Why you shouldn’t post in real time on social media.

We live in a world where sharing our lives is the norm. We as a society have never been more connected to each other’s lives than we are now. This is a double edge sword if you ask me. Good because we feel less alone, we can keep up with friends and family members from afar, we have access to people we may have never met without social media and heck we’re able to build full-on businesses with social media! It’s bad because well, everyone has an opinion and we all don’t agree sometimes leading people to feel more comfortable being a bit harsher behind a screen. It also can take us away from being really THERE sometimes. Folks are getting addicted to their screens and social media at alarming rates and furthermore, a lot of people are closing themselves in due to social media.

Now, I’m not here to bash on social media and tell you how awful it is. I would never do that because frankly, social media is literally my job. I love social media just as much as the next gal (or guy). However, I’m here to tell you, STOP posting in real time! Seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I am under no circumstances telling you to stop documenting your life. Take photos, videos, whatever, make memories and save those moments forever. Yes, always keep doing that, you’ll never regret having taken too many photos or videos of whatever is happening around you. I’m just saying wait a little to post and here are four reasons why.

Live in the moment

Okay so I touched on this a tiny bit already, but it’s truly the most important point. Be present where you are. Think about what you’re missing when you’re head down quickly writing a caption, or tagging your location, or finding that perfect GIF or WHATEVER! Things are happening around you all the time are you missing out. Take your photo or video then put your phone away or tuck it back into your pocket. Done. There is no need for anyone to know exactly what you’re doing right when you’re doing it.

Lately, you may have noticed people are taking “social media breaks.” To that, I say, YASSSS honey! I think taking a break from our crazy social media world is so so healthy. I also feel that it helps you to learn to stop posting in real time because you’ve committed to taking a break.

As I said before still document your life if that’s what you want to do. In my honest and true opinion again, you will never regret having taken too many photos or videos. The best part is, deleting whatever you don’t want in the end is pretty easy too.

Write better captions

Okay so maybe you don’t care if your captions are all that great or not buttttt what’s the point of sharing your memories if you’re not explaining them well. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So why not give it all the words it deserves? When you’re posting in the moment you might not have all of the right words to articulate what was happening in that moment, how that day may you feel or tell the story that the memory deserves.

People connect to other people via stories, no I don’t mean those 15-second videos on Instagram. I mean your story, who you are and what made that moment something you wanted to remember. Think about how you can write about that in a way that will make someone want to not only keep reading but also want to keep following to know more. Trust me when I say that you’ll be able to think that through more thoroughly when you have a little more time on your hands.

Get those hashtags right

Do you ever edit your photo perfectly just how you want it, then write the BEST caption, only to be stumped by what hashtags to use? I think we’ve all been there. This is just another reason ding for posting in real-time. If you wait to post that perfectly edited photo and perfectly written caption will go a lot further if you just take the time to think about your hashtags.

You can make this easier on yourself by creating a bank of hashtags in a note on your phone. To find hashtags that are worth using just use the explore tab on Instagram and type in things you might post about. See what comes up and look at the hashtags people are using on their photos, you can cobble together a few sets of hashtags pretty quickly that way. It shouldn’t take you too long to do so either. To take this one step further you could engage (like/comment) with photos that are using the hashtags you’re putting in your “banks” this will encourage others to engage back with you as well. Win-win situation.

Stretch your photos farther

Posting later will allow you to figure out how you can fit posts into your content calendar better with more purpose. Now obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone. However, if you’re a blogger, influencer or run a business planning your posts is essential. It will not only save you time in the long run but it will also save you a headache as well. Staying away from posting in real-time will allow you to really think about your content calendar to make the most of it. In addition, you may be able to post photos from the same day more than once, giving you more content to fill your calendar. Win!

Exceptions

There are exceptions to just about every rule out there and this topic is no different. That being said I have two exceptions to not posting in real-time. Here are my thoughts on when you SHOULD post in real-time:

Events: when you’re at an event and you want to share via stories live with your audience. I’m not saying go crazy but I am saying capture some moments here and there to share with the folks who couldn’t make it. In this case, also encourage event-goers to tag you in their stories and posts so you can share them AFTER the event is over.

Live video: This is pretty obvious, live video can’t be anything but real-time because well, you’re LIVE. This is a unique one: there’s exception to the exception here, have a plan before going live. Don’t just go live out of nowhere (or at least don’t make this a regular thing) tell your followers beforehand that you’re planning to go live, remind them about that planned upon time and show up ready to go. When I say have a plan when you go live I mean, have a dedicated topic and stick to it. If you’re doing a Q&A come prepared with a few questions ready to answer to get the ball rolling, this will help “seed” your audience.

Overall posting in real-time isn’t a good strategy. You’ll get more out of your audience by waiting and thinking through what you’re about to post.