Creating Social Media Posts Like the Experts

Ready to take your social media posts to expert level? Check out this blog to learn how!

Social media is a quick way to appeal to mass audiences at one time. It promotes word-of-mouth advertising, which is the most organic of all marketing tools. That’s why entrepreneurs and businesses who use social media strategically notice the exponential benefits. 

Note the word strategically. 

Strategic social media is planned, consistent, and targeted to drive the action of the audience. 

As a social media content creator, I am often a cog in the wheel of social media management. But I have also worked through this process completely and alongside some of the best in the business. So let’s look at how entrepreneurs and businesses put together social media posts.

Determine your purpose

One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make in their posts is that they don’t have a reason for posting every single post. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we typically have four posting purposes known as TIES. 

One of the biggest mistakes that I see people make in their posts is that they don’t have a reason for posting every single post. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we typically have four posting purposes known as TIES. 

Teach

This type of post teaches the audience a skill, lesson, concept, etc. It’s often taken directly from a question or issue clients are having. These posts don’t need to be long!

Protip: Don’t give away all aspects of the solution if you want to lead to sales.

Inspire

This type of post inspires or motivates your audience in some way. It’s often taken from an inspirational quote or motivational concept. These posts don’t have to be from famous people!

Protip: Add your personal story to help audiences connect to you.

Engage

This type of post engages audiences with you. It’s often a question of some sort that you ask and the audience answers. These posts don’t have to be disconnected from your business!

Protip: Respond to all the responses to your post (when possible) to actually engage.

Sell

This type of post leads directly to sales pages. It’s often a new product or service or a sale on one. These posts don’t have to feel salesy!

Protip: Minimize sales posts but keep a CTA link to your landing pages in each post.

Ultimately, you’re asking yourself:

  • Why are you posting? 
  • Why should people read your post?
  • Why should people care?

Create your content

Creating content is where I usually come in. When you’re creating content, you’re writing what people are (hopefully) going to read with your post. They will look at the graphic, but you have to compel them to read. We typically think about form, structure, action, and audience.

Form

Social media posts are typically short form (shorter) or long form (longer). There are no hard and fast rules to what makes it one or the other, but if it’s under 500 words, it’s likely short. If it’s over 500, it’s likely long. Short form takes less time to read. Long form takes more time to read. There are a lot of considerations to take into account when deciding between short and long form, but I will often write and see where the words take me. 

Structure

The structure of the content is extremely important. The way the content of the post is formatted is what often makes or breaks the CTA. Content needs to be engaging throughout, but it’s crucial to start engaging from the beginning. An engaging introduction often includes a provocative thought, an accusatory admission, or a direct question. First and second person are used in the content, but often, the business reference is separated from the owner, following third person. Bullets and emojis are appropriate to use and help clarify ideas, but please, remember to use parallel structure in those bulleted ideas. Finally, there needs to be action throughout the content.

Action

When we see requests for action, it drives us. We can want to change a policy or enact a law, but big things happen in actionable steps. Social media posts are the same. We give audiences actions to take to engage them throughout the content. The actions can be simple (raise your hand) or more complex (make a list of 3 things…), but it needs to be direct, actionable, and realistic for that audience to actually do what you want them to.

Audience

We have to consider what the audience will respond to and what will make them turn away. Most often, we have to research the audience extensively to understand habits, interests, and other ways we can connect. We will use this information to determine the form, structure, and actions of the content. We will also use this information to complete the remainder of the tasks as well. 

Check out my client avatar questionnaire where I share what questions to ask to isolate a client’s voice and an audience’s interest!

Ask yourself:

  • What words convey your point best? 
  • How can you put it together to make sense?
  • How can you best connect with your audience?

Add graphic or video

Social media posts are meant to engage audiences quickly. In order to do that, you have less than 3 seconds. (That amount varies depending on who you’re talking to, but that’s my attention span, which is short at best.) Graphics or videos will engage your audiences quickly, which (hopefully) leads to them reading your content. But it starts with what they see.

Graphics

Graphics can be pictures, images, or graphics. Keep in mind that you want the graphic to be clear, striking, and engaging. To keep it clear, minimize the amount of words used on the graphic itself. To keep it striking, use smart color pallets with strong contrasts. To keep it engaging, make the reader’s pathway and any actions obvious. Amateurs like myself use Canva, a free design program with tons of templates to start from! 

Video

Videos can be videos/live of you, video backgrounds, or video elements. If you use a video/live of yourself, put together a script, be sure you get rid of all distractions and get to the point early. I often start videos but get bored within 3-5 seconds because there is so much intro crap that doesn’t mean anything. Video backgrounds shouldn’t distract from the foreground elements. Other video elements can be sequencing graphic components to simplify and separate them. Videos can also be made on Canva!

Remember:

  • What will catch attention without distracting? 
  • What do you have time to put together?
  • Where can you make the graphic or video for free?

Add your hashtags

Hashtags are tags on your post that will group your post with others in that same area. It’s important to add hashtags to help others find your post, but it’s also a great tool for identifying the impact you’re trying to make with your post. There are some free tools available to help with hashtag research, but most scheduling tools have some hashtag research predictability available. Add the end of your content, simply use # and start typing a word that relates to your topic, and predictive text will take over. That predictive text usually shows how many times that hashtag has been used. The more times it has been used, the more likely it is that people will find your piece if they’re looking at similar pieces. Most experts recommend at least 5 hashtags per post.

Consider:

  • What trends do your posts follow? 
  • What trends can your post start?
  • Are you using tags for people too?

Adjust your post on different channels

A Facebook audience and an Instagram audience are different, so posts should vary as well. Additionally, you have some constraints on some social media channels that don’t exist on others. You can start with the same content, but you’ll need to adjust the content of the post and maybe some of the structural elements. 

The most common issue is having a direct link in a post on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, but unless you meet certain criteria, you can only have a Link in Bio on Instagram. There are other issues, but it’s important to make sure your piece connects to that audience. 

Ask yourself:

  • How can you adjust your post to appeal to a variety of audiences? 
  • What are your constraints on each channel?
  • How can you appeal to a larger audience with your post?

Remember these pieces

There are a few other pieces to remember. 

  • Be consistent in posting but add variety in purpose and content and graphic styles.
  • Constantly research your ever-changing audience and adjust accordingly.
  • Track your analytical data to pick up on trends and adjust accordingly.
  • Consider using a scheduling tool for better overall functionality.
  • Don’t be afraid to outsource this aspect of your business.

Finally, if you’re outsourcing, make sure you find the right person who gets your brand, your voice, and your clients.

Categories: social media