting)


Guidelines to Avoiding Overuse

So how do you know if you’re overusing social media? While there’s no exact formula, you should be searching for the right balance of keeping your brand in the minds of your followers without overdoing it.

  • Facebook: Posting once or twice per day is sufficient.
  • Twitter: Three to five tweets per day is enough for most businesses. If you post interesting tweets at diverse times, however, you can get away with more.
  • LinkedIn: If you post content on LinkedIn, don’t post more than once daily. Remember that this is mainly a B2B network and people are looking for useful information.
  • Instagram: For marketing, Instagram fis still relatively new and not all followers are necessarily comfortable with lots of promotional content, so aim for once or twice daily.
  • Pinterest: This is a site where you can get away with posting more often, such as five to ten times daily. It can be beneficial, for example, to post compelling images of products, as long as there’s some diversity among your images.

These recommendations are not strict guidelines but only meant to give you a general idea of what’s appropriate. Keep in mind that every business is a little different.

You also have to realize that the social media landscape is ever changing, so what works well this month may not be so great next month. That’s why it’s so important to have access to accurate social media reporting.

You want to be aware of your metrics at all times. This lets you know how people are responding to your campaigns and if you’ve passed the saturation point for posting.

Focus on Quality as Well as Quantity

There’s a direct connection between quality and quantity when it comes to social media marketing. What’s really important is what kind of impact your campaigns have on your followers.

While you can use certain guidelines for posting on different social sites, the way in which you use these sites is at least as important as how often. Here are some final tips on getting the most out of social media without overusing it.

Keep your content compelling and useful. If you know how to engage your audience, you can get away with posting more often. On the other hand, if your content is dry, repetitive and uninteresting, people will quickly become saturated with it.

Vary your content. One of the things that will make your content seem tired and old is if you keep posting the same links, photos or other content. It’s best to publish diverse content and use different formats as well.

For example, you might alternative between product images, links to articles, informational videos, infographics and memes. You should also alternate between promotional content and items that are more for entertainment.

Don’t oversell. This is related to varying your content, but it’s worth mentioning separately as it’s such a common mistake. People’s tolerance for ads and promotional posts is much lower than for content that’s informative, entertaining or interactive.

Space your posts out over time. If you do all of your posting at a certain time of day, it may appear to people that you’re posting constantly. Not only that, but people who are online at different hours will not see your posts at all.

Whether you do this manually or use automated tools, create a schedule so that your posts are uploaded at different times.

Establish a relationship with your audience. This basic rule for social media marketing can go a long way in increasing your audience’s tolerance for your presence. If you engage with people, your posts will be less intrusive than if you’re simply talking at them or constantly promoting.

You could, for example, ask people what type of content they prefer. You might also invite people to post their own content to your pages. This will require monitoring, however, as you want to make sure that everything is relevant and appropriate. Contests where followers send in images, videos or other content can also help to engage people.



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