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Social Media Marketing: How Much is Too Much?

DATE PUBLISHED: November 06, 2014

Screen_Shot_2013-09-10_at_12.24.28_PMWilliam Blake once said, "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.” We politely disagree, especially within the context of your firm's social media efforts.


Don't get us wrong, social media marketing is hugely important, but there comes a point where the laws of diminishing returns apply. Your followers get desensitized to excessive advertising and sales-y content. Or your team spends too much time on social media marketing at the expense of other critical tasks. Or the numbers simply don't add up as your investments in a particular social network aren't translating into new leads or customers.


Of course, determining how much is "too much" can be an ambiguous and arbitrary thing. Nonetheless, we'd like to take a closer look at the perils of social media excess because if it feels like too much, then it probably is too much.


First and foremost, as yourself, "are we getting the maximum bang for our social media buck?" That is, are certain networks just not paying dividends? If they aren't, drop them or significantly curtail your presence. And for the networks that you decide to keep, reexamine your approach. You may find you can get more out of them by simply working smarter, rather than harder.


The reality is that most brands nowadays need a Facebook and Twitter presence. These are the two pillars upon which you'll build your social media strategy. But are you over-doing it on these networks? For an answer, check your analytics. Facebook Insights, for example, will show you trends pertaining to your Reach. Are the numbers going up or down? If they're going down, ask yourself why? It may be a case of too much posting. If so, dial back and streamline your approach.


Studies suggest that the most successful brands on Facebook post once a day with a "sweet spot" of five to 10 posts a week. Anything beyond that is too much. Also examine the quality of your posts. Facebook posts with photos, for example, perform better than those with just text. Ask questions of your followers to boost engagement. Encourage them to share content. Similarly, reexamine your Twitter posts. Understand the nuances of Twitter by embracing short, newsy, and rapid-fire posts.


The same logic applies to your paid advertising. If you're running Facebook ads, are you converting viewers into customers? If not, why not? Is it the quality of your ad, your copy, your image, the offer, etc.? Again, the numbers don't lie. If there's no ROI, you're doing too much.


Now look at your presence on other networks. Are you a small brand that caters to crafty and arts-focused women? Then you should be on Pinterest and probably Instagram. Conversely, are you a professional brand looking to expand your network and secure high-quality leads? Then LinkedIn is the way to go. Bottom line: your team has finite resources. You can significantly save time and money on social media marketing by dialing back your presence on networks that don't speak to your brand and marketing goals.


Lastly, talk to your team and the individuals who oversee these accounts. Are they overworked? Are they spending too much time clicking around Google+ and not enough time talking to prospects? If so, then your team is indeed plagued by a case of too much social media. Apply the aforementioned decision rules to whittle down your brand's presence and then determine what social media tasks, if any, can be delegated to marketing assistants, thereby freeing up your rock-star sales people to do what they do best.


Now we'd like your feedback. How do you determine how much social media is "too much?" What elements of your social media marketing strategy have you scaled back? What elements have you dialed up?