Why You Should Avoid Update Overload – And How To Do It

How many times have you heard the mantra about keeping social media followers engaged by constantly updating your profiles with fresh and unique updates?

And yet what a lot of entrepreneurial peeps don’t realise is that it is actually possible to have too much of a social media presence…

It’s a common mistake – and it’s a BIG one.
update overload
photo credit: Amy McTigue via photopin cc

I know that there are plenty of people who seem to suddenly swamp my social newsfeeds with constant updates, most of which aren’t even of interest to me. It feels invasive, impersonal and overwhelming – it feels like, well… spam. So what do I always end up doing? I ‘un-friend’ or ‘un-follow’ so they can’t bug me anymore. Simple.

And how many other people do you think have the same reaction? I’m betting you’ve even done it yourself a few times.

In fact research shows that ‘too many updates’ is the BIGGEST reason why consumers choose to ‘un-friend’.

And that means that despite their best intentions, those companies that congest social media networks are in fact seriously stunting their growth and damaging their reputation – both of which can have dramatically long-term negative effects.

So how do you go about maintaining a high level of engagement and staying front of mind without turning into some serially sad and annoying social pest?

Unfortunately there is no tried and tested formula for this as it is different for each unique business. However there are some core principles you should follow that apply to ANY enterprise to help them achieve the right balance and make those fewer posts have the biggest impact. Here they are:


Post too many times a day

Seriously, this is SO important. Most businesses should probably be posting once or possibly 2-3 times a day at most if you have something truly AMAZING that just can’t wait.

Post too close together

Give your posts a good head start on one another. Spread them out and keep things varied by posting them at different times of the day.


People aren’t interested in yesterday’s news – they’ve heard it all before and they certainly don’t want to see it again. It’s boring.

Post for the sake of posting

Typically people want to find out about exciting, relevant news like special offers, deals and new product launches, or they want to be entertained with humour or stuff surrounding the latest buzz. Cherry pick your posts and only give your followers the best – no-one wants to know what you had for lunch.

Be selfish

Forget ‘Me! Me! Me!’ because smug self-promotion is a real turn-off. Create a healthy balance of posts and diversify by including news, events and offers from complementary (not competitive) sources within your industry, or anything else that might be relevant to your target audience.


Time it right

Think about your audience. When are they most likely to check their profiles? After work? When they’re having a break at lunchtime? First thing in the morning? Reach them when they are likely to pay the most attention.

Know your fans

Give them what they want! Don’t know what they want? Get them to interact and tell you by asking them with a status update or tweet, or with a poll. Check how well each of your posts is doing with analytics tools like Facebook Insights and use that info to give them more of what they love most.

Keep it short and sweet

Ever see those long, winding posts that are so long they don’t even fit into the newsfeed? Yes? Ever bother to click on them to read more? Nope. Your fans and followers are busy people and they don’t want to sit reading monotonous monologues until their brains dribble out through their noses – they’ve got better things to do. Updates should be short, simple and snappy so they can be easily consumed in a single bite.

Like I said, there is no magic formula for this so invest some time experimenting to discover what frequency and timing of posts works best for you. Follow these guidelines and keep times and content varied to boost engagement – you’ll soon be a master at avoiding the major mistake of update overload and be maximising the potential of every post and update you make!

About the Author: James makes small businesses bigger. He’s worked with some of the world’s largest brands and companies to market their products and services online – including Disney, Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, Virgin, Coca Cola, MTV and many others. Find out more and read business growth tips at http://www.JamesTNoble.com