If you have a profile on a social media site like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you’ve seen all different types of posts. Some are interesting or funny. Some are whiny, rude, or aggressive. And some are so boring that they almost put you to sleep!
Now, I know what some of you are thinking, ‘Ah, but not me!’ Well, maybe not. But whether you’re a social post Shakespeare or an update dummy, there are some general rules and guidelines you can follow to make sure that your posts are relevant, non-offensive, and above all, interesting.
Why put that much work into posts?
Personal Profile: Even if you only have a profile so you can keep your friends updated, there are some things you should be doing to make sure your statuses, tweets, and pins are being read. Getting people to check out what you’re saying is the point after all!
Business Profile: Making sure your posts are read is really important if you want your business to be recognized. The content of your posts can either draw your target audience in, or push them away. You can’t do much business if your customers aren’t aware you exist, right?
Other: If you’re a musician, artist, or just really like showing people all your beautiful cupcakes; you’re not posting for no one. You’re making something that you want to share with the world around you. To do that well, you have to know what your audience will like and what they won’t.
A good post is one that readers will enjoy. It keeps the interest of the people who make up your audience, and ensures they want to hear more from you about that particular topic. But there are sure to be some pretty big differences in your demographics, so how do you know what they’ll like? In posting for social media, there are some easy ways to find that out:
Use tools that measure demographics. There are some really nifty tools out there to help you measure lots of different metrics. In fact, Facebook in particular has some great diagnostics for business pages to take advantage of.
Check them out. If you want to know what kind of things your friends, followers, or potential customers like to see, take a look at the content they put up. Not only will you get insight on what their interests are, you can interact with them on more personal levels.
Ask! If you’re really not sure what your audience wants to hear from you, why not ask them yourself? Talk to them, post general questions, or even create surveys for users and customers to fill out. People love giving their opinions, and it shows your readers that you really care.
Another quality that good posts share is that they’re not just text- they use images and video too!
Studies have shown that Facebook and Twitter users are, on average, about 48% more likely to like, share, or retweet an image or video than they are text posts. (source: hubspot.com)
Due to all of the image-based social media sites like Pinterest or Instagram, and the fact that visuals are simply more interesting and consumable than text; you should be trying to accompany most of your posts with something for them to look at or watch.
Some posts are so awful that people will go out of their way to make sure the author knows it. Sometimes it’s the content itself, but the worst kind of post is one that no one can understand.
Spell-check. There are a lot of nit-picky folks out there (admittedly, I’m one of them). And if you spell something wrong, it’ll be noticed. Mistakes happen, but it’s smart to proofread everything a few times before you publish, post, pin and tweet, as well as having someone else proofread.
Grammarfication! I know it’s not a word, but I think that just makes the point clearer that when you use confusing or poorly constructed text, people are gonna skip right past it.
Offensive topics/words. Without getting into specifics, it’s just good practice to shy away from anything that readers might find rude or offensive. This is especially true of topical posts or ‘news-jacking’. If there’s a hot topic buzzing around the net, make sure it’s something that isn’t associated with anything negative or sensitive before you comment on it.
Posts can also be confusing if the source and content have nothing to do with each other. If you sell jewelry and fashion accessories, posting about cakes or dogs is going to be incongruous to your audience’s perception of what you give them.
Relevance is really important. It links your content to your brand/person while informing the public about things that have specifically to do with you. Make your page or profile a source that people want to return to for information that’s helpful or interesting to them.
‘Yawn… Who cares?’ – That’s the kind of response that a lot of posts tend to receive because the authors don’t engage their audience well enough. There are a bunch of different ways to create interesting posts that- SHOCK- will be interesting to your readers!
Keep it short and sweet. It’s a fact that after a certain amount of text, people lose interest in what their reading. This is exponentially true of social media posts. Keep your Twitter posts below 100 characters if possible, Pinterest descriptions under 275, Facebook under 4 lines of text; so on and so forth. The less text, the more likely your audience is to read.
Engage the Audience. Get them involved! If you’re posting some cool, interesting piece of news or information; ask their opinion on it. If you give out new content or promotions; ask people to try it and let you know what they think! People love giving their two cents about a topic their interested in.
Don’t promote yourself too much. It may be tempting to talk about awesome stuff that you’re doing, but people are more interested in how what you do relates to them.
Offer something they can only get from you. Information, funny content, deals, insights- whatever it is you can give them that they can’t get anywhere else. Make yourself a hub of interesting and varying posts so that people are clamoring for more!
There are a lot of other great things you can do to get a better response and ROI from social media. Check in on Friday, March 8th for a more in-depth look into ‘what works and what flops in social media.’
If you have any comments, questions, or just want to take part in the conversation; please subscribe and comment. I’ll be coming out with helpful articles every week.