How to Write Social Media Posts – A Detailed Guide
Having an active social media presence has become a necessity in 2020 where it used to be a luxury not 10 years ago. The platforms are not only a means to socialize but have become the perfect ground for digital marketers and bloggers to promote themselves or their organizations. Social media posts have evolved from being “feeling happy with 8 others” to an art form.
To make sure you make the most of your social media post, you need to be able to capitalize on the most recent social media marketing trends, along with being able to understand your audience. This includes learning about their preferences, the type of content they consume, what they’d like to read about, and more.
A survey shows that in 2018, more than 243 million people in the US used social media. This figure was expected to rise, and that it did. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone into their homes to browse social media for hours on end!
If you are looking to write the perfect social media post for your audience to either spread the word about your blog or website or simply want to increase engagement with your audience, here is a quick guide to writing the perfect social media posts for 2021.
But before we get into our 10 best strategies, it is important that we cover the essentials of writing a social media post that you should always keep in mind.
Essentials Guidelines for Writing Social Media Posts
One of the first factors to consider is the length of your social media posts. Twitter only allows 280 characters (at the time of writing) that includes the hashtags as well. Facebook allows 63,206 characters in the post (just text), and if you add images or videos, it comes down a bit. Instagram captions can be a maximum of 2,200 characters, and so on.
However, that doesn’t mean that you have to reach the character limit. Shorter is better. People on average want to spend as little time to consume as much content as they possibly can, so keep that in mind.
At a minimum, your social media post must include the following:
- The purpose of the post– This is where you explain to the audience why you’re writing. For example, if you’re simply writing to get in touch with your readers, it will serve you well to mention it subtly. Don’t be straightforward about it, mind you.
- Maintain a style– If you start posting random content on social media and aren’t consistent in style, clients are going to feel like it’s not the same person communicating with them. They like to think that they are engaging with a specific person behind the screen; and the best way to do that is by maintaining consistency. Build a brand personality.
- Be consistent– Consistency here means the frequency of posts. If you’re posting on Twitter once a month and twice a week on Facebook, your following on Twitter might feel left out. This is the exact opposite of your goal with social media posts; i.e., engagement.
Social Post Writing Tips
1. Choose a Theme & Stick to It
Where social media marketing usually meant having a significant online presence on Facebook, now this trend has changed. There are a plethora of platforms to keep in mind, such as:
- Pinterest, etc.
Each platform has its own type of audience and ‘vibe’ and therefore requires a different approach from you, the writer. When writing, consider devising a well-rounded social media marketing approach that can fit into almost every platform. Once you have that in mind, writing will come naturally.
This is basically you selecting a theme and sticking to it. We mean a theme, mind you, not a niche. Everyone knows your niche, but not everyone will be aware of your theme.
And it is important to remember that when choosing a theme, keep your audience in mind. By now, you would be well aware of what your audience likes and what they don’t, so avoid using sentences, phrases or even styles that you readers don’t like.
A prime example of that is using hashtags to help users identify the post and what you’re trying to say with it better.
If you’re simply starting out, try to be direct with your post and be as creative as you can. Creative posts are likelier to attract attention than those with just information. However, this isn’t a given. If you have an interesting subject line and aren’t as creative, you can still attract some sort of attention. After that, it’s all about how many shares, reactions and comments you get.
2. Manage Your Page
Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn all provide a dedicated space for those of you who are hosting events or would like to post long stories. All you have to do is make sure that the headline is catchy enough to make your post look more attractive.
But after doing all that and more, one factor that can lead to your exceptional social media post not being read all the way through is the design and aesthetics of your page.
While you can’t really do much about the overall layout and design, you can, however, add some more aesthetic value to your page. To do this, include images and hashtags into the mix when writing posts. These add a little bit of variety in your posts, further improving engagement.
Remember, nobody likes to see blocks of text on social media platforms unless it is a story. So, either turn your post into an interesting story or if you think you can’t manage that, keep it short and keep it lively.
