Modern businesses have a unique opportunity to reach potential leads more efficiently than ever with social media.
What?! Do you mean to say that social media isn’t just for millennials to post selfies and DM celebrities?
Yes, you too can use social media no matter what size your business is! You just have to know how!
A massive segment of the population (almost 3 billion worldwide) is equipped with a nifty little supercomputer featuring a suite of social apps right in their pocket. That unprecedented level of connection is an amazing tool for small to medium-sized businesses trying to extend their influence.
But how do you create the most effective social media posts?
Think Human Not Robot
When creating content, it’s important to remember the social aspect of social media. Behind every algorithm is a human being waiting to discover their next favorite product or service. So before we go any further, remember not to build posts you think Facebook or Twitter will like in terms of their algorithms.
You’re posting for Beth down the street! Or Ben from the local auto body shop! Be sure your content doesn’t come off as too canned or manufactured.
On that same note, don’t be afraid to humanize your content. Give your audience a peek behind the curtain. What you might see as a mundane daily task could actually be a great opportunity to give your clients a look at the people and personalities within your business.
Here is an example of a great “peek behind the curtain” post:
Write Unique, Topical Blog Posts to Share
Another major goal when posting to social media is creating something your audience will find value in. You must act as the go-to expert in your industry. In a way, this isn’t dissimilar to what we discussed above.
You have valuable knowledge someone scrolling through Facebook might just be in the market to learn more about.
Blogs are a great content option for social media. Not only do they encourage users to engage with your business online, but they also assist in driving traffic to your website!
Don’t be afraid to reuse blogs you’ve posted in the past too. A lot of content gets lost in the shuffle.
Any given member of your target audience is constantly inundated with posts from their friends, family, and other businesses trying to capture their attention. Feel free to reshare content you really want to get eyeballs on multiple times. Just be sure to maintain a good variety of content between reposts.
Know What Formatting Work Best On Which Platforms
Every social platform has its own set of best practices. What works on Facebook might not translate well to LinkedIn or Twitter. It’s important to expand your view of social media beyond just “content + posting = engagement”.
Rather than creating one general social media post to repurpose across your channels, create based on the parameters of each platform and the demographic of each platform.
Authenticity is key in social media. When you’re not taking the time to consider what kind of content works best on which platform, your posts may come off as poorly crafted or repetitive.
You want to take the time to tailor your message to the platform. Dig into what content each branch of social media supports and keep that in mind as you post.
Tips For Some of the Most Popular Social Platforms:
- This platform supports a variety of content types. You can post text, photos, and videos. You can also share links and they’ll appear on your feed (post) as an embedded preview.
- On a regular Facebook post, you can go up to about 60,000 characters. But it’s recommended that you stick to around 40 - 80 characters to get to the point.
- Visuals are an important way to boost engagement on Facebook.
- You can occasionally use hashtags to connect with a broader audience but they’re not a necessity on this platform.
- Instagram is primarily an image-driven platform although videos are becoming more prevalent due to the introduction of IGTV and Reels.
- Captions can reach up to 2,200 characters but will only show the first 125 until the user expands it by clicking to read more.
- There isn’t necessarily a best practice on caption length but it is highly recommended to include a call to action in order to drum up engagement. You could ask your audience to comment on their thoughts below or follow a link in your bio. Links in your posts aren’t clickable.
- Don’t be afraid to use emojis to match the casual, fun feel of this platform.
- Hashtags are vital on Instagram. They are a great way to connect with those interested in your industry. You can include up to 30 per post.
- You can extend your reach on Instagram by engaging with others in your niche.
- You can include the exact location of where your post was taken which can help local customers find you.
- Short and sweet is the name of the game on Twitter! You have a 140-character limit per tweet but if you have more to say you can start a thread by replying to the original post.
- You can shorten the links you want to include using sites such as Bitly. Bitly also helps you track users clicking on your link.
- Use hashtags wisely on Twitter. Don’t put one in a tweet if it’s not directly relevant. Use them if the topic is trending or related to what you’re tweeting about.
- Visuals can be helpful on Twitter too. You can include up to four photos per post. But, unlike most platforms, it is not necessary to lean on photos as heavily to gain engagement.
- This platform is tailored toward building professional connections. It gives the user an opportunity to network with others in their industry and beyond.
- Hashtags can be helpful on LinkedIn but don’t go overboard. Stick to 3-5 relevant hashtags.
- LinkedIn allows for slightly more text-heavy posts. Your caption can be up to 700 characters. This is a space to showcase your expertise and business ethos.
- Images are encouraged but not necessary if you want to craft a “blog style” post.
- Share relevant news such as upcoming events and company updates.
- Pinterest is another photo-heavy platform. But there is value in crafting good captions here too.
- Many posts on this platform feature a link to a relevant landing page.
- Don’t use any hashtags on Pinterest. They aren’t useful on this platform.
- Keep keywords in mind when crafting your captions. You can write up to 500 characters. Don’t be afraid to go into detail summarizing what you pinned.
Spread Positive Messaging
When your audience thinks of your brand, it should invoke positive emotions. One way to achieve that is to share content that will leave your audience feeling better than before they saw it.
This doesn’t necessarily mean flooding your timeline with positive news headlines. Ideally, positive messaging is a tool to convey that you care. Try to earnestly display how your company benefits the customer and your overall community.
Here’s an example of well-done positive messaging:
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Keep It Evergreen
When creating content, try to keep the long game in mind. Evergreen content has no limit to its viral potential. This type of post can be presented as a helpful blog, an informative infographic, or a relatable video. If a social media post offers something timeless to the audience, it can remain relevant for longer and could possibly circulate through shares for an extended period.
Not all content needs to be evergreen. We realize timely social media posts can serve a great purpose as well. But if you can sprinkle in ageless content in between, you can give your audience something to come back to again and again.
Incorporate User-Generated Content
Lean on your core audience!
If you’re at a point where you notice individuals creating content in reference to your business, use that to your advantage. This is called user-generated content (UGC). Not only is sharing user-generated content a great way to engage your audience it can also build a sense of brand awareness.
Just be sure to give credit where credit is due!
There are a few different ways to source user-generated content. A great place to start is with reviews. Sharing positive reviews can display industry authority and credibility. Another source to pull from is content your customers tag you indirectly on social media.
If you notice someone using your product or shouting out your brand in an image or video, contact the creator and see if you can share it on your page.
As long as you’re following best practices when sourcing user-generated content, this is a great way to craft effective social media posts.
Stay Consistent With Your Post Schedule
Although it’s important to create content for humans, we still must appease the almighty algorithm.
Attempting to figure out what the algorithm rewards is an ever-moving, invisible target. But there are a few tried and true methods to get on its good side. One of the best ways to do that is to post engaging content on a regular basis.
Consistent posting looks slightly different based on the time and resources you can allocate to social media. Ideally, it’s recommended that business posts daily or at least five times a week. But if that’s not possible, aim for every other day or whatever you can commit to carrying on consistently.
Get a Marketing Company Involved
If you don’t have the time to keep up with social media or don’t know which platform is best to engage with your ideal audience, get a social media marketing company backing you up.
If you need assistance keeping up with your social media post schedule, call on Beyond Blue Media to ease the stress. We offer social media management as well as a host of other services to elevate your business to its greatest potential.