17/08/2016 10:04 AM AEST | Updated 17/08/2016 10:04 AM AEST

These Are The Signs You're Overdoing It On Social Media

TBH, no one cares about what you're eating.

Getty Images
Just wait til they read this witty status...

When it comes to social media, there are all sorts of different types of users. There are the old hands, who have been around since Facebook started, thanks very much, and have a pretty good understanding of the acceptable ways to navigate all the relevant platforms. Or at the very least, the ones that count.

There are the newbies (most likely of Baby Boomer generation) who will tag you in family photos and leave comments like "Hi Kevin, tried calling your mum the other day, how is the family? We are good, enjoying the warmer weather, looking forward to catching up in September! Get your mother to call me. Love Aunty Barb XOXOX."

There are the lurkers, who are online all the time but don't post much. There are the teeny-boppers who will follow Justin Bieber's accounts religiously and can't even DEAL with the Justin versus Selena Instagram drama right now.

And then there are the people who live and breathe social media, to the point where a meal can't be eaten or a gym work-out completed without the whole world knowing.

While this is annoying enough on a personal level, it can be disastrous for businesses as followers lose interest in the constant updates and choose to focus their social media attention elsewhere (at a competitor, perhaps?)

So how can you tell if you need to lay off the social media love? The Huffington Post Australia spoke to social media strategist Debra Sinclair of Liquid Mango Consulting to find out.


"I would have to say, if you're posting a lot and people are starting to unlike your Facebook page or Instagram profile or are starting to unfollow you on Twitter, that's one big sign," Sinclair told HuffPost Australia.

"I wouldn't post for the sake of posting -- definitely in terms of social media, it's always going to be about quality over quantity of content. Be mindful of your audience and who you are trying to connect with.

"If you are posting too much, you will be bombarding people. They will unlike, unfriend or unfollow you and once that happens it's very difficult to get them back."

According to Sinclair, listening to the feedback you're getting from your followers is of utmost importance. It could be radio silence (she lists receiving low engagement on your profile as another tell-tale sign you're overdoing it) or it could be the opposite.

"People will let you know on social media if you're posting too much. As you may have already realised, social media users like to voice their opinion," she said.

Caption this

A photo posted by Sarah Ellen (@sarah3llen) on

Everyone's relationship to their audience is different. Model and social media star Sarah Ellen posts "two to five times a day, five days a week".

"It's all around knowing exactly who your audience is and not just posting for the sake of it, making sure there is a purpose behind everything you post," Sinclair continued. "Social media is all around building relationships. It's not always around hard selling and promoting and marketing all the time.

"It's about connection and relationships, and if you over-post, you run the risk of damaging those relationships."

When it comes to figuring out how best to approach your social media strategy, Sinclair says there is one word to keep in mind: engagement.

"One of the most important elements of any social media strategy is engagement," Sinclair said. It needs to play a really big part in your approach.

If you have no connection or engagement on your profile, it looks as though you don't care about those who are following you.

"Absolutely post content that is of value, but also reach out to people and see if you can start meaningful conversations.

"I often see accounts, for example on Twitter, where there's marketing messages one after the other but very little conversation or engagement. I see that quite a lot, and I see it on the other plaftorms as well.

"Somebody using their platforms as self promotion rather than personally connecting with their community is never going to work. If you have no connection or engagement on your profile, it looks as though you don't care about those who are following you."

comment below your favorite marine animal

A photo posted by if i die i'm a legend (@taylornoticed) on

Taylor Swift is known for engaging with her fans on social media.

In terms of what you decide to share, Sinclair says your target audience should always be front of mind.

"Think before you post," she advised. "Actually, before you post, tweet or even share anything. You might want to share something from another account, but before you press the button, think about your target audience.

"Will that content be useful to them? Is it meaningful and relevant? Sometimes what we think is great won't have any relevance to our followers. Be mindful and make sure there's a purpose behind everything you post."

If you don't get it right the first time, don't beat yourself up about it. Figuring out your social media presence and strategy may take time -- and some mistakes.

"Don't be afraid to trial and test," Sinclair said. "The frequency of content can differ across the board for everyone. Trial and test what works well. It can change all the time."

If you're a business and you're posting once a week on Facebook, you're not going to connect with your audience. You do need that visibility as well.

Just to make things even more confusing, what and how often you post may also vary platform to platform, which is something to keep in mind if you are running multiple accounts.

"Generally we will have different target audiences on different networks," Sinclair said. "Don't post the same thing across every platform. Not only might it not be relevant, but your content could begin to look automated. It might look as though it's not very personal.

"If there is content that is relevant on, say, both Facebook and LinkedIn, you might want to consider re-positioning that content for each platform."

In terms of a general guide for businesses, Sinclair says five posts per week on Facebook is a good place to start.

"Then you can trial or test from there," she said. "If you're a business and you're posting once a week on Facebook, you're not going to connect with your audience. You do need that visibility as well.

"I'd recommend a minimum of five posts per week. From there, you can tell by the response of the audience whether you are posting too much or not."