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One of the top questions that comes up when a marketer is thinking about content, blogging, and social media is how often should they publish content?  How many videos, blog posts, and status updates are really enough?  The answer depends based on the industry.  Here are three steps tfor determining the right content publishing schedule for your online marketing campaign.
Step One: Research the Competition

One of the top questions that comes up when a marketer is thinking about content, blogging, and social media is how often should they publish content?  How many videos, blog posts, and status updates are really enough?  The answer depends based on the industry.  Here are three steps tfor determining the right content publishing schedule for your online marketing campaign.

Step One: Research the Competition

You may not consider businesses or brands in your industry as competition, but they can be.  If you publish content about social media, your competition could include the local social media company down the road and large brands like Mashable, both of which publish social media content and news.  

Here’s what you need to do to effectively research the competition and their content publishing frequency.

  • Find a few examples of websites that exhibit where you would like to be today.  
  • Create a spreadsheet similar to the one shown above that allows you to enter posting frequency for your competitor’s blog and top social networks.
  • Add columns for the competitor’s stats such as Twitter followers, Facebook fans, Google+ followers, and blog subscribers (if an RSS feed count is displayed on their website).
  • Also note which competitors have the best engagement from their fans in terms of comments, retweets, likes, and +1’s for their posts.

By creating this kind of analysis, you can determine how often your competitors are publishing content to their blog and social networks.  You will also see where your competitor is receiving the best audience engagement.  

Step Two: Publish and Test

Just because a competitor does well with a certain publishing frequency doesn’t necessarily mean you will.  It may be due to the fact that your audience is just a bit different from theirs or the fact that you might not have the ability to create so many pieces of content.  That’s why you have to test your strategy using the following tools and variables.

  • For your blog, you will want to note any changes in blog subscribers, traffic, comments, and social sharing if you adjust your publishing frequency.
  • For your Twitter, you will want to note any changes in the number of followers gained / lost (try TwitterCounter to keep an eye on this), number of retweets, number of clicks on links shared, and number of traffic referrals from Twitter to your website.  You can use tools like HootSuite, Buffer, and Google Analytics to gain these stats.
  • For your Facebook, you will want to note any changes in the number of new likes to your page and individual story engagement (likes, comments, and shares).  Use your page’s Facebook Insights (as shown in the image above) to see all of these statistics over the last 30 days.

During your testing, remember to include other variables such as publishing at different times during the day to see when your audience is most responsive.  It may depend on your own time zone vs. the time zone where most of your audience resides.

Step Three: Keep an Eye on Trends

Another huge factor when it comes to figuring out how often to publish content is social media trends.  For example, you might find a strategy that works on Facebook for a few months, then start to notice that your audience engagement is declining although you did not change your strategy.  This could be due to a myriad of current trends such as the change of your page’s design to the new Timeline, the EdgeRank algorithm for Facebook has changed to show less of your updates to your fans, or another social network like Pinterest has captivated your audience.

 

By keeping up to date with social media trends, you will be on top of the fact that there might be a new network that your fans are temporarily enamoured with.  If you’re keeping up with your competitor’s activities, you will also know whether those new networks would be worth a try with your audience or potentially just a waste of time.  Just remember that even if something seems to be only a fleeting trend, it’s worth taking advantage of if your audience is obsessed with it.  Even if you only pick up a few months worth of traffic, it’s still additional traffic that you wouldn’t want to miss out upon!