Whether you are new to the world of social media or just want to improve your strategy to increase site traffic and sales, there are a couple rules you should keep in mind. Dominating your followers’ newsfeeds with random information should not be your goal. So, if your strategy is simply to post more, it’s time to slow down a little.

It’s important to listen to what your followers say to know what they really want from you. The balance is doing this while also putting information in front of them that will benefit you (e.g. coupons, discounts, giveaways, product information). Sound like a challenge? It is!

Keep these five concepts in mind, and you will enjoy your social media journey—and your followers will appreciate you for it!

  1. More is not always better. The unfollow button is easily accessible and will be clicked if you are uploading content every three minutes. “Quality over quantity” is a great rule of thumb for social media. Each post needs purpose! Don’t be afraid to sit down and brainstorm with your team what to post—and when to post to avoid overflowing your audience’s newsfeeds.
  2. Don’t over-advertise. Let’s say you sponsor a local golf outing. Your followers do not want to see the score of each team after every hole. An effective post that your audience could enjoy or relate to may be a photo of the winning team with the caption, “Congratulations to the champs of the 2015 golf outing—ABC Company! We are proud to sponsor great events like this. Thanks to all the teams who participated this year.” A post like this connects with people (remember there are people on the other side of the screen) while incorporating your business involvement, since you sponsored the event. Always pushing your followers to buy your products becomes annoying. Stay aware of over-advertising, and minimize the amount of content about yourself.
  3. Balance. Listening can be just as important as speaking when it comes to social media. Ask your followers what they think about an issue or upcoming product, then back off the keyboard and view their responses. Asking who they want to win your golf outing can open an opportunity for conversations and input. Allow them to interact with you instead of just posting all about the event yourself. When they engage and talk about your outing, their followers will see it as well, beginning the snowball effect.
  4. We aren’t all experts. Be simple. Make sure your content can be understood by the general public and consumed easily. If your followers cannot understand your post, they will skip over it without considering the point you were trying to make.
  5. Trade shoes. Place yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself, “Is this post specific? Will I gain helpful information from it?” You don’t want your audience to approach your content as “just another post from a typical business.” It needs to stand out, be useful, and be current so your followers are excited to see your posts, instead of skip them.

Now you are ready to begin your social media campaign—or give it another try! Use these five steps to maintain the attention of your followers instead of suffocating them.