How to Avoid Oversharing On Social Media
A couple of days ago, I had the best conversation with two business owners on Instagram. A question was posed, “Is there a such thing as oversharing on social media?” and “When does it ever become information overload?”. In other words, are we sharing way too much of our value on social media for free? My answer was no. Are we giving too much away and overwhelming our audience? My answer from a consumption point was possibly.
A brand that is valuable will always be valuable. It will never run out of content to share and use. It should always teach these 3 people: the beginner, the emerger, and the advanced. These 3 people are important because there are members of the audience that learn and understands at different levels. All of the content should lead them on a path to the destination where the brand needs them to go. This destination can be a sign up for an email list, a purchase, or to read a blog post, etc.
Most brands use social media to mini-blog to prove its expertise. I'm assuming you're doing the same with your social media accounts. Your captions help you build influence and income in the social community. While all of this is important to do, captions should be used as social paths to your audience’s next steps.
Don't get so wrapped up in proving you know your stuff that you don't have anything else to talk about on your blog or newsletter. Over Sharing can happen when you give so much information that the reader feels there is no need to learn more. Oversharing removes curiosity. Therefore, it's important to leave a little for the imagination and create curiosity that encourages your audience to take the next step. I have 3 tips to help you avoid oversharing on social media:
Create social paths
Social paths are content created to intentionally lead your audience down a path. It takes them from one level to the next. All of the content they consume will depend on your business goals as well as their business goals. Understand that the content on your social media accounts should be sweet and precise. It should be easy to digest and it should encourage action at the end of the content. To avoid oversharing, share information in small increments of the content you need your audience to consume and transfer them off of social media to a more intimate format of content.
Snippets of your content should be used to guide your audience down the social paths that you create. If you have a blog, use a few sentences from your blog or create new sentences from one or two key points in the blog to guide your audience to the rest of the article or blog post on your website.
If you have a paid product or opt-in that you want your audience to sign up for, give a tip or two and tell them to sign up for the entire guide, class, checklist or whatever you offer to receive the rest of your content.
You can also use teasers to guide your audience to your content. For example, your graphic or photo can say 10 tips to do XYZ. Share 2 out of the 10 valuable tips in your caption and tell your audience to get the other tips at the designated location.
Apply Show Vs. Tell Method
The show vs. tell method is a way measure if your content should be free or paid. Depending on how your audience comprehends your content, they’ll receive more value from a paid product that will teach them step-by-step processes vs. your free content that they will only read.
Let’s consider a blog post for example. Your blog should inform your audience of your topic and possibly include a few steps, depending on what you are teaching. This content is free and provides value. It shares enough to educate your audience or make them aware of your topic. Their next step should lead into your paid product.
Let’s also consider a video tutorial or a series of video tutorials. Both options take more time and resources. Lengthy tutorials should be considered as a paid product like a e-course or an e-guide. I understand that there are content upgrades like free checklists and ebooks that some bloggers or business owners provide for their audience to create more value, but trust me, discernment is used carefully. For example, a business may include a free 10-page guide in their content, but I highly doubt that they will include a free 183-page guide for free in a blog post because it takes more time and more resources to complete. Most likely the content that goes into extreme detail will be a product for sale.
To tie all of this to your social media account, think about the content you are sharing and what takes more time, money and resources for you produce or teach your audience. If you are taking way more time to teach your audience, consider the first two points that I’ve made in this post. Create a social path and use excerpts to lead to your lengthier content. Before you lead them to your lengthier content, whether free or paid, be sure to measure how you want to distribute it with show vs. tell method.
These 3 tips will help you avoid over sharing valuable content on social media. It will also help your audience digest smaller pieces of information. Always use social paths to take your audience off of social media to your website or directly to the destination you want them to go. When using excerpts on social media, make sure your points are meaty and super valuable. Your captions don’t have to be long. They do need to be easy to understand with shorter sentences. They do need to end with a call-to-action to their next destination. Lastly, always evaluate your time and resources in the decision to make your content free or paid.
The worse thing to do is discourage further action and remove curiosity from your audience by overloading them with content. Be sure to insert their next steps in your captions as it will allow you to meet your business goals. From a business standpoint, you should never run out of value or worry about oversharing your expertise. Strut your stuff and toot your horn!
Do you feel like people on social media give out way too much of the good stuff? What are your thoughts on the oversharing topic? Comment below.