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Thin Line Between Informing and Annoying

Highlights
-Too many companies use a blog strategy when posting content on social networks.
-Over-posting will quickly get you unfriended, forever ending your online relationship.
-Posting less often is perfectly okay in social networking.
-Give all your posts the “re-post test.” Is it good enough that your fans will re-tweet?

Social Networking – the less demanding blog

Ten years ago, blogs were the rage. Everyone from the CEO to the custodian launched one, chronicling every scintillating step of their daily routine. But the harsh reality of blog life quickly became evident. They take a lot of time and a lot of energy. After this initial flurry, posts became more sporadic. Then, most casual bloggers finally gave up.

But a savior was on the horizon – social networks. Now, you could let the world know about your life without the exhausting toil of creating your own content. Drop a tweet about an interesting article, or solicit advice on a conundrum in Facebook. These new tools made it easy to painlessly communicate with thousands of people simultaneously.

Social Network Posting is Different

A lot of companies are making a big mistake with social networking. They are applying the outdated rules of blogging to the very different medium of social networks.

In the blogging world, one of the most egregious sins is lack of content. A blog with a lot of white space is unforgiveable. A glance at a blog instantly delivers a scorecard on that person’s productivity. The number of posts is clearly laid out, along with the dates of the most recent updates. While quality is always in important component for any blog, there is also an expectation of volume and timeliness . Great blogs show their passion with frequent posts and continual updates.

But the same is not true of social networking. There is no white space on anyone’s Facebook Friend Feed. Most of us have scores of friends who we follow and we rarely visit our friend’s Facebook homepage. We use our newsfeed to track the activities of all our friends and it will always be full. If one friend does not post for awhile, another friend’s post will be right there to fill in the gap. This means sporadic posting is less noticeable. Because we all have so many friends on our feeds, we tend not to notice if a specific person hasn’t posted in awhile.

So quality , timeliness and volume are the foundation of great blogging. However, only two of these make the cut for social networking – quality and timeliness . Volume becomes less important, and can even become a liability.

Productivity Will Be Punished

Few people have ever stopped following a blog because it contained too many posts, but the same is not true of social networks. None of us want one person monopolizing our Twitter feed. We want a little bit from a lot of different people. If anyone posts too many times on a Facebook newsfeed, bam! They’ll be dropped as a friend, or their buddy will press the “hide” button, effectively silencing their chatter forever. One mistake can get them banished, and once they’re on that “hide person” list, they probably won’t get a second chance.

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Graeme Newell is a broadcast and web marketing specialist who serves as the president and founder of 602 communications. You can reach Graeme at gnewell@602communications.com.

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