Creating Posts with Punch: A Checklist for Social Marketers
Numerous studies have revealed that social media impacts the bottom line for brands. The effect word-of-mouth recommendations have on consumer purchase behavior is proven. With social commerce and targeted advertising creating additional opportunities for brands to capitalize in this medium, creating the most effective social media posts for your brand is vital for engagement and marketing ROI.
However, breaking through the noise and reaching your consumer is no easy task. The average shelf life of a Tweet is less than an hour, giving you a short window to impact consumer attitudes and behavior. When it comes to Facebook, by far the most buzzed about social space for brands, the stakes are even higher. For every piece of content posted that does not yield engagement, Facebook’s algorithm penalizes brand pages by decreasing the percentage of fans that view your brand’s content.
Whether developing content for Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, a blog or other social sites, the checklist below can help guide marketers as they strive to create engaging posts that drive desired behaviors.
- Be concise. Don’t dilute your message with marketing jargon. Make your posts clear and get straight to the point. According to a report conducted by Buddy Media, posts with 80 or less characters had 27% higher engagement.
- Use strong headlines. Write in an inverted pyramid format with your most important piece of information first, followed by subsequent details.
- Write to the one, not the many. Facebook has 750 million users. But you don’t need to speak to all of them. Identify your target audience and keep them in mind when creating content. Answer their questions and post content that is relevant and helpful to them.
- Include a call to action. What is the purpose of your post? Do you want your followers to click a link, subscribe to a newsletter or buy a product? Clearly communicate to your followers what action you want them to take.
- Be visual. We are living in a visual world. According to Facebook, posts that include a photo album, picture or video respectively generate about 180%, 120% and 100% more engagement than the average post.
- Reward, surprise and delight! Sometimes consumers need an incentive to engage with a brand. This is where rewards can make a huge difference. Additionally, social media makes it easier for brands to identify and reward their super fans.
- Take a chance. To be noticed in the social space you have to think and market differently. The exceptional garner more attention than the ordinary.
- KISS: Keep it simple, stupid. Don’t overcomplicate your posts. If you’re hosting a promotion, make participation as straightforward as possible. Also avoid giving consumers too many options, as an overwhelming number of calls to action can lead to inaction.
- Be positive. This is basic online etiquette. What you post and how you respond in the social sphere impacts your brand reputation.
- Include user generated content. Recognizing and highlighting the input and creativity of others is a great way to spark engagement and get consumers directly involved in the conversation.
- Stay on trends. Knowing the latest trends shows consumers and followers that you are timely and relevant. Posts that tie in trends also tend to see more engagement.
- Measure results. Identify the right metrics for your brand and measure against your key performance indicators. Add the necessary context that demonstrates why something is or isn’t working to allow for a revised approach to engagement.
- Use cues from other channels. Successes in channels such as search, web and email can help inform your social strategy. This will also help you stay on top of trends and better understand consumers.
- Help continue and curate conversations. By listening to themes and conversations around your brand and product you’ll be better equipped to start a conversation with relevant content.
Social media is an extremely valuable engagement tool when used to its maximum potential. When creating social content, always keep your consumer in mind and leverage each and every post to engage your audience and support your overall marketing strategy.