Before jumping into frequency, let’s go shopping… I went into one of the big membership-based warehouse stores the other day. On my way to the first section I had to visit, I was halted by a smiling young lady standing in front of a big display selling hairbrushes or curlers or something like that.
After I politely rebuffed her – smiling and pointing to my balding head – she wisely tried the “makes a great gift” tactic. I said no thanks and went on my way. But because I had to go to several different sections of the store – and back again – I kept having to go past her and the display. The second time, she looked at me, took a moment, realized she’d already spoken to me and smiled, then left me alone.
The Three-Word Lesson about Frequency
That’s how it’s done, people. The lesson is simple: Don’t overdo it.
And while this lesson can be applied to almost anything in life, this is especially crucial for your online marketing efforts.
Fine-Tune Your Frequency with these Tips
1. Balance is Key
Mr. Miyagi was absolutely right – balance is key. (Remember the film, The Karate Kid.)
You don’t want to be pushy or annoying, especially with customers and prospects. They’ve invited you into their world – via email inbox or website visit or mailing list – and that’s a privilege they can take away if you’re too overbearing.
HOWEVER, you don’t want to be forgotten, either! Staying “top of mind” does mean some sort of regular communication.
Finding that perfect balance is tricky, and there’s no single solution for every digital marketer.
So let’s get to it. But I’m not going to give you a fully-researched infographic or lots of data to back it up. I will give you my common-sense, 23-years-of-communications-experience, laser-focus-on-the-customer recommendations.
Heck, I’m a consumer too – I know I get annoyed when someone inundates me with marketing messages. And I also know how they “lose” me if I don’t hear from them for a while.
Here we go.
2. To Blog, or Not to Blog
So you think you want to be a blogger? A personal blog is fun – you say what you want, whenever you want, and if people read it? Great.
But a company blog? An entirely different story. It takes planning, strategy, skill, and time to create an interesting blog that people will actually want to subscribe to.
What they say: Opinions on blogging frequency vary from “once every two weeks” to “three to five a day.” Those on the high end believe that the more blogs you post, the more traffic you get; some believe that there’s a magic number (400?) that increases your presence exponentially.
What I say: While it depends on your industry – and quite frankly, how often you (or your marketing team) can commit to researching, writing, editing and posting a blog – I usually advise my clients to post one every other week. However, they need to be flexible and willing to do more. If there’s big news regarding the company or industry, they need to be ready to post about it.
Pro Tip: Have something to say. Don’t just blog for the sake of blogging. For example, everyone does a holiday blog – so make yours more personal. Talk about your company’s charitable activities, or share a happy story about one of your employees.
3. Demented and Sad, but Social
Being an over-sharer on social media can make things awkward. Most folks stick to photos of their dinner or kids at soccer practice, or funny memes.
But those folks who post everything – from problems with their spouse to their bratty kid’s bad behavior to their opinions on every subject – we simply don’t need to hear from them that much.
What they say: Do a search for “social media frequency” and you’ll see plenty of charts telling you to post anywhere from once a week to once a day, to 3–5 times a day. I saw one chart that recommended up to 30 tweets a day!
The thing that almost all the charts had in common? They recommend posting at least once to each social channel every day.
What I say: I’m just not sure every company in the world has something to say every single day. Instead of scraping up something to say just to fulfill a goal of “we posted today,” focus on qualityrather than quantity.
Facebook and Twitter? I’d say 3–5 original posts a week. Share relevant news/posts that you see whenever you feel like it. (Make sure to add a comment/viewpoint though.) And “Like” as much as you want, as long as it’s relevant and professional.
LinkedIn? That’s a little different. You’re talking to your professional network, so it really better be important. So in my mind, you can be a little less active – if that helps ensure that what you dopost is interesting to both your customers/prospects and your peers.
4. Inbox Hero
Email is the most personal online marketing you can do, because unless your customer/prospect has separate personal and business accounts, your email will be there next to their bank statement, the latest matches from their favorite dating site, and that encouraging note from their mom!
When someone subscribes to your email list, they’re saying “I’m interested in what you have to say – so much, in fact, that I’m letting you into my personal inbox.”
You’re basically an invited guest, so don’t track mud all over their (virtual) carpet.
What they say: Many agree that 2–3 emails a month is about right. Of course, there are more aggressive marketers who send out 6–8 emails a month, as well as more conservative folks who keep it to one message a month. A few marketers make a case for reaching out on a daily basis, because there’s a segment of the population that doesn’t mind that level of frequency.
What I say: Your email list won’t remember you if they only hear from you from time-to-time. But most people will unsubscribe if you send too many emails. (I do this, and plan on doing it more often.)
One idea I love is offering your subscribers different email options, perhaps letting them choose between daily, weekly, monthly, or even quarterly emails.
Also awesome is the ability to tailor your emails to a subscriber’s interests, past purchases, and any other data you might have on them. Showing them you care enough to personalize their email can go a long way to building loyalty.
5. Upload Updates to Your Website
I’ve said it a million times: Your website is the online face of your company. And it’s very likely the first place a prospect will see you, learn about you, and hopefully interact with you. So, it needs to be up-to-date in every way.
That said, you don’t need to rebuild or redesign your website frequently – we’re focusing on the content. News, your About Uspage, your Products/Servicespages, your Careerspage… these are the areas where fresh content is needed on a regular basis.
What they say: While daily updates don’t make sense for everyone, adding new content on a schedule can be very effective for SEO purposes. Plus, it tells frequent visitors that you’re actively and continually improving.
What I say: This is super-common sense. Don’t redo the whole website, but add (or edit) content frequently enough that a regular visitor will see the new/changed material.
Pro Tip: Let them know you’re active – make sure it says “Copyright 2018” in your footer!
The Golden Rule of Frequency
It all comes down to this:
Be present – but not TOO present.
You want your customers and prospects to know that you exist, what you’re about, and what you offer. You want them to recognize your brand when they see it – but you don’t want them getting tired of you either. The goal is to find the posting frequency sweet spot for your brand. Use the tips above, and strive always to follow that golden rule!
How often do you send emails or post blogs? Do you have a “calendar” to regulate frequency? Post in the comments and share this with your social networks if you found this interesting!