A version of this post originally ran in July 2018.
The number of people on social media is astonishing. According to Statista, “In 2019, it is estimated that there are around 2.77 billion social media users around the globe, up from 2.46 billion in 2017.” That is a lot of people. With that many individuals using social platforms, there are that many more potential customers for your brand to engage with on social media.
As a small or mid-sized business, it’s important to have an online presence, whether you are selling products, offering services or trying to promote your brand. Investing in an active social media presence is a fantastic way to meet your target consumers on platforms they browse in their free time.
How To Create Content For Specific Social Media Platforms
What goes into a social media post? If you use social media personally, then you know that each platform is different; how you write for them should be, too.
Here is an outline of how to write effective social media updates for each different site, as outlined by HubSpot.
- Tease the Information: As HubSpot notes, “The most appealing updates are the ones that offer something, but don’t disclose everything and make fans want to click.” Just make sure you’re up front about what they’ll see! You want to entice them to click the link, without resorting to tactics like clickbait.
- Share Images: Images are important on Facebook (and really all social media platforms) because they directly influence engagement and results. Research shows posts with images receive higher numbers of interaction than those that do not; ideal sizes vary based on the type of image you’re posting, so refer to a cheat sheet as you create your graphics.
- Consider Using Bitly Links: Links are important. However, if you want to track how many are clicking from Facebook specifically, one option is to use a Bitly link.
- Remember Mobile Users: Facebook users are increasingly accessing the social media site on their phone; Hubspot reports 80-85% are doing so. Make sure your updates, images and videos are mobile friendly to reach that audience effectively.
- Timing is Key: Share important information when users are online, not just during your working hours. Read below for specific social media scheduling details.
- Share Faces: Research shows Instagram users engage with faces more than other types of imagery on the social media platform.
- Remember the Rule of Thirds: This classic rule of photography applies to Instagram images as well. Placing the subject in only two thirds of the screen makes the image more appealing to the eye.
- Use Editing Features: How an image or video looks on Instagram is everything. Use Instagram itself or third-party apps to create the perfect images for your updates. Don’t be afraid to create your own graphics for your Instagram page, either!
- Craft Captions Carefully: While this social media platform is visually focused, write captions that are compelling to encourage comments.
- Hashtags: Hashtags are incredibly important on Instagram for engagement. At Three Girls Media, we recommend using 25-30 hashtags in each update for greater visibility; just make sure they are relevant to the update.
- Be Aware of the Shadowban: Make sure your posts don’t look like spam; if they do, Instagram may make it harder for followers to see your posts. Three Girls’ Marketing & PR Specialist Cas Johnson-Villalobos explains what the shadowban is and how to avoid it.
- Reply: Keep lines of communication open by answering questions and replying to a comment with a simple “thank you.”
- Carefully Craft the Status Update: Each LinkedIn update you post needs informative and engaging text to introduce the link, image or video you are sharing. HubSpot recommends no more than 50 characters in each update and to include a question or call to action for the audience.
- Choose Links Wisely: When sharing links, don’t forget the status update mentioned above. Along with posting a link, make sure it’s from a reputable source and it actually works. It can reflect poorly on your business if you share a broken link with your followers.
- Edit the Description: As HubSpot recommends, “Edit your description text, be concise and to the point drawing people’s attention to the click.” This area is a second chance to encourage people to click on the link, especially if you’re sharing your own blog post.
- Interact with Comments: If someone asks a question or responds to your call to action in the status update, it is imperative you respond. Followers and customers expect interaction with the brand and businesses they are following. After all, being social is the whole point of social media.
- Add Hashtags at the End: Although most users don’t include hashtags within the body of their updates, many do search or follow different hashtags on the platform. For each update, include 1-5 relevant hashtags at the very end, below the link, to get the value of them without clogging up the posts themselves.
- No Faces, Please: This might sound counterintuitive, but on this social media platform images without human faces get 23% more shares than those that with them. This is the perfect opportunity to share your products or behind the scenes images of your office.
- Carefully Pick Your Image’s Colors: When uploading images, dominant colors (red, dark green and pink) get three times more likes and repins than those that do not, while orange images get two times the number of repins.
- Use Light and Color Strategically: HubSpot reports, “Images with 50% color saturation get repinned 4 times more often than those with 100% and 10 times more than black and white images.”
