Really this is more like a guideline, and it is what I use to help people decided when they’ve reached their limit. People ask me all the time how many times they should tweet a day or post on Facebook or respond to comments on a blog post. I tell them to try and limit themselves to three in all three scenarios. Greg Pincus, a social media professional out in California and SCBWI member, wrote a great article about limiting one’s self on Twitter hashtags. Greg argues no tweet should have more than three hashtags because it starts to become spammy and unappealing after that.

Most folks/companies/brands that I deal with are just getting their social media campaign off the ground. They want to hire me for three months and get them 10,000 followers. What they wind up learning is that that first three months is the amount of time it takes for them to simply understand how their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and blog accounts all interconnect and work together. A lot of times it takes another three months for them to figure out what kind of voice they want to have online. Many campaign tactics (I stress many, not all) I devote three months to as well. If I think it’s picking up steam, I’ll stick with it, or after three months I’ll scrap it and move to another idea.

Again, let me stress the guideline aspect of this particular “rule”. There are plenty of things I do with social media that do not involve three of anything. I write one or two blog posts a week for myself. I take way more than three pictures when I’m documenting an event (usually I limit myself to 15-20 pics for a single event). A lot of this comes back to one of the recent buzzwords floating around on the blogosphere at the moment, and that is scarcity. Over-indulging in anything is bad, we all know that, and the same applies for comments, posts, content length, etc. Your time and your knowledge are valuable, so treat it like currency. Printing too much money drives the value of the dollar down (pay attention U.S. Treasury, I know you are reading this). The same can be said of your content. If you are commenting and posting all day, your followers are going to get sick of it unless you are really, really entertaining, or you are some kind of news source in your industry.

One last thing before I let you go though. Here is the perverbial horse. Stay consistent. Don’t go to the other extreme and start posting sporadically and only once a month. Know the platforms you are working with and what people expect. 1-3 times a day on Twitter/Facebook and once a week on a blog allows you build up valuable content geared towards your target audience. You are building a foundation, and only time is going to see a buildup of loyal, engaged followers.