There’s video and gifs…and memes…and “going viral”…and shares, likes and engagement. There’s Facebook and Twitter…and Instagram and Snapchat. There’s so much going on in social media these days that can it be a little overwhelming. You know you want a social media presence–your audiences are there, your clients are there–but trying to make social media work for your organization can be really tricky.
Whether you’re just starting out in the social media realm or looking to improve your current performance, here are four basic concepts to embrace to produce better content and engage more people.
Start With A Goal in Mind
Time is always limited, goals help you spend it wisely by understanding what works, and what doesn’t. As a business or organization, you have an overarching goal or purpose when communicating to your audience. Make use of S.M.A.R.T. objectives that support your overarching business goals.
- Specific—target a specific area for improvement.
- Measurable—quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress.
- Assignable—specify who will do it.
- Realistic—state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
- Time-related—specify when the result(s) can be achieved.
For social media content, try to focus on goals and metrics that are achievable on the social media platform itself. This can include reach, interactions (likes, comments or shares), growing a fanbase and clicks to your website. When deciding on your goals, it’s useful to look at past performance to identify current and future targets.
Now that you have a goal in mind, use relevant content that will achieve the goals you have set.
Keep it Short and Focused
Did you know that the character limit for Facebook posts is 63,206 characters? Crazy, right? That being said, you wouldn’t expect anyone to read it, let alone share it. When writing social content, you generally want to keep things short and focused.
You can’t fit much content onto a mobile device, and 80% of social media time is spent on mobile, according to Marketing Land. If you want people to interact with you, it’s better to be succinct to ensure people quickly understand what your post is about, and if they should share or interact with your content.
Social Post Length Guide
According to the Hubspot Character Count Guide, try to keep content length to:
- 40 to 120 characters for Facebook Posts—2 minutes for Facebook Video
- 120 to 130 characters for Twitter—20 seconds for Twitter Video
- 120 characters for Instagram captions
Post Imagery & Infographics
When posting on social media, it’s undeniable that visual content draws attention to your brand. However, it’s important to make the content genuine and relevant to your brand. In fact, Eye Tracking Studies by Nielsen Norman group show that people spend 10% more time viewing genuine images of real people, and they tend to ignore stock photography.
- Try to regularly add imagery or links to all of your content posts while keeping it unique, original and relevant to the context of the post.
- Always look to create genuine and unique content; people ignore stock photography.
- Users pay attention to information-carrying images (like infographics); try incorporating them into your social strategy.
- Ensure all images and infographics are mobile-friendly; think about simple and clear imagery that looks great on mobile.
Use Social Video Content
If you’ve already incorporated frequent imagery into your social strategy, video content should be an important next step. By 2017, 74% of all internet traffic will be video content according to KPCB. Furthermore, a study conducted by Facebook IQ shows that people look at video content in Facebook and instagram feeds 5x longer than traditional content.
- Ensure video content is visually appealing with a steady camera, good lighting and proper formatting for the platform.
- Consider using on-screen text or subtitles, allowing mobile users to engage even if they are in public. On Facebook, 85% of video is watched without sound.
- Consider Social Live Video content. Facebook Live Videos are now more likely to appear higher in news feeds when they are actually live; this makes your live video content more visible to Facebook Users.
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