The Lifespan of Social Media Posts
A key component to a comprehensive social media strategy is going to be consistency. Whichever social media platforms you choose, you are going to need to be posting consistently. So just how consistent do you need to be on those social media platforms? Well, that question is best answered if we break down the overall lifespan of social media posts on different platforms.
Today I'm going to provide some insights on just how long your comments, questions, photos, videos, etc. last on social networks:
Twitter: I've seen people quote 18 minutes, a couple of seconds and several hours. Whether or not one of those times is the most appropriate is not the point. What you should takeaway is that this is probably the most cutthroat platform where your posts disappear the fastest. The lifespan of your tweets largely depends on the amount of people your followers are following. If you are one of 3,000, your tweet is probably going to be closer to that couple of seconds lifespan. Keep it short and sweet and attention-grabbing to make sure your tweet gets seen and gets engagement.
Facebook: There's not going to be a set time for how long your Facebook posts lasts in your followers' newsfeed. Due to Facebook's newsfeed algorithm, depending on how relevant and engaging your post is to your audience is going to determine how long and where your post is placed in newsfeeds. I would say for most businesses the average time a post is predominantly placed in a followers' newsfeed is a couple of hours. According to Facebook studies, most engagement happens within the first few hours of posting content. Make sure your Facebook posts spark high levels of engagement and are posted at relevant times.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is great for having conversations that last for a while. I've even seen really popular discussions gather hundreds of comments and last months. The key to this is to really spark genuine engagement. Ask a controversial question. If you want your name to keep popping up in those LinkedIn group summary eblasts, spark a conversation that you know a lot of people will want to comment on.
Google+: Google+ is a tough one to give a direct answer on as there are many factors to consider. By being consistently active on your Google+ page, more so than any other social media page, you are ultimately going to be adding value to your social relevancy and in turn adding value to your overall SEO making the longterm results a valuable one. Most people aren't following a ton of people on Google+ so your post in their feed will last longer than on other platforms. However, most people aren't checking their Google+ feed that frequently. Your posts in communities will last as long as it takes for other people to post and push your post to the bottom. All of those factors aside, many people use Google+ to specifically search for a topic so make sure every post you post is optimized for search with hashtags and keywords.
YouTube: Your YouTube videos are online indefinitely, unless you take them down. That's why it is incredibly important to make sure your videos are optimized for SEO. You want to really think SEO tactics when creating and optimizing your videos.
Instagram: Your photo on Instagram may only get seen once, so make it a good one. Many of us are scrolling through our followers photos at some point in the day. I know I am, anyway! Again, how many people your followers are following is certainly a factor. I'm usually good with seeing a photo on Instagram once so I will scroll through my feed only up until the last photo I saw. This reiterates the importance of making your instagram photos captivating ones.
Pinterest: Your Pinterest pins are on Pinterest forever. However they are only going to show up in your followers' streams when you initially pin them. That makes the time you post on Pinterest incredibly important. Make sure you are only posting pins at peak hours. Furthermore, don't pin all your photos at once. Space it out. In addition to posting, make sure you are optimizing your pins for search when you post.
A couple of takeaways to consider:
While you may look at all of these estimated time frames and want to only pick the platforms with the longest lifespans, you need to remember that you still have to create an effective social media strategy that reaches your target audience.
Put more thought into the content that's going to have a longer lifespan. Don't spend 5 minutes thinking of an AWESOME tweet. That's not worth it. DO spend some dedicated time creating a thought-provoking conversation on LinkedIn or a video explaining the solution your product or service provides.
Keep posting, and often. Don't feel overwhelmed. I'm still not advocating for you to go out there and spend your entire day on social media, but recognize the importance of continued, regular posting and engagement.
How often you post and on what platform is going to depend entirely on your capabilities to do so and your overall social media strategy. There isn't one set formula to follow, but keeping all these considerations of the lifespan of social media posts in mind will certainly help you round out a consistent posting schedule.