Contrary to popular belief, good social media posts don’t just happen. Like a skilfully baked cake, all the elements have to be put together in just the right way to produce a masterpiece.
Now, more than ever, it’s vital to carefully consider each message you publish to social media.
The internet is awash with ‘recipes’ for success and advice on what to think about when writing and publishing social media posts, but what about the things you don’t think about? The things that can easily be overlooked but are just as, if not more, important as the carefully prepared text.
With just a little thought, it’s easy to turn your don’ts into dos:
Think about your voice
Every brand has a voice, and you have to choose how you want it to be heard. Just like people, each brand voice is unique and is a mix of various elements
It’s vital that every post you create has a clear purpose. Do you want your posts to inform your audience of industry news? Or perhaps educate them about your product and its uses? Start a conversation to get people engaging with you? Providing a little light entertainment? Or go back to basics with a simple sales post? It’s up to you to create a mix that suits your brand.
Each brand has a different ‘tone’ when communicating with their current and future clients, and it’s important that your brand chooses an appropriate tone and sticks with it in all posts. For example, a firm of lawyers would probably adopt a professional tone, whereas a Millennial clothing brand may opt for a more informal friendly tone.
Going further than simply choosing a language and using it consistently (although picking either a UK or US English variation is very important) you should also consider the way you use that language. Do you want your wording to be fun or formal? Brimming with jargon or more simplistic? Again, it’s up to you – just make a choice and stick with it.
Think about your theme
It makes sense that your online presence should shadow that of your real-life brand, so you may wish to design images and pictures that follow colour or other themes. With all the filters and other editing tools available, it pays to keep it simple and consistent. This is especially true for an Instagram page. For example, if you want to post inspiring quotes, consider putting a brand-specific border around the image to link it to you and your brand in your followers’ minds. Also remember, Instagram posts are viewed as a set of nine pictures by most users, so make sure the pictures look aesthetically pleasing when put side by side.
Think about your audience
When you create a post, you are trying to get the attention of your audience – a mixture of existing and potential clients. Getting your posts seen by the right audience is the key to using social media efficiently and effectively. Only once you have identified the demographics of your audience can you use social media as a marketing tool. Targeting your audience in terms of platform, and timing among other elements. If you are trying to target working 18 to 25-year-old women in the fashion industry, then Instagram is going to be your platform of choice. If you are looking to engage with middle-aged men working in the city, then posting during work hours is not going to get as many views as it would at 6pm. This is when work has finished, and the boring commute home has begun.
Think about your hashtags
With the recent addition of LinkedIn, hashtags are now universally used on all platforms in one way or another. Whether you want to increase awareness of your product, link your brand with other industry movers and shakers or encourage more like minded people to follow you, hashtags are your friend. By inserting that hashtag, you can propel everyday words and phrases into viral stardom. However, it’s worth checking that your hashtags are not already in use by someone else, have another (rather unfortunate) meaning and are spelt right.
Think about your keywords
Searching for relevant posts is not limited to hashtags. LinkedIn, in particular, encourages searching of text, so it’s worth spending a few extra moments to ensure your copy contains keywords that would direct people to your post.
Think about your Call To Action
Each and every post you publish should have a CTA. As mentioned earlier, every post should have a purpose, and to achieve that purpose, you have to encourage the reader to actually do something. It could be to visit your website, sign up for a newsletter, enter a competition, leave a comment. Calls to action come in many forms, just make sure you include one every time.
Think about your platform
Fittingly, the last thing to consider before you actually post your carefully crafted copy live is the platform you are working on. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter all have slightly different rules and etiquette when it comes to posting, so it pays to be in the know.
Make sure you choose the right privacy settings if you have a post you expect to be shared. Some will not allow sharing, frustrating for you and your audience.
Links cannot be posted within the text. One link can be listed in the biography and is often referred to with “Click link in bio” as the CTA
There is a limit on the size and length of a video file that can be uploaded
If you choose from the listed hashtags, you cannot edit them later. If you want to remove one, you have to delete the whole post
As you can see, writing and publishing well-worded, on-target social media posts that get noticed by the right people is not hard when armed with these simple tips. So put the proverbial pen to paper and get creating.
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