The Anatomy Of A Perfect Post from A-Z
Do you know what it takes to make perfect social media posts? In article #3 of How To Tame Social Media I will go through everything you need to know about creating the perfect posts on social media. I have also included the best and worst times for posting from: Your Blog, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and YouTube. If you’re already producing perfect posts, perhaps you want to know how to reach more people with them. In any event this article is meant to be a guideline. Social Media is forever changing. Depending on your audience, brand, and even day of the week, the results that are best for you may be different. Know your numbers and make adjustments accordingly. Remember, though, you do not need to follow all these Social Media platforms. Find which best represents your goal and niche and concentrate on those.
NOTE: Since this post first appeared on Marilyn’s Treats in 2015 many of the lengths and sizes as well as popularity of regarding Social Media platforms has changed. I am in the processing of making updates and will indicate wehn they are finished.
Engaging Title: Your title should grab attention as it is the first thing a viewer will read. Remember to keep it to under 70 characters and include any keywords at the start of the title.
First Paragraph: Make sure any keywords are featured in the first sentence to grab people’s attention and let them know what they can expect from the article.
Word Count: Ideally keep your post to between 500-800 words. This will be long enough to get your message across but also not too long that you lose your reader’s attention.
Links: Include links throughout the post to direct viewers to other pages of your blog for more information.
Relevant Image: Adding an image or graphic to your post will make it more engaging for the reader and make the post more shareable.
Call to Action: End the post with a call to action such as a question or a link to another post the reader may enjoy.
Share on social: Add some social media buttons to the post, prompting viewers to share.
Keep Things Positive: Positivity breeds engagement and sharing. It will help inspire and excite your users.
Pin Posts: Pin your most recent/most relevant post to the top of the page to encourage engagement when fans first hit the page.
Provide a Link: If you’re going to provide a link, make sure you use a service that provides analytics so you can track how many people are clicking through from Facebook.
Mobile Friendly: Use simple imagery that will be easily seen on mobile devices as 80-85% of your fans will see posts on their phone.
Be Available: Post when the audience is listening not just when your business is open. This will ensure more engagement from users.
Engage with users: Posts don’t just grab attention, comments and responses do. Engage with people and build relationships through conversational dialogue.
Include images: Posts with images get the highest amount of engagement on Facebook, so make sure to include one when you can… perfect size 800×600.
Provide information: The most appealing updates don’t disclose everything upfront, this makes users click to find out more…
Tag Brands and People: Tag Brands and people, when applicable, they’ll get a notification and potentially engage with that post.
Trending Topics: Get involved with the ‘hot topics’ to show your brand is keeping up with real-time events. This will also increase your brand’s visibility.
Utilize Hashtags: Increase your page’s reach by adding relevant hashtags to your post i.e. #infographic. Remember G+ will automatically add a hashtag for key/trending topics.
Use Images: Using full sized images (800×600 px) will make your posts stand out on the page compared to tiny images and link thumbnails. Mkae sure your images are not bigger than you need as this drastically affects space speed and databse size.
Find Communities: Find relevant communities to engage with and contribute in. You’ll see an increase in engagement as you all have one thing in common…that community topic.
Interact with Commenters: Google+ doesn’t have the most active users/brand fans, so when you get comments make sure you extend those conversations.
Editing: Use other apps, such as Instafit and InstaCollage, to enhance your photos. Once you’re used to editing your feed will have a consistent look and feel.
Captions: Use relevant photo captions to grab the attention of people and include questions to drive comments.
Reply: @mention people who have commented to drive two-way conversations. Keep the comments to a conversational level, rather than pushing sales.
Rule of Thirds: Putting the subject of the photo in only two thirds of the screen makes it more attractive to the eye.
Video: Instagram videos must be 15 seconds long, so make sure the message you’re conveying is concise! Make sure you choose a compelling cover image from the video to encourage views.
Use Hashtags: There’s always some random hashtags that come round once a week or so, so maybe be aware of them if you want loads of engagement.
Status Update: Your post should be up to date, informative, relevant and attention grabbing. Aim to use no more than 50 characters and engage with your audience by asking questions.
Provide a Link: Adding a link to your update will help direct more people to your article.
