For anyone heavily invested in social media marketing for business, finding the perfect recipe for your social media posts would be a dream come true. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there was one tried and true formula to create compelling posts that would knock the ball out of the park every time and get the kind of response you’re dreaming of?
While there is no such formula, here is one basic recipe that can be used as a starting point to create the perfect post for any platform:
Take 1 part compelling and/or useful content, add 1 part customer engagement and 1 part exciting graphic; stir gently, add one call to action, and garnish with a compelling headline. Place the whole thing in the correct format and post at the optimum time for your desired social media platform.
First Things First – Write a Must-Click Headline
According to KISSmetrics, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy, on average.
Furthermore, readers tend to absorb just the first three and last three words of a headline. That would seem to make a six-word headline ideal, yet somewhat impractical. It’s important to keep these metrics in mind, however, when creating your headline, so you should put the most important words at the beginning and the end.
Effective headlines tend to use the elements of surprise, curiosity, helpfulness, entertainment, negativity, immediacy, and numerical values; think top 10 lists. The more of these elements you can contain in a headline, the better, i.e.
“Top 10 Ways Hollywood Divas Conceal Flaws They Don’t Want You to See”
When it comes to writing a headline that contains a question, remember one of British Journalist Ian Betteridge’s law of headlines: “Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”
What is Compelling or Useful Content?
This is the meat of the post. Whether you write it yourself or simply repost from somewhere else on the web, this is the story, article, or how-to feature that you’re offering to your readers. It needs to have either entertainment value, some sort of useful information, newsworthiness, or some other compelling reason they would want to read it. As long as it’s something your readers will be interested in, it can be ripped from the headlines or be local community or business news.
Content that Engages Customers
A social media post needs to be something that will make customers want to respond, whether it’s to write a letter to their Congressman or come down to your store and see your new products for themselves. Your post needs to not only be newsworthy and entertaining, but should also elicit some sort of reaction. Bring the story home to the reader, and tell them what they can do to remedy the situation.
Include an Awesome Photo or Graphic
Graphics are a crucial part of a compelling social media post. Visuals are key, whether it’s Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, or even Twitter. A compelling image draws the eye to your content and makes the reader want to check it out.
The best images are photos that you take yourself, provided the image quality is good. Obviously, if the article is shared from somewhere else, then any images included would also be shared, saving you the effort of coming up with one. You can also purchase photos, clipart, and more on sites like Dreamstime, or get royalty-free or public domain images from a variety of sites, such as Stock Exchange and Wickimedia Commons to name a few.
Make it easier for your readers to share by providing an image that’s sized correctly for the social media platform. Using the proper size also ensures that viewers will see it correctly on desktop and mobile. You can find image size guides on a variety of useful sites like SocialMediaToday.com.
Don’t Forget Your Call to Action
As a local business you are hoping to accomplish something with your social media posts. What is it that you want your customers to do? It can be as simple as just getting them to check out your website, browse your menu of products and services, or come down to your store to take advantage of a sale or promotion.
Other posts may be more esoteric in nature, urging readers to do more research on the topic, in which case you might provide links to further reading. In any case, your blog post should include a call to action, engaging your readers and helping you to develop some kind of rapport.
Timing is Everything – Best Times to Post Social Media
You could have the most awesome post with a really tight, compelling headline, yet posting it at the wrong time of day decreases your chances of people even seeing it. Give your posts
a sporting chance by posting them during peak periods for the site you have chosen. According
to Social Media Guru Steven J. Davidson, these are the optimum times to post social media on various sites:
- Blog post: 11am
- YouTube: 1pm – 3pm
- Facebook: 1pm – 4pm
- Twitter: 1pm – 3pm
- Pinterest: 2pm – 4pm and 8pm – 1am
- Google Plus: 9am – 11am
- LinkedIn: 7am – 9am and 5pm – 6pm
- Tumblr: 10pm
Follow this recipe for the perfect social media post, and you’ll have a much better chance of success than if you just throw something together with no particular format!