Manage your page in a way that your audience likes. For example, the YouTube page Kurzgesagt – In A Nutshell posts regular videos on the page. However, when posting any social media post (except on Twitter), they post images that resemble their overall design.
This makes it easy for scrollers to quickly identify the post and stop. Even if they upload a long social media post, people are likely to read through because of the interest in their content and design.
3. Focus on Short Videos
Social media has leaped light-years ahead compared to other websites, both in terms of the number of users and their capabilities. However, written content is no longer the prime source of engagement on these platforms.
According to a Brafton survey, users spend around 2 minutes and 17 seconds on average on a website and a maximum of 5 seconds on a social media post before determining whether it is relevant and worth their time or not.
If you type content and are looking to make the big reveal somewhere in the middle, your post is likely to lose out. So, you either mention the main point in the start, ask a question that relates to their pain points or make the shift to videos.
Making videos for your audience is a whole new topic so we’ll leave it to another day. However, what is worth mentioning is the fact that videos convert. They’re much more engaging and efficient in this fast-paced digital era.
Not every video is cut out for social media. Social media marketers and blog managers should turn their attention towardshort videos that start with an interesting question or fact. The video should include all the necessary details of what you’re trying to say or the page you’re trying to invite them to. Try to keep videos from 15 to 30 seconds long for effect.
4. Speaking of Videos…
Social media platforms want you to engage your audience. They want that you make the most out of the space they’ve provided you. You can either do this by creating engaging videos (or other content) or simply using the platform’s marketing capabilities.
In the 2019 Q3 (quarter 3), Facebook boasted an ad revenue amounting to a whopping $17.65 billion.
When posting any sort of video, apart from making it short, you need to focus on the following;
- Image/video uploaded
- Information provided within
- The chosen demographic
- Text added along with the video (title, caption and description)
When it comes to the description, that is where you as a writer have to shine. You’re making the first impression of your video with the description, so make sure you re-read it twice before posting it. Just consider this; if you aren’t convinced to watch the video after reading the description, what makes you think others will?
5. Have an Active Presence
One of the prime reasons people often unfollow pages on social media platforms is the lack of activity on social media. You won’t lose as many (if at all) followers by posting poorly written social media posts, but you will definitely lose out if you take too long to post or don’t post at all.
Once you’ve starting posting regularly, you will get a number of curious followers or the occasional visitor from time to time who will want to learn more and interact with you. You will even start seeing personal messages to try and get in touch with you; even if it is just to ask how you’re doing.
Try to reply to them as soon as possible, along with ensuring that you have a consistent online presence. This also includes having to post regularly. If you post once a week, maintain that schedule. If you post once every day, you can get away with skipping a day every now and then, but don’t ghost your audience out altogether.
When managing your blog’s social media page, it is a good idea to maintain an active online presence during the peak time; which is from 10 pm to 1 am in the night and 12pm to 2 pm in the afternoon, i.e., during lunch breaks.
After all; the word social in social media accounts for something.
6. Give People the Power
At the end of the day, your blog, your website and your social media accounts all are for your audiences. What they say goes. When you’re posting social media posts, you are likely to think that you’re doing everything right, and some bloggers actually start defending their style of writing. While commendable, remember that if enough people are telling you that you’re drunk, it may be time to sit down.
If your audience is telling you that your last post had something amiss or that there was something about that post that they didn’t like, consider their feedback.
There will always be naysayers, no matter what you post. Today, offending people has become very easy. You need to figure out how many of them are trolls, how many are actually offended and whether it is actually time for you to make a change.
If you don’t know how to determine whether it is a good idea to implement a change that your audience is asking for, try analyzing whether the number of people asking for a change are a majority or not.
This is not a cookie cutter policy or a rule of thumb, mind you, but just a reference point to keep in mind before you actually figure out a formula that is applicable to your audience.
Social media platforms are evolving at a much faster pace than at the start. Because of the increase in use during COVID-19, audiences have become picky in terms of the type of content they consume, and you will have to up your social media post writing game as well to keep up with this change.
I hope this guide helps you take a step in the right direction and helps you write the perfect social media post!