Flow, cadence, rhythm, frequency…

No, this has nothing to do with music, sex, or television … it is, instead, another in my series of social business “secrets”.

In this case, “flow, cadence, rhythm, and frequency” all refer to critical pieces in content sharing, which if ignored, will do more harm than good. At best you may be ignored, at worst you’ll begin losing followers by droves, neither of which will help you achieve your goals.

I referred to this concept in my previous post on ‘automating cross-channel posting of content‘, where I mentioned the potential pitfalls of duplicate content and hinted at the potential to flood your audience with too much stuff. It is this latter concept to which I’ll be speaking…

I’m sure you’ve all encountered the problem: scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus only to run across a period of time where your feed is overtaken by post after post from the same account. I just experienced it today, and often see it happen across varying accounts every week. In some cases I scroll past, ignoring the 10-20 posts all in a row. I may have read the first two, but anything after that doesn’t get a glance, let a lone a second glance. And that is only if, as a user, I feel like the account still have some value for me…. otherwise, or if it gets way out of hand, I’ll simply unfollow. With the prevalence of social activity across various channels, we as users are inundated with content and information. When an account opens those floodgates and inundates us even more, to the point of being the only thing we see in our streams for a period of time, well that causes problems for us both. Not only are we not seeing your content, but we’re not sharing it out and likely even unfollowing so we won’t be flooded like that again… no good comes of it.

So where’s the solution? Simple, really:
Schedule your posts with an eye to the appropriate flow for your channels. For the spaces I manage, my general rule is not more than 2 posts per hour. To do this I use Hootsuite.com’s capabilities balancing manual scheduling with automated RSS feeds posting to various accounts. As with Ifttt.com, close attention needs to be paid to the flow of content, especially if you use the RSS feature provided by Hootsuite. In my case, I’ve set my feeds to check once per hour for new content, and to only post one item at most. This helps me ensure there will never be more than 5 automated posts in a given hour if all feeds find new content for a single account within the same span of time. Most of the time, I only see two posts within the same hour from my RSS feeds, a rate which is well within my audience’s preferences. Other accounts and channels I manage have an even wider frequency due to their audience’s preferences, in which the feeds will post only four times a day total.

Using both ifttt.com and Hootsuite.com I am able to manage the flow of content across channels and ensure the frequency is not flooding my audiences, and at the same time also ensuring our high value content is being seen by manually targeting the high visibility time slots. Using the tools available to you, with a little forethought and knowledge of your audience, tailoring your streams for the most effective posting cadence is easy… More than just easy,  you will find the rewards are exponentially greater than when you are only posting “when you think of it”. Your audience will thank you for it.


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