You hear that an important rule of marketing is to “know your audience,” but what you don’t hear as often, is that it’s just as important to “know your platform.” Crafting the perfect social media post is about the means and the message. Each social media site has it’s own personality and language, you want to know the types of posts appropriate for various platforms in order to get the best engagement and response from your audience. It is also important to identify where your audience is spending time online and be active in the sites where they are active.
Ideal social media posts are not hard sells for your product. Instead, they’re conversations on topics related, or tangentially related, to your brand. They remind your customers of your brand and keep your products top of mind. They may not convert as soon as they see your social media post, but over time, your fans are significantly more likely to purchase or recommend you than non-fans.
The ideal Facebook post includes interesting copy, a photo asset, and often, a link to “read more” or “learn more” on a company blog or other brand platform. The copy may ask a question or provoke a conversation based on the photo, as fans will see the two together.
Even though Facebook’s word limit is now in the thousands, studies show that “short and sweet” is better when it comes to Facebook copy too. The Facebook algorithm curates its newsfeed on visual aesthetic. Photos and videos (especially those uploaded in the Facebook player) are more likely to appear in users newsfeeds, and are more likely to be clicked on by users, than word posts alone.
The perfect Twitter post stands more on the legs of its copy than Facebook posts do. While photos and videos (embedded from YouTube or Vimeo) now show up in users’ Twitter Timelines, posts are still driven by text.
Great tweets can include interesting quotes from blog posts or articles, enticing, specific statements designed to draw followers’ attention to the link (example: “How I saved thousands of dollars with 3 simple budgeting rules”), or questions or polls for the followers, especially if follower responses are used to shape your product offerings or branding decisions.
Hashtags on Twitter: Definitely! Read my last guest post for more specific information and advice on Twitter hashtags.
Updates on LinkedIn are generally more related to the career and business world. This is not so much the place to post about your new product offerings or upcoming discounts, unless you can relate it to a big-picture marketing discussion. However, if you’ve written a business or marketing-specific blog post, LinkedIn can be a great place to share with your customers and fellow entrepreneurs.
LinkedIn posts can, but don’t need to, include photos. And if you link out to a blog post or news article, its thumbnail is pulled in on a photo for your post.
Hashtags: Not used on LinkedIn.
Instagram is a great medium to share your brand’s more “artistic” side. If you have a physical product, find ways to show off the way your product is made or demonstrate its various uses. Instagram is especially beneficial for brands in the food or fitness industries. But even if you sell non-tangible products, you can use Instagram to show off the culture of your company. Fun, funky “around the office moments,” or business trips to various locations can perk followers’ interest.
Hashtags on Instagram: Yes! Hashtags are a great way for users to find your content. Here, you want to use more descriptive hashtags about the content of your photo. For example: #SFO #Juicing #DogsofInstagram #Fitness
Pinterest is a visual platform, like Instagram, but the photos aren’t always as “organic” or “in the moment.” While recipe and fitness photos are popular on Pinterest, the platform is also a great place for clothing and interior design photos, or inspirational quotes with interesting backgrounds.
Pinterest is also a terrific platform for sharing digital products. Mashable is very creative in the way they have organized their digital content on their boards. Take a look for inspiration.
Pinterest users like to be inspired. The perfect Pinterest post reflects the mood and tone of your brand, and it’s captivating or motivating enough for users to repin to their own followers.
Hashtags on Pinterest: Yes! As with Instagram, use descriptive hashtags relating to the content of your pin. For example: #quotes #healthyrecipe #gardening
Conversations in Google Plus are similar in style and tone to Facebook conversations. However, you do have the opportunity to limit the post to particular fan “circles.” If you have a passionate group of “superfans,” you may want to post a special incentive or reward to just these followers.
Hashtags on Google Plus: Yes! Google Plus automatically creates hashtags on your posts, depending on keywords used.
Crafting the perfect post for your platform is a great start, but it’s also vital to engage with the thread after it’s posted. We don’t ask a question, and then walk away from the conversation! Respond to your followers’ responses, ask more questions, “like” or “favorite” their replies, and feel free to retweet the good ones (on Twitter). When audiences see that their responses are heard, they will stay connected and continue to engage in the future.
Donna Cravotta is the CEO of Social Sage PR and the creator of the Total Social PR System™ and Publicity Prowess™. She helps entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses maximize their online presence with a very different approach to social media and public relations. Her commitment is to ensure that her clients are empowered to amplify their unique voice and share their purpose, without overwhelming their schedules.
A natural connector of people and a relationship builder long before Facebook even existed, Donna has created a simple, yet strategic method to reveal hidden opportunities online that create authentic situations for her clients to grow their networks, gain loyal followers, connect with the media, and do it all with ease.
Donna knows a thing or two about creative (and cost-effective) social media and online strategy, the best part is… she teaches her clients how to build these strategies into their own businesses in an ongoing and sustainable way. Her techniques can be easily implemented in just a few minutes each day to create valuable business connections, resulting in lasting relationships that lead to mind-blowing opportunities and endless possibilities.
You can reach Donna at SocialSagePR.com.