Social media can seem like a complex and confusing world, especially if your first experience is building a business page. First and foremost, determining the right social media platform(s) for your business is imperative to ensure your time and effort is well spent. You can read more about that in our post Social Media Explained and How to Make It Work for You. Between the ever-changing algorithms and complexities of each platform, however, it can be overwhelming knowing how or what to post. By implementing a few simple tips, you can create posts that are most likely to grab the attention of your target audience and best represent your business.
Know Your Audience and Yourself
Taking the time to research your audience and develop a social media strategy and action plan can ensure that the time you invest in posting on social media is effective.
By defining who exactly you are trying to reach, you can better tailor your content to catch their eye and increase engagement. This includes everything from their demographic and preferred communication style to any potential needs or challenges they may face. If you anticipate potential needs and desires of your target customers, you can better promote your product – whether it be selling genetics or non-profit memberships – by constructing your posts accordingly. Knowing more about your target audience also allows you to better speak their language. Finally, if you use language that resonates with your audience, you’re more likely to keep them interested.
Speaking the language of your audience doesn’t mean losing your own voice, however. It’s important to develop a voice for your posts and be consistent, because consistency builds trust and establishes an emotional connection. Your “voice” often stems from the core of your company. What do you stand for? Why do you do what you do? What sets your product apart from the others? All of these questions come into play when discovering your voice. Remember, it’s OK to keep it casual. It’s OK to use emojis that complement your post, or start a sentence with “But” or “And.” No one is interested in reading mundane, stuffy posts.
Post Development and Structure
With the needs of your target audience in mind, you’re ready to begin developing content. As you brainstorm topics for your posts, think of the needs and challenges you previously discovered and start writing.
Posts should be kept short and simple. Short sentences can build a sense of excitement. Long, drawn-out sentences, on the other hand, quickly lose attention, and seeing a multi-paragraph post can simply cause your audience to scroll on by. The goal is to grab your audience’s attention while still letting them know you value their time. A few tips for keeping posts succinct include keeping paragraphs to two to three sentences, using bullet points where you can and directing them to a spot where they can read more or find more information if desired, such as your blog or website.
Keeping posts positive also tends to have a greater impact on audiences. This doesn’t mean every post has to be a joyful celebration; there’s a difference between positive and happy. Staying positive entails steering clear of attacking others or criticizing another business. In doing so, you tend to build a more positive audience and create posts that generate excitement or constructive conversation.
Last, use jargon sparingly. It’s been shown that jargon can make businesses seem untrustworthy. By using less jargon, the audience is able to picture and comprehend what you’re writing about more vividly as compared to complex sentences. On the other hand, there is still a time and place for jargon as it creates more connection to the specific community you are targeting and can demonstrate your knowledge of the field. When used incorrectly, however, it can quickly have the opposite effect, so use sparingly and intentionally.
Adding Visual Appeal
Visual content is far more engaging than simple text. This can include images, infographics or videos. A visual can potentially get your message across more succinctly than text, especially a standalone infographic.
Regardless of visual type, ensuring it is high quality is of the utmost importance. Poor quality graphics give the impression that you’re not professional and make you appear less trustworthy. This doesn’t mean you have to invest in fancy new equipment or hire a professional right away. Modern smartphones have great capabilities if you invest the time into learning how to capture quality images and video.
Videos can be an important part of business as they tend to draw the attention of your audience faster than a static image. Video may also build connections and trust faster as your audience is able to better understand your business and those who run it. Most platforms have live video features now, as well, which are a great resource for sharing raw, authentic content in the moment.
Each social media platform has their own size specifications for graphics and videos. Taking the time to tailor your content to each platform will further improve your professional look.
Call to Action
Last but not least, adding a call to action at the end of your post can help improve engagement. This could include things like asking your audience to like or share your post, visit your website or request a catalog for your upcoming sale. Another great method of increasing engagement is asking the audience a question that they can respond to in the comments. While not every post needs a call to action, including one when it’s appropriate can encourage your audience to connect further and take further action if they are interested or appreciate your content.
It’s important to note that there are a lot more complexities that go into social media strategy and audience engagement. For example, Facebook and Instagram have a connected paid ad service, which is a great resource for gaining traction as a business. It can help drive traffic to your website, or feature a product or service you offer to a specific targeted audience that you define. By following these tips during content creation, you’ll be heading in the right direction.
If you need help navigating the complex world of social media or simply don’t have the hours necessary to invest, BluePrint Media is a great resource to help you develop and implement an in-depth social media strategy designed to help your business thrive. Learn about what our inbound marketing strategies can do for your social media here.
Emily grew up in rural Connecticut with a passion for agriculture. She attended Texas A&M University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in ruminant nutrition. Emily has joined the BluePrint team as a designer and feature writer after previously working in feed sales and as the marketing manager for a large ranching operation in central Texas. Emily and her husband look forward to raising their family in the agricultural community they both love.