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An effective social media strategy is a lot like a yummy cake recipe: it has many layers, requires preparation and there’s a right and a wrong way to do things, with room for your creativity of course. At the heart of any social media strategy is engagement. Why be on social media at all if you’re not engaging and communicating with your followers?
The recipe for engaging social media posts is an easy one to follow and once you practice it enough times, you’ll have it down like preparing your favorite guilty pleasure.
There’s no denying it: social networks are truly embracing photography, from Facebook favoring photo posts over link posts, to Twitter updating its interface to be more image friendly. High quality photos can only help your social media strategy and will encourage users to pay more attention to your profile, thus increasing engagement and overall interest. You don’t need to be Ansel Adams to get high-resolution photos for your blog either. There are plenty of photo sharing services you can sign up for, or can use for free like Flickr Creative Commons.
While high quality pictures will make your social media profiles more appealing and engaging, they’re not enough alone. Great photos need to be partnered with great, engaging copy.
Photography and images will get people to notice your social media posts when scrolling through their News Feeds, sure. But once you have their attention, you really need to captivate them! Follow our social media recipe and add 2-3 parts engaging copy. What 2-3 parts do you have to pick from? Engaging social media copy should do at least 2 of these things:
–Present a topic: Present your audience with a summary of content you’re sharing. If it’s a recent article, provide a short excerpt that encompasses what it’s all really about. If it’s a video, tell your followers what they will gain by watching it.
–Add a viewpoint: If it’s content curated from another creator, add your own viewpoint into the mix. What does this article, blog or video mean to your brand and its loyal listening audience? If the content is yours, feel free to provide more info on the piece such as a brief anecdote pulled from the content, or dive deeper into one of the points introduced in the content.
–Ask for insight: Don’t bother your followers with requests for likes, retweets or shares. Instead, ask them about themselves! People love talking about themselves, almost too much sometimes, but this holds true especially on social media. Ask your followers to share a story, their insight or recommendations. This will generate much more valuable user engagement than a “share this if you’re happy!” type post.
Timing is the final ingredient in our recipe for engaging social media posts. You can post all you want to social media, but if your followers and target audience aren’t online, no one listening to what you have to say. You can find plenty of recommendations online for posting times, such as weekend evenings for Pinterest, and at the start and end of the workday for Facebook. But in actuality, timing varies from audience to audience. What works for one brand may be the worst time of the day to post for another. Try posting at various times throughout the day, testing copy and content along the way, and take note of the times with the highest interaction. After some careful research, you will start to see a pattern, and you’ll have figured out your perfect posting time. Voila!
The recipe for quality social media posts is a simple one to follow and really begins to flourish once a brand gets creative. Stick to our guidelines for engaging on social media and your community will grow in a meaningful way! Now, who wants some cake?