- Remember the Background: Watch out for how much space your background uses, making sure it doesn’t take up more than 40% of the image.
- Opt for Portrait Style: Post vertically orientated images over horizontally orientated ones. The ideal ratios are 2:3 and 4:5.
- Plan Out Your Boards Strategically: Before you start pinning social media updates, think about which boards would be most relevant to your brand. Don’t only make them self-promotional; include boards that are related to your industry as well. For example, if your brand is a restaurant, you could include boards that have to do with health, nutrition, recipes, ambiance and more.
- Add Hashtags: Include a few relevant hashtags in your Pinterest updates to help them be easier for readers to find as they search on the platform.
- Keep it Short: Just because you can use 280 characters doesn’t mean you should. The platform’s users continue to opt for brevity, so aim for as close to 140 characters as possible.
- Include a Call to Action: On Twitter, be clear about what you want your followers to do. Do you want them to respond to a question, retweet or like your update?
- Use Proper Punctuation and Grammar: 280 characters can be, or isn’t a lot depending on your update. Be careful of abbreviations and don’t sacrifice grammar just because you have a text limit.
- Mention Other Users: Use mentions to engage with social media influencers and grab their attention for your brand; this is great for building high-profile relationships. Forbes describes influencer marketing as, “A non-promotional approach to marketing in which brands focus their efforts on opinion leaders, as opposed to direct target market touchpoints.” In other words, influencer marketing is about providing product context and expertise through an influential person. Forbes also recently reported that influencer marketing is the next “Gold Rush.”
- Retweet Other Updates: Sharing information from other sources is encouraged on Twitter; just remember to leave a few characters so you can provide your own insights for your followers.
- Use Hashtags: Twitter is a social media platform where you can wrap hashtags into the updates themselves, but don’t go overboard. We recommend sticking to one to three hashtags per update.
- Name the File Strategically: When you upload your video, don’t leave it with a generic title like Movie.Mp4. Use a keyword in the file name of your video to increase searchability.
- Use a Catchy Title: When users are scrolling through YouTube, an intriguing title is often the reason someone will stop and watch. The title should also include some information about the content in the video.
- Write a Clear Description: Provide even more information about your video content with a detailed description and include links to your website and other social media channels for viewers to follow you.
- Use Hashtags: By using quality keyword hashtags, your video can appear in more searches and in front of more eyes.
The Best Times To Post On Social Media
It’s important to post your social media updates during peak traffic times, not just when your business is open. Senior Director of Marketing & PR, Emily Sidley, explained how to find the best times for each platform; here are some highlights:
Ideally, look at your Insights to discover the best times for your brand. However, in general research shows:
- Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to post
- Updates with the most interactions were published between 9am and 2pm
- The highest audience activity was between 8pm and 9pm
- Photos received the highest comments
- Videos received the most comments
These days and times tend to perform well:
- Mondays: 7pm and 10pm
- Tuesdays: 3am and 10pm
- Wednesdays: 5pm
- Thursdays: 7am and 11pm
- Fridays: 1am and 8pm
- Saturdays: 12am and 2am
- Sundays: 5pm
LinkedIn users are often on the social media platform during lulls in the workday: before it starts, around lunchtime and at the end of the day:
- Most clicks and shares are on Tuesdays, 11am-12pm
- The best times to post are 7am-8am and 5pm-6pm
- The peak time for users to be on the platform are 12pm and 5-6pm
Pinterest users tend to be on the platform later in the day:
- 2pm to 4pm
- 8pm to 11pm
- 2am to 4am
The best day depends on the topic:
- Sunday: Food and crafts
- Monday: Fitness
- Tuesday: Gadgets and technology
- Wednesday: Quotes
- Thursday: Outfits
- Friday: Gifts and humor
- Saturday: Travel
Twitter is an active social media platform throughout the week, but in general:
- The best days to post are Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- Tweets between 11am and 12pm perform best
Are You Ready To Up Your Social Media Game?
As you can tell, a lot goes into an effective social media presence on any platform. Do you need help creating a strategy for your brand? We’re happy to provide recommendations to get you started, completely manage your social channels, or some sort of combination that fits your needs. Contact us today to find out how we can help!
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