Social Presence vs. Activity: Cracking the ‘How Much Is Too Much?’ Question


On last week’s Social Local Media launch webinar, we emphasized that to be socially engaging, local businesses and media companies alike must be both socially present and active. In other words, just stepping out on a platform and claiming a profile page won’t cut it. This idea begs several questions, though. How do you define “active”? Are there data to support this assertion? And how much is too much?

Of course, social activity is in the eye of the beholder … or the producer. Activity (volume and creativity of posts, frequency of interaction, etc.) is predicated on whom your audience is, what they expect, and how you can best deliver value to them. There isn’t necessarily a tidy answer to all of this.

There are, however, recent data from two different sources pointing to direct benefits from higher content output and engagement efforts. HubSpot, an inbound marketing software company, released study results showing that active small-business blogs (at least five articles over a seven-day window) spur nearly seven times more organic search traffic than more dormant blogs. Consequently, these SMB bloggers also drive 55 percent high website traffic and 97 percent more inbound links.

These numbers are strong reinforcement of a point that my colleague Andrew Shotland made on the webinar: that even as social networks proliferate and grow ever-sophisticated, “Web 1.0” social tools (blogging, forums, reviews) remain critical to SMBs’ social presence and brand reputation.

As for the newer, “Web 2.0” social tools, there is similar evidence. Postling, a social management platform that we recently reviewed, published an infographic (see below) based on polling of a sample of its small-business clients indicating that those who post on social networks 8+ times per week draw an average of 10.3 comments per day. By contrast, small businesses falling between one and seven posts per week net fewer than one-half of one comment per day.

Some accounting for the samples must take place, as SMBs working with HubSpot and/or Postling are generally tech savvy and more likely to be early adopters of new marketing platforms and techniques. Still the evidence is clear: get on and get posting!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jason Rogers

    While the potential power of social media is clear, Postling’s results miss some key points. Who is posting, what are they saying, and what type of business? Social media lend themselves to businesses that inspire a connection with customers. Also important is personality – is the writer engaging? Last but not least is whether or not the posts are interesting and relevant to the reader. I met Mark from Fish Window Cleaning at the Int’l Franchise Assoc. convention two weeks ago. His is not really a sexy business, but he has an impressive number of followers because he uses his personality and humor. Most businesses should be on Facebook, but if they don’t have anything to say, or aren’t adept at saying it, the frequency of posts won’t matter. As we guide our SMB clients we need diverse social media tactics to meet a variety personalities and needs. Looking forward to hearing more from the Social Local Media Advisory.

  2. adrian aragones

    I really enjoyed the article. My blog is only 2-weeks old but I must say that our FB page (3100+ friends) + 2 FB pages (600+likes) account for 80% of the visits our site has generated. Moreoever, the social networks are consistently growing the number of new visits that we are experiencing.

    I’m interested to see how we fare in our first three months go. I post once per day and sometimes as many three times on holidays (such as labor day) – and the numbers are there. Hopefully this isn’t a short-lived experience with respect to the viewership.but we’ll see. I’ll gladly keep all posted.

    Saludos from west-Texas!

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