Edit Description: Edit your description text, be concise and to the point to draw in clicks.
Research & Analyse: Know your target audience and tailor the post to them. LinkedIn insights is a great tool for this. Learn from how well your previous posts have performed, measure engagement through comments, shares, likes and clicks.
Interact with commenters: Engage in the conversation and build relationships with your audience. You could even ask a question to encourage further discussion.
Bonus: Even though Linkedin is mainly for job resumes, finding, and endorsement, there are many bloggers accessing its potential. I have as many followers and almost as much engagement on Linkedin as I do on Facebook!
No Human Faces: Images with no human faces get shared 23% more often than those with human faces.
Multiple colours: Images with dominant colours (red, dark green, pink) get 3x the amount of likes and repins.
Light and Colour: Images with 50% colour saturation get repined 4x more often than those with 100% and 10x more than black and white images.
Little Background: Use a compelling background that doesn’t take up more than 40% of your image, otherwise you’ll see repins decrease by 50%.
Lots Of Red: Red or orange images get 2x the amount of repins.
Portrait style: Vertically orientated images perform better than horizontally orientated images. The perfect ratios are 2:3 and 4:5.
Bonus: Adding an image with video will make your post more engaging.
Know your post types: You’ve got 7 options to choose from, make sure it’s the right one for the type of content you wish to share.
Know Your Tumblr Speak: Or at least be aware of it. You don’t want to be in the middle of a great conversation and show you have no idea that CRYING doesn’t necessarily mean someone is upset…
Tagging: Tumblr uses hashtags like most other platforms – make sure to utilise them so your posts are easy to find.
Follow People: Not only will you be more aware of the latest viral post and what others are talking about, it will also encourage others to follow you.
Choose a good theme: A pretty Tumblr is a successful Tumblr, there are plenty of free themes to choose from when you’re first starting. Usually the simpler the theme the nicer it looks.
Like & Reblog: This will ensure you are more visible, Tumblr is a very interactive platform – make sure you show some love! (and remember to always reblog, never steal posts!)
Pin tweets: Pin your most recent or most relevant tweet to the top of your page to encourage engagement.
Call To Action: Give a clear CTA so your readers know what you want them to do.
Punctuation: Don’t sacrifice grammar just because you’ve got 280 characters. Avoid abbreviations and all caps.
Shorten URLs: Bit.ly links and similar link shorteners generate the most retweets, so shorten all your URLs.
Format: Use questions, facts and figures to engage viewers and drive retweets.
Mentions: Use mentions to prompt influencers to engage with you and then respond.
Retweet: Retweet relevant content for your audience, don’t forget to leave 20 characters so users can add their input.
Add an image: Adding an image or video will make your post more engaging.
File Name: You want your video to be searchable so remember to change your file name to something relatable before you upload – staying away from MOV1234.mp4.
Call to Action: Within the description remember to let viewers know what you would like them to do next, you may want to add a link back to your website.
Catchy Title: This is what will get people to click and watch your video. Make sure it is attention-grabbing but also informs the audience about the topic.
Description: Add more detail about your video to help viewers find it easily. Use the description to add links to your website and social channels.
Use Tags: Get your video in front of more people by adding tags and using keywords, this will help your video appear in more searches.
10.Optimal Posting Time For Social Media
What do you think? What are your top tips for creating perfect social media posts? Which Social Media platforms work best for you and why? Did any of your results surprise you? Please let me know by email or comments. And if you want to keep on top of my series signup for my weekly newsletter! This post was originally written by Steph Dowling and modified for Bloggers by Marilyn’s Treats.
UPDATES: Updates are coming soon to reflect changes made to some of the sizes in Social Media platforms. These are consistently changing, so do your own double checking depending on when you are reading this post.
How to Tame Social Media Part 1 HOW to use Social Media to grow your readership.
How to Tame Social Media Part 2 ENGAGEMENT and making every task worth the effort and time.
How to Tame Social Media Part 3 WHAT to do, WHERE to do it, and WHEN, was the best time of day.
How to Tame Social Media Part 4 PUTTING, putting it all together.
Find the bonus post for the Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet 2018 here.