Constant posting is important to keep your subscribers interested in following your online platforms. But like most things, quality outweighs quantity, including 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 goal of social media. Decide for your company if you prefer to have the company speak as one voice, or if you want to place individual initials at the end of specific authors’ 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 will appear streamlined with a focused goal.
Short Written Posts
Whether sharing a 140-character post on Twitter or writing a few sentences on Facebook, you should possess a mastery of the short post. The key to the short post is getting your point across as quickly 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; just your subject and a link, if necessary. Put the link at the end of the post and explain what people will be clicking on. If there’s room, explain why they would want to click it. Other examples of short 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 for platforms like Medium, Tumblr, or Facebook. Long posts shouldn’t be used as frequent as short ones; once per week is ideal. If the social media platform allows it, utilize a “Read More” function. This will allow you to cover the long wall of text that may turn off some visitors, while still letting you tease the reader 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 links to your own website and outbound links to other sites to help optimize your post in search engines. Outbound links to other companies’ websites could also develop into mutual relationships with those business entities, as they may return the favor by linking to your site.
In addition to a compelling hook, there should be a clear beginning, middle, and end. Introduce the point of the post in the beginning, put the bulk of the content in the middle, and include 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.
Images are becoming increasingly prevalent throughout social media and have become a necessity in the social media mix of posts. Free options like Unsplash, StockSnap, and Pexels are available online. Higher quality images can be purchased for small costs on various websites, such as Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, and 123rf. Alternatively, you can create your own images via photography or 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 media 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, of course, in image-specific platforms such as Instagram.
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 necessity to have a successful online presence. 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 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 in 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, but preparation is just as important in this instance. Keep it interesting, to the point, and relevant. Take into consideration your industry, target market, and platform before drafting these posts, and you’ll see plenty of engagement with your followers.