I’m sure many of you have experienced this before. I sure have. You write this great social media post only to hear crickets. Sucks, right?
Before you start writing the post or curating the content, decide what your goal is with it. What do you want the end result to be? When you consider that question and craft your post in the context of the answer, your post is more likely to achieve whatever goal it is you set out to achieve.
There are 6 elements to crafting the perfect social media post and I’m going to share them with you one by one. I have something special for you at the end!
1) The post follows best practices of the social media platform it’s on
You know that not all social media channels are the same in how they operate and how users consume content. On Instagram, it’s all about the images. On Twitter, it’s about quick, short messages.
When you’re writing the post, keep in mind the platform and what types of content do best on it. I could go on and on about each platform and the best way to craft content for it, but for now, I’ll give one tip per platform for 4 of the top social media channels we all know and (mostly) love:
Facebook isn’t known for being an image-heavy platform like Pinterest and Instagram are, but posts with images get 120% more engagement than posts without. (source).
Use hashtags! It’s one of the best ways to get found. But not more than two. PostPlanner says that tweets with 1-2 hashtags have 21% more engagement. (source)
Pinterest is image-heavy and we should focus on the images we choose, but don’t forget that description. Remember that users are constantly searching for content and the way content gets found is through the description. Make sure it’s error-free and accurately describes what the pin is about.
2) It is visually pleasing
People go on social media to be entertained and to enjoy themselves. And with so much free content out there, they don’t need to stick around for your content if it’s boring or not visually pleasing. Make sure that your graphics are clean (very little pixelation) and that all of the written content is error-free.
Remember that not only are you trying to create a friendly and positive experience, but your posts represent your brand. When you get dressed to go out, you wear clean clothes (most of the time anyway…) You want to look presentable. The same goes with whenever you “go out” online. You should look presentable.
(Of course, we’ve all gone out with stained clothes at some point or another whether it was on purpose or not. It happens both online and offline. Just try not to let it happen intentionally online.)
If your post is controversial and you want to use a negative image to evoke shock and disgust, that’s something different. Just tread lightly.
3) It’s in alignment with your brand
“Brand” is more than just a logo. It’s the representation of your business everywhere both online and offline, both in front of your audience and in the back-end of your business. Some elements of your brand include:
- Your logo, colors, fonts
- Your imagery
- Your language
When you’re writing a post, make sure you’re using colors that are a part of your brand. This is an extreme example, but if I used hot pink in my posts, that would be totally out of alignment with my brand colors (orange, green, and yellow).
The images you use should match your brand. I have the perfect example of this. I have a client who’s a tough, Italian fitness trainer from Jersey. His fitness training business is all about losing weight and looking and feeling good. His brand is non-apologetic and tells you how it is. He’s big on strength training.
So photos of smiling women in yoga poses doesn’t align with his brand and would be off-putting to his audience who knows him as something else.
The language you use in your posts should be consistent with how you speak to your audience and how you want them to feel. This needs to be consistent with your content everywhere on and off of social media.
4) It speaks to your audience’s desires and/or pains
If you post something that doesn’t mean anything to your audience, they’re not going to engage, right? No engagement means no results.
Example: A large part of my audience is made up of entrepreneurs who are doing their online marketing themselves and trying to take their business of the ground. Outsourcing and bringing on team members isn’t a pain or desire that they’re thinking about right now. They just want to know what the heck to do!
This is super important to consider before you even decide what kind of content to create or curate. What feeling or thought is it that you want to tap into? Once you have answered that, then keep moving forward.
5) It is entertaining and/or helpful
Those are the two main reasons people go on social media! They either want to be entertained or to learn something new.
Oftentimes, they’re on there to be entertained. That doesn’t mean you need to make them fall of their chair laughing. Being entertained can be as simple as finding pleasure in something, like a nice photo or an inspirational quote.
People don’t necessary go to social media for the sole purpose of learning, but they are receptive to learning something new. I know most of you are coming from a place of serving your world, so it’s safe to say that your audience would love to learn something helpful from you.
6) It engages your audience
Social media isn’t a one way platform. It’s all about dialogues. You’re putting yourself out there and should be communicating with your community.
But they won’t always engage without being prompted to. So encourage them to engage! Literally ask them for their participation (“Like this post if this describes you!”; “Tell me in the comments below what you think about ______”)
The biggest point I want you to take away from reading this post is that you need to do some thinking before crafting any social media posts. Think about your goals and your audience. Only then can you begin to create the perfect social media post.