Quantity vs Quality – A real world test

“But, how often should I post?” is a question that has been asked countless times, in numerous blogs and conferences. And those looking for an easy answer are often frustrated.

The statistics say more is better – here is one breakdown from Volusion sure to make your head spin:

  • Facebook 1-2 times per day. HubSpot’s research found that results varied based on how many followers you have. But for most brands, any more than twice a day and you’re likely to see less engagement per post.
  • Twitter 5-10 times a day. On the fast-moving platform, more is generally better so you increase your chances of being seen.
  • LinkedIn 20 times per month, or about once per business day. LinkedIn’s research shows that, with that frequency, you should be able to reach 60% of your audience on the platform.
  • Instagram 1-2 times per day. Union Metrics found that top-performing brands on Instagram post an average of 1.5 times a day.

If you manage a Facebook Page, you know the pressure to post is real. How many times have I received a notice from Facebook to post something, just hours after I did just that?

Then there are those, including myself, who counsel a “quantity over quality” approach. Advising clients, readers and conference attendees to stop filling up on junk food and instead focus on a balanced diet of content and updates.

But what will you lose if you focus on quality over quantity? And what will you gain?

Recently, we had a chance to put the theories of quantity vs quality to the test. A client, who had been managing their content marketing and social media, asked us to take over the channels temporarily, and while we were doing it, make recommendations as to how they could improve results.

Reviewing their channels, we observed they were posting frequently – sometimes 3 times per day – but the content being shared was generic, overdesigned and/or repetitive.

Our recommendations – reduce the number of times we post each week, and ensure posts are more relevant, more attractive and more engaging.

Then we tracked the results. (For purposes of this article we are going to focus on one channel, rather than all of them).

Dark grey is November/December 2018 when run by the client.
Light blue January/February 2019, after we took over.

The bank was very active in November and December, posting 59 items to their Facebook Page. After going dark in January, Sundin took over in February, sharing far less.

At the end of the month, we noticed a steep decline in impressions and likes, which was not surprising given the smaller quantity of posts but caused a bit of worry for the client who may be questioned about the change.

Does that mean our recommendations led to failure? Absolutely not.

Because the numbers that demonstrate true engagement & interest – new fans, comments, and shares – experienced an upturn.

Breaking it down 

In November & December, the client posted 59 items to Facebook and received on average:

  • .27 shares per post
  • .25 comments per post
  • .16 new fans per post

In January & February, we posted 16 items and received on average:

  • 1 share per post
  • 2.4 comments per post
  • 2.3 new fans per post

What this says to us, and hopefully to you, is that when we spend the time creating quality content we see improvement in metrics that demonstrate true interest (vs “impressions” which basically means it crossed through someone’s feed), and drives true engagement.

In an ideal world, we would post better quality content more frequently, but we also recognize that time is a resource most don’t have enough of. So if you have to choose between quality and quantity?

Pick quality and make your efforts count.