#TRGrules 10: Your Social Media Posts Don't Last Forever

A fact which many get wrong about social media is the tenth of our #TRGrules, your posts don’t last forever.

In the “set and forget it” times we live and work in, it’s easy to think a post on any social media platform will be there forever…and they will to an extent. The thing is no one* will ever discover those posts if you aren’t doing the best you can to make sure your audience sees them.

Studies repeatedly show the shelf life of posts on the various platforms is close to:

  • Twitter: Seconds to eighteen minutes
  • Facebook: Less than four hours
  • Instagram: A couple of hours to twenty-four hours
  • The rest: Multiple days on LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.

Two points to consider when considering the life of a social media post

  1. The life of your post is determined by your individual audience members. If a fan has 1000 friends and brands pages Liked, the chances they see your Facebook post are less likely. If a fan only follows a dozen or so people on Instagram, including you, then your life expectancy is longer. Every individual feed on every platform is a unique snowflake and you are but just a part of that frozen mixture.
  2. I’ve said it a thousand times in presentations and I will type it again here, “The internet, like a diamond, is forever.” Your content has the opportunity to live forever in the deep pages of Google searches, linked to random hashtags, or in the screen caps of your loyal opposition (this is where the * above comes in). It can also live forever as what is referred to as “evergreen content.” These timeless pieces of website content can remain relevant for lengthy periods of time and can become dozens/hundreds of social media posts.

Your audience is the key factor in the lifespan of your social media posts

The unique snowflakes we mentioned before? Your fans timelines and newsfeeds are not only populated by the content they chose to connect with but also advertising, their health, their availability to peruse social media, their connection to Wi-Fi and electricity, the social media policies of their workplaces, and more.

If your Facebook posts, tweets, and Instagram photos can make it past all of that, you may have a chance at a longer life.

I’ve said this before as well, but your content needs to be relevant, timely, and attractive in the newsfeeds while educating, informing, or entertaining the fans and prospective fans who see it organically.

If you always aim for the goals of the previous paragraph your posts will have a greater life than just throwing stuff online all willy-nilly.

This now completes the first series of the #TRGrules posts. Be sure to let us know if you have found them helpful in the comments below or across social media and stay tuned for the next series. We have a couple hundred left to go!


Gus Wagner

Gus Wagner is the President.Owner of The Rocket Group – an award-winning marketing and communications firm. The Rocket Group has specialized in building effective tools across traditional means and new media for clients in businesses, organizations, and nonprofits since 2001. Gus is also a five-time certified Social Media Strategist, a former Chief of Staff in the Missouri State Senate, a retired national champion amateur hockey coach, and a would like to be a singer/songwriter. His Welsh Corgi, Taffy, lets Gus and his wife, Farrah Fite, live with her in Jefferson City, Missouri.

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