At first glance, social media might seem simple. Just share what you’re doing, throw in a funny picture and a hashtag, and you’re good to go, right? Yeah, not so much.
Social media is actually much more complicated than a status update or witty hashtag. In fact, creating the perfect post is actually a bit of a science. While your audience’s preferences will vary slightly depending on the platform, we have a few tricks and tips to help you create the perfect post regardless of if you’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Pick the right time
Social media is always on, but that doesn’t mean you need to post every minute of the day. Picking the right time to tweet or post an update means followers will see your posts when they’re most receptive. The goal is to interact with followers when they’re actively looking. If you’re posting at the wrong times, you’re just sending your message out to no one.
Before hitting “tweet” or “publish,” check the clock. The best times to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and more can all be found on this handy infographic from QuickSprout.
Most people log onto social media because they want an escape from daily life. They want something entertaining, funny or inspiring. If your brand can make someone smile or laugh, that follower is going to associate your company with happiness and will become a lot more likely to purchase from you.
Try to keep your posts as happy and uplifting as possible. We know there’s a lot of negativity on social media, but that doesn’t mean that’s what your followers want. Focus on posting updates about your business growing, sales, giveaways, great reviews, or even just funny pictures.
Use an image
People are incredibly visual. We understand and process visual content faster and more clearly than we do text. In fact, 90 percent of all information that comes to the brain is visual. With that being said, it’s clear why including an image with your posts in so important.
Images are much more likely to catch people’s attention as they scroll through social media. Try to use a photo in every post, especially on Facebook. Twitter is a little more text-based, so you can get away with using just text and hashtags. Additionally, make sure you’re using crisp, clear and bright photos. While images are great, using low-quality photographs is going to backfire; your followers don’t want to see grainy, blurry photos.
Provide a link
Images are great, but an image plus a link? Social media gold.
Don’t just post a photo of that pretty spring dress your boutique just stocked up on; post a link to your boutique where followers can find (and buy) it. The same goes for that new flavor granola bar your company just released. It may look delicious, but your followers probably aren’t going to go out of their way to find and purchase it. That’s why you need to do it for them. A call to action (CTA) can be extremely helpful here.
Use a call-to-action (CTA)
Speaking of calls-to-action, let’s talk about these for a minute. A call-to-action (abbreviated as CTA) is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a “call” to get your followers to take action. It can be anything from “call now” to “download our free ebook.”
Before adding a link to your post, make sure to include a call-to-action. It’s as simple as including “buy here,” or “click to see more” before your link. Your followers want to buy your products. Make it as simple as possible for them to do so.
Your post should be either informative or entertaining. If it’s neither, it’s not worth posting.
Before publishing your tweet, post or update, take a minute and ask yourself what it provides your followers. How does it benefit them? Does it give them new information about your company? A tip about how to use your product? Is it funny or cute? If you can’t answer yes to any of those questions, find something else to post.
Make it mobile-friendly
Over 60 percent of the world’s population now owns a mobile phone. Almost 50 percent of those mobile phone owners own a smartphone. That means a pretty good percentage of the world’s population is browsing social media via their phones. Therefore, if your posts aren’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a significant chunk of potential customers.
It’s called social media for a reason — it’s supposed to be social!
When creating a post, encourage your followers to ask questions, share their thoughts and engage with your brand. Then do the same in response. Interact with your followers. Share, like and comment on other posts. If you want other users to be engaged with you, you need to be engaged with them.
Another way to be engaging on social media is to tag others. Share that cool blog post you enjoyed reading and tag the original author, or tag a celebrity that was seen using your product. Maybe you’ll get a shoutout, retweet or share.
*On certain platforms.
Hashtags are great — when you know how to use them. Before hashtagging everything, remember this: avoid hashtags on Facebook; use two on Twitter for best results; and aim for 11 on Instagram, as this has been shown to be the optimal amount.
The recipe for the perfect social media post depends largely on your particular brand, target audience and the platform you’re using, but these tips hold true no matter where you post. Now that you know how to craft something engaging and entertaining, get out there and start posting!