06 Oct Back to Basics – What Makes a Great Social Media Post?
Elements of a social media post
Every great social media post has three basic elements:
- A Link or CTA
Let’s dig into each of these!
Media: Your photos or videos don’t have to be professional studio quality, but they do need to be clear and eye-catching. Show your work in progress, do a flat lay, and share your product or service being used (& enjoyed) in lifestyle photos so customers can imagine themselves using it! If you’re looking for some examples, we love Stephen West’s style, and Courtney Flynn’s fabulous flat lay photos.
Description: Don’t stuff your keywords into your description, but come up with a few thoughtful sentences that communicate what you think customers will find most valuable. Does your product or service solve a problem for them? Would it make their life easier or more fun? Do you have a fun bit of trivia or piece of advice to share?
Call to Action (CTA): What do you want your audience to do with your post? Be sure to include links to where they can find more details (for instance your product page, blog post, or relevant Pinterest board, etc.). Make the link as specific as possible – get your audience where they want to go in 1-click. So often we see posts that share information but don’t tell potential customers what to do with it! Give them ideas: “Follow the link in our profile to get more information about the knit along,” “Leave us a comment and let us know about your favorite crafting tool,” “Tag us in your posts with the hashtag #stitchcraftmarketing and let us know if this tip worked for you!”
Optimizing Your Media Files
Every social media platform has slightly different optimal sizes for images. Be sure that you’re creating optimized graphics for each site – you can do so easily in a free graphics app like Canva. We’ve included a few of the key platforms below:
- Instagram photos should be 1080 by 1080 pixels.
- Facebook photos should be 1500 pixels wide and up to 1200 pixels tall.
- Pinterest graphics should be 1000 pixels wide by 1500 pixels tall.
- Video for Instagram should be shot in Portrait mode so you make use of the whole screen.
- Video for Facebook can be shot in either Landscape or Portrait mode with ratios of 16:9 or 9:16.
Hashtags are most useful on Instagram and TikTok where they are clickable and allow users to find other similar content. Hashtags are not of much use on either Facebook or Pinterest, so don’t spend too much time adding them there. You can add your branded hashtag to remind followers to let you know how they’re using your products, but skip the wall of hashtags when they aren’t functional.
How do you know what hashtags to use? Follow influencers and the who’s who in your industry and see what hashtags they’re using. Search different hashtags on Instagram and see what comes up. You want to narrow your terms a bit. For instance #yarn is going to bring back millions of posts, but #handdyedyarn is going to narrow the range for you. It’s hard to stand out in millions of posts, but if you’re 1 in 1,000 or even 10,000 you’re closer to the top. Develop your own branded hashtag – something folks can use to recognize you. It could be your business name or it could be your tagline or a short motto. For instance Nike could use #nike but also #justdoit and be recognizable!
What should you share? Make sure at least half of your posts are “give” content; that is, they share educational or inspirational messages rather than posts that are promotional in nature. Share your best tips and tricks, memes, or fun facts or trivia. Post something that would interest your customers, but isn’t trying to sell them a product. Think of these posts as a way to create engagement opportunities and start conversations.
What do you do best? What is your area of expertise? Create cornerstone content that highlights your area of expertise and lives on your website, then share (and re-share) across social media platforms, driving traffic back to your website. Think about gating (requiring customers to do something to access) your best content from time to time to collect emails for your newsletter list.
In addition to promoting new products, consider some semi-regular features to increase engagement. Try highlighting great makers with a Maker Monday post, share your best tips and tricks on Tip Tuesday, share user-generated content on WIP Wednesday, etc. Creating regular features gives you a framework around which to build your content.
Finally, create branded graphic templates like those we’ve shared above to make these posts instantly recognizable as coming from you!
You’ve posted…. Now what?
Now that you’ve created some great social media content, what comes next? We can break this down into two buckets: Engagement and Analysis.
Engagement: You’ve created great content and put it out there and people are responding. They’re liking it, sharing it and bookmarking it for later. They’re also leaving comments. Now it’s your turn to engage. Respond to those comments, answer questions and offer further suggestions. Follow your branded business hashtag and be sure to like and comment when other posters use it correctly to share what they’re working on! Follow influencers in your field and leave thoughtful comments on their posts. Remember, you’re building relationships and trust with your followers, which ultimately will encourage them to purchase from you.
Analysis: This sounds scary, but it’s really not. All of your platforms have some analytics information on how your posts are doing. Make time to review those analytics once or twice a month so you can make use of this feedback. What posts garnered the most engagement? Create more content like that. What posts didn’t do as well? Try to avoid posts like that in the future. You don’t have to spend a lot of time digging deep, but use your analytics to test new ideas and refine your content over time so it hits your customers’ sweet spots!
We hope this post has given you some guidelines on how to create great social media content. If you’d like help with your social media strategy planning, content creation or execution, contact us today and we can help!