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How to write an effective social media post

how to write a social media post

Being effective with copy for social networks is a real skill to hone as it is the shortest form of content out there.

If done correctly, writing effective social media posts can have a massive impact on your digital marketing results.
The skill lies in being able to grab attention with a powerful statement within the post (in many ways tweets and status updates are a lot like headlines), and giving them a clear direction on what you want them to do next – in many cases to click through to a link for more information.  

Here’s some tips to hone your social media posting skills:
  • What will grab their attention? Your post should be up to date, informative, relevant and attention grabbing.

  • Be brief - Whilst you have 140 characters on Twitter, and 420 characters to use on Facebook,  aim to use no more than 80 characters. Research shows the shorter the post, the more likely it is to be shared/retweeted etc.

  • Ask questions - Engage with your audience by asking questions.

  • Always add a link - Adding a link to your update will help direct people to more information or the action you want them to take. Include a link with every post! Use a shortener service such as bit.ly, goo.gl or Hootsuite so you can track how many people are clicking through from your post.

  • Use all the space, including the link description - When you share a link, you have the opportunity on some social networks to edit your description. Use this space also, but still be concise and encourage people to click on the link.

  • Be positive – positivity breeds engagement and sharing. It will help inspire and excited your users.

  • Consider timing – post when the audience is listening and not just at a time which suits you. Use a scheduling tool if you need to.

  • Cause intrigue – Updates which get people clicking offer something and often cause a sense of intrigue which makes the readers want to click!

  • Don’t sacrifice grammar and spelling – Just because you have less characters to play with, try not to throw your dictionary out the window. This will aggravate some target personas.

  • Use questions, facts and figures – Some people love stats and facts to throw some of these in the mix and position as an authority.

  • Tag people in - Where relevant use @ mentions to engage influencers to engage with and retweet/share your social posts.

  • Invite conversation - Create posts that ask your audience for their ideas, opinions or even advice.

  • Show a human side - Show your readers you’re not only an expert, but that you care about them.

  • Use hashtags - Increase your posts reach by adding relevant hashtags to your post. Don't think hashtags are just for Twitter. While this is where they began they're now also relevant on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Google search, and almost everywhere in between. (LinkedIn experimented with hashtags for awhile before giving up.)  According to this article by Buffer, tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than tweets without

    If the post is related to the campaign and you’ve defined a campaign hashtag (outlined in week 1) drop this in. Consider doing some research on other relevant hashtags you could be using in your post to increase reach. A good tool to use to find which hashtags may be relevant and which hashtags might be more powerful than others include:

    1. Hashtagify.me
    2. RiteTag
    3. Tagboard
    4. Twitalyzer
    5. Trendmap

Getting the right mix of social media posts right

If you are going to do social media posts throughout any given Digital Marketing campaign, it’s important you mix up the messages going out so it’s not all ‘sell’ and no ‘sizzle’. Our clever Social Media Specialist, Zoe Wyatt teaches our social media training clients the 30-30-30-10 rule which helps ensure you are writing about a wide variety of topics on social media.

In short, about 30% of the time you need to be self-promoting – so in your brainstorm consider what your business is doing right now or it plans to do in the future that you could write about.  

The next 30% is about promoting other people, so have a brainstorm about what other people compliment your business and who you would like to support and may support you in return and write a list of who they are. 

The third 30% is - you need to come up with valuable content, so you need to identify what it is you know a lot about and what you want to be positioned as the obvious expert for.  

And finally the last 10% is inspiration; this might be images and quotes. 

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