Constant posting is important to keep your subscribers interested and following your online platforms, but like most things, quality outweighs quantity in the world of social media. In this video, we will give you tips on forming the best type of social media post, broken down by format. Before we get started, make sure that you have at least one, but ideally, multiple people tasked with responding to social media engagement and comments. This will ensure that none of your audience feels ignored and fosters an active conversation, which is the whole goal of social media. Decide for your company if you prefer to have everyone speak as one voice, or use individual initials at the end of specific author’s posts. Either way, a clear language, voice, and tone should be established and agreed upon by anyone who is engaging in social media. This standard format and policy will assure that the posts don’t feel convoluted and appear streamlined with a focused goal.

Short Written Posts
Whether limited to the 140-character boundary of Twitter or writing a few sentences on Facebook, the short post is the most common and often the most important type of post of which you should have a mastery. The key to this post is getting your point across as quick as possible. There’s no time for a hook, so don’t worry about any bells and whistles. There’s no beginning, middle, or end in these types of posts, just your subject and a link if necessary. If there is a link, keep it to the end of the post, and explain what people will be clicking on. If there’s room, explain why they want to click it. Other examples of short written posts include thought-provoking comments, asking a question to your audience, speaking on a trending topic, or interesting subjects related to your industry. These posts are best suited for Facebook and Twitter.

Long Written Posts
A long-written post is best saved for platforms like Medium, Tumblr, or Facebook. These shouldn’t be used as frequently as short written posts, but rather sporadically posted around once per week. If the social media platform allows it, utilize a “Read More” function. This will cover the long wall of text that may turn off some visitors, but tease with the first few sentences of the post. Hooks are important in this form of writing, as you need something to lure the visitor into reading the full content. Be sure to fill this kind of post with plenty of inbound and outbound links, to help optimize your post in search engines. Inbound being links within your own website, and outbound linking to other sites. You may want to discuss outbound links with other companies or business entities related to the post, as they may return the favor by linking to your site. A clear beginning, middle, and end should be drafted out, so that the writing has a clear flow. Introduce the point of the post in the beginning, the bulk of the content in the middle, and a call to action at the end for the reader to follow. Images are recommended at the beginning to hook readers in, and may also be used throughout the post if necessary. These posts are best suited for Facebook, Medium, and LinkedIn.

Images
Images are becoming increasingly prevalent throughout social media, and have become a necessity in the social media mix of posts. Royalty-free options, like Unsplash, StockSnap, and Pexels are available online or higher quality images can be purchased for small costs on various websites. Paid options include Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and 123rf. Alternatively, you can create your own images either through photography or through image editing software. Adobe Photoshop is usually recommended for custom graphics, but free alternatives exist online such as Pixlr or SumoPaint. Be sure to look up social media platforms’ specific image resolution sizes so that you don’t make an image too small or too big. Quality is key here, as images will be the first thing people see on social posts. Consider the gallery format as well when discussing images. If there are multiple relevant pictures for your post, use the gallery format online or on image-hosting platforms such as Instagram to generate a higher click-through rate and engagement. Images are best suited for all social media platforms, but definitely recommended for any long-form posts to break up the text, and in image-specific platforms such as Instagram.

Videos
If pictures speak a thousand words, then videos speak>millions. Videos are becoming easier to post and share online nowadays, and are quickly becoming a need for successful online presences. The simplest way to use videos for your business is to set images to background music or voice over, put together using video editing software. Movie Edit Touch is Windows’ free editing software, while iMovie is Mac’s. These software options are perfectly acceptable for simpler videos in slideshow format or informative, but there are paid software such as Adobe Premiere if the content is more dynamic, using actual filming of subjects or people. Also check with your computer graphic specialist if they are capable of animation, as this is the ideal format for informative or process-centered videos. Flash is the simplest and most common animation software, but it can also be accomplished with Adobe Photoshop. The video format is especially important because animated gifs can be made from the footage, which are more eye-catching than still images and can be used in a future teaser or shorter social media posts. If the content is informative, longer times are acceptable but no longer than five minutes. Additionally, making micro videos for around 10 seconds can be valuable to tease the longer videos. Videos of these lengths are also more friendly for sharing online. Videos are more suited for any platform that has made viewing video easier. As of late, this is Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Practice makes perfect as far as crafting the ideal post goes, however, preparation is just as important in this instance. Keep it interesting, to the point, and relevant. Take into consideration your industry, your target market, and your platform before drafting these posts, and you’ll see plenty of engagement with your followers.