Using social media for business is both an art and a science. Understanding what makes people click through and connect with your business can help increase your following, improve your customer engagement and build a pipeline of potential customers.
But knowing what to write, what to promote and how to use photos can be daunting and confusing. And that’s even without trying to understand the algorithms that sit behind the scenes defining who sees your posts and when.
While each social media platform has different audiences, purposes and style expectations, there are some guidelines which will serve you well, irrespective of the platform. Using these tips will take your business a long way towards gaining customer engagement, positioning yourself as an authority and building a community of followers.
The Rule of Thirds
When thinking about your post content it is a great idea to keep a balance between the types of information you post.
When planning your posts, consider the ‘rule of thirds’:
- One third a free information post, helpful hint in your area of expertise or funny image related to your industry (remember to keep it family friendly and appropriate)
- One third posts which seek further engagement from your audience – ask a question, include a link to your website or ask them to share your post, promote a special offer
- One third to position yourself as the expert – information they may not get from anyone else about your topic or business.
Keep it Short
No matter which social media app you are using, brevity is always preferred over long monologues. With over 62% of users now accessing social media via their smart phones, a long post means an eternity of scrolling, or worse, users moving past your post and not engaging. Keeping it short makes it easier for smart phone viewing and potentially increases your reach to more users.
Make your Headline Work
On average, five times as many people read your headline as read the rest of the post. So make your headline clear, targeted to your ideal client, and succinct. Then 80% of the work of the post is done. The rest of the post is for the people who love to read everything so make the rest of it work by keeping it short and punchy.
You don’t have to be a professional videographer to make great graphics for social media. A simple video with short text can be enough to catch the users’ attention and work in your favour with the algorithms. Both Facebook and Instagram have openly said that they will favour video content, so if you want to be in people’s feeds then it needs to be video.
A program like Canva (canva.com) is easy to use and provides you with templates that are formatted for the various social media platforms to ensure they comply with size requirements of each. It also provides great creative ideas for how to use visuals in posts and can create short 5 second movies with animation all setup for you.
Its always a good idea for the visual to relate to your post. Even if you can’t think of a photo subject for the post, a graphic word display will catch the readers’ eyes more than just a plain text post.
Posts that ask users a question encourage user engagement and comments, rather than a random click on a like button or similar. It can also provide you with customer feedback about aspects of your business, so you can hone your offering to your clients even more.
Write for the reader
Write your post in terms of what will help your audience – they really don’t care about you (sorry to break it to you) – they care about how you can help them with their problems. So make your post a solution to their problem, or at least mildly amusing to give them a smile.
Focus on the issues that your client – your ideal customer – or favourite ‘tribe’ member might have and offer then a solution that you can provide. They will thank you for it.
Write as if you are writing for a 12 year old. Don’t use industry jargon – keep your message clear and simple so people don’t have to work too hard to understand your message. We are all basically lazy and the more work we have to do to understand a post, the more likely we are to scroll on.
Hashtags will connect you with other users who may not be in your direct line of influence, but who are interested in your industry, your expertise or your offering. Hashtags translate across Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms so use them widely and wisely .
Don’t fill a post with fifteen hashtags. You’ve seen it done. You know its just down right annoying to read past and most people won’t stop to read the tags. Choose three, or at the most five, great hashtags and use those.
Try searching for the hashtag you are considering using and see how many posts already exist with that tag. If there’s over a million then it’s often a sign of a common well used hashtag, which can be great for attracting new followers but may not make you stand out.
Have a look at the hashtags your competitors are using and use some of those – hashtags are copyright free so you can feel free to use them.
Try developing your own unique hashtag plus using one or two very popular hashtags. That way you are carving out your own space in the market as well as hooking into something which is already very popular to help your business be discovered.
Keep you social media post real – let your customers see the human side of your business, whether it’s sharing a special moment with your kids or partner or promoting a fun event in your local area or useful to your client. Perhaps share a staff achievement or a rave review from another customer.
Check, check and check again
Before hitting publish, double check your spelling. Some errors won’t be picked up by a spell check, but a good grammar check should pick them up. There’s nothing worse than a ‘their’ where there should be a ‘they’re’ or a ‘there’. Except maybe a ‘then’, instead of a ‘than’ or a ‘should of’ instead of a ‘should have’. No point trying to comfort me with a ‘there, there it will be alright’, because it just isn’t and it won’t be.. If you are a hair and beauty specialist, there shouldn’t be any mentions of four legged bunny-like creatures on your website (hares). Errors like these won’t be picked up by the spell check.
Once you’ve read and re-read your post, then publish away! Then re-read it once it’;s published – just to be sure.
Found a spelling or grammatical error in this post? Then contact me as soon as possible and let me know. The first person to contact me and let me know will receive a free 30-minute review of their marketing strategy or website and some fresh ideas you can try out for free.
Get in Touch
If you’d like to find out how I can help you build an amazing, customer-converting social media strategy, then book a free strategy session.
In around an hour we’ll develop a plan to take your business to the next level.