Social media is or was designed to be social, by mere definition, this means a social gathering or interaction with people in the community. It seems of late to have become a place for people to blast any thought that pops into their consciousness, not really looking for a response.
These types of moments used to be archived in paper form called diaries and they were merely an outlet for you to express your thoughts and chronicle your life, not really intended for others to read let alone respond. Now we have diary-worthy thoughts and social interactions blending and it is hard sometimes to know the difference.
Business posting on social media should stay in the realm of social and leave the virtual diary-type one-way thoughts in the ether. So how do you write a good business social media post? And what defines it as good? Let’s find out the who, what, why, how, and when to posting.
Who are you “speaking” to?
Know your target market. You should know this based on your business, if you don’t and if you often say “anyone is my target market, anyone can use my product/service”, then you don’t have a good target market defined. That is for a different post, but suffice to say, you need to narrow your target market and define your “ideal” customer. This will significantly help you write content that will get engagement.
Let’s say you have a real estate business and you are the seller agent marketing to buyers. You could say that anyone looking for a house is your target market, right? Maybe, however, you want to think about each house and the ideal client for that house to create better quality social media posts. More targeted posts will help get the right engagement and get more people to see your post, leading to a quicker sale.
Here is an example: You have a house in a particular price point, with a specific style, in a particular area. Maybe this house has a pool, garden, large lot, or triple garage…all features that speak to a specific demographic. If the house is $350K, in an exclusive area, with extra amenities and upgrades, you would want to write content in a way that spoke to a higher income family or person that was interested in the amenities or upgrades.
That would be a completely different post from a $200K starter house with nice but standard finishes with a basic yard with little but what the builder originally installed. The content for this post might emphasize the affordability, closeness to schools, great opportunity to customize and make their own.
You CAN sell to anyone but you must direct your post to a particular demographic, otherwise you risk no engagement.
What do you want to say?
Think about the overall message you want to say. Define that first, then decide “how” you want to word it. You want to craft your message in a way that reaches the maximum number of people. In the real estate example, we started with your target audience, which narrowed the pool a little.
We want that smaller group of people to be the maximum size possible. To do that, think about how people learn and react to information. It isn’t all the same. We all internalize information in different ways; some are more kinesthetic, some are auditory, and some are more visual.
You can more easily experience this when you explain something to someone in person and they want to physically do what you are talking about to understand, that is kinesthetic. Or ever had someone look at you and ask you for the manual or instructions? Those people are more visual, they will gobble up written content but spoken content can sometimes go in one ear and out the other. Or you might have a person hang on every word you say and once you have said it, they understand the steps and they can do the task, no problem. Or, people can be a combination of the three.
And what the heck does this have to do with social media posting?
When you use wording that creates a response in these three types of people, you have a better chance of keeping your target market group of people at the maximum size. Leave out a group and you will find that some people will swipe past your post because nothing they saw caught their eye or created a strong enough response they felt like they needed to engage, meaning, your target market group of people just got smaller.
Why does the reader care?
What is in it for them? We often write content based on factual information; “The widget does this and has these features….” or “We do this kind of work or we make this….”. Ask yourself, why does the reader care? What does that do for them? Answering the readers “why” is the fastest way to get them to stay engaged (reading your post) and to actually engage with a like or comment. So instead of starting with the facts, start with the why.
- Why does a person need your product or service?
- What problem is it solving?
- What reader goal is in achieving?
- What crisis is it helping prevent?
Here is a formula for creating a post
- First two lines: This is the hook, the teaser that makes them interested enough to stick around.
- Add a line space (this will give you “…see more”)
- Write the why content – Inspire, Educate, Motivate
- Write the facts – Inform
- Line space
- Call to action
Keep the post short but not too short. You want the post to be long enough that you get a “…see more”. This means the reader only gets the first 2-3 lines and then has to click “…see more” to read the rest. You don’t necessarily have to