Our top 6 tips for nailing your social content
Social networks are one of the fastest growing industries in the world with a projected 25% annual growth rate over the next 5 years. Therefore, it should be no surprise that it’s quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, especially here in Australia.
Australians are some of the most active social media users in the world and on average are using social media platforms for up to 2 hours per day. To put it into perspective, here’s some stats from last month:
This is a clear indication the social media wave isn’t ending anytime soon – so your business needs to start riding it. A great place to start is with a social media marketing strategy – and a big part of a successful social media marketing strategy is regularly posting on the platforms you know your audience are active on.
Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter, there’s a few hard and fast rules when it comes to creating social content. To help you out, our Digital Content Specialist will run you through her top 6 tips on how to nail your social posts. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Know your audience
Before you even start writing, you need to know who you’re writing for and why. You don’t want there to be any disconnect between you (the writer) and your target audience (the reader). So the best way to make sure your content doesn’t fall flat is to conduct thorough research.
If you want to get to know your target audience, then you’ve got to dig in and do your research. Without solid research, you’re essentially writing your content blindfolded – with no sense of direction or understanding of what’s around you. Thankfully, there’s tools you can use right there in the social platforms.
Facebook’s Audience Insights is a good example. Audience Insights shows you data about your target audience so you can create more relevant content for them. Audience features that can help you to create personas include:
- Relationship status
- Educational level
- Job role
- Top categories
- Page likes
- Top cities
- Top countries
- Top language
- Frequency of activity
- Device users
And knowing your audience will have a knock-on effect. Once you’ve identified who’s interacting with your page, you’ll have a clear understanding of your messaging matrix and the tone you’ll need to convey this.
So, what’s your tone? Is it formal or informal? Serious or laid back? Professional or playful? Combining information on who your brand is and insights into what your audience wants will help you strike the perfect balance for your posts. Then, you have a clearer direction when it comes to writing consistent messages that people can easily identify your brand with.
2. Have a plan of attack
Branching off this idea of knowing your audience, you also need to have a clear purpose. Your social posts always need to serve a purpose, whether it be to educate, to inform, to offer a product or service, etc.
But don’t confuse things: Have one idea and stick to it. Having more than one focus will confuse your readers and muddle the purpose of your post. To ensure you are getting straight to the point and not pulling your reader in more than one direction, you should follow a solid structure. To help you with this, I have put together a basic formula for constructing social posts:
- Sentence 1 – Get their attention. What is it you want to tell them?
- Sentence 2 – Additional information. Is there anything else they need to know? (Optional)
- Sentence 3 – Call-to-action. What do you want them to do?
Posts should be no more than 3 sentences if you can help it. Remember, there’s not a lot of time to convey your message, so make the most of it by getting the most important information out first. To show you what I mean, here’s a good example of one of our recent Facebook posts:
As you can see, this post follows a problem-solution format. The first sentence poses a question to the audience that piques their interest and entices them to continue reading. The second sentence offers additional information by answering the question. And the third sentence offers a strong CTA letting them know what to do to solve their problem.
Another good source of inspiration for modelling your posts on is the inverted pyramid. The inverted pyramid is used to illustrate how information should be prioritised in a text. In regards to social posts, it can be used to structure your sentences to make sure you’re putting priority information first.
3. Follow the KISS principle
Now that you know who your target audience is and have a solid plan of attack, you can finally start writing. When it comes to writing your social posts, don’t over complicate things. A great tip I picked up when learning how to write news stories at university was KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. And the same can be said for social media posts.
Your audience isn’t on social media to read an essay, let alone a 200 word paragraph. They want short, snappy information in digestible snippets that serves an immediate purpose to them. If they wanted switch-on reading, they wouldn’t be browsing through social media.
So don’t be afraid to be ruthless and cut, cut, cut. If it doesn’t need to be there, take it out. Remember, the less words the better with shorter copy converting at 30% while longer copy converts at 20%. The average sentence should be around 16 words, so try some of these time-saving tips:
- Cut out words like “that” and “and”
- Turn commas into full stops
- Shorten words to one syllable
- The bigger the words, the dumber we look
However, if you’re worried you don’t have enough time to say everything you need to say, that’s where your link comes in. If you do have a piece of content you want them to read, give them a little teaser and link to it – don’t summarise the entire piece right there in your post.
4. Get creative
With that being said, just because you’re keeping it simple doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. Make your social posts catchy and exciting – just do it quickly. You don’t have a lot of time on social to make an impression, so you need to get it right the first time.
In fact, only 16% of people actually read every single word of your social post; so you need to make sure your grabbing their attention from the get-go if you want to stand any chance of having your goals met, be that brand awareness, lead generation, etc.
Some of my favourite writing techniques are alliteration and repetition. I find repeating words and even repeating letters is a great way to make your posts punchy and imprint on the reader’s mind. Here’s an example:
As you can see, we’ve used alliteration on the words “moving” and “mobile” in the first part of the sentence and “brush up” and “basics” in the second part. This not only provides an interesting aesthetic and makes your posts fun to read, but can enhance memory.
Known as the “Power of Peter Piper”, several experiments have shown how repetitive consonants can act as an effective tool for memory. So if you want your posts to have a long-term impact, why not try your hand at repetition and alliteration?
5. Read it back to yourself
Once you’ve written your post, I cannot stress the importance of reading it back to yourself enough. You should be doing this both in your head and out loud to make sure it flows smoothly. How you read it is how everyone else will be reading it, so you need to make sure it sounds right.
Often overlooked is editing your posts. But nothing looks worse and can discredit your brand more than grammar and spelling mistakes on social. Making up only a few short sentences, there’s nowhere to hide in a social post so if you have even one spelling mistake it will stand out like a sore thumb.
So after you’ve read your post for these simple mistakes, you need to make sure it flows smoothly. A great resource I recommend when checking the flow of your post is the Hemingway App. Simply copy and paste your post into the text section to see the readability. The sweet spot I’ve found is Grade 5.
6. Don’t forget the visuals
Finally, don’t forget to include an image. You know the saying “a picture is worth a thousands words”? Well, there’s a lot of truth to this. The brain processes an image 60,000 times faster than text, which means you’d be silly not to leverage the power of imagery.
People are more likely to click or like a post in their newsfeed that’s visually enticing than one that’s just full of text. So use images that align with the message of your post to increase your chances of making an impression.
And it doesn’t just have to be images – it can also be videos, infographics, etc. Anything that’s going to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to interact with your post.
Need help crafting your social media strategy? Have a chat to Bang Digital today. We have the skills and experience to help you make a lasting impression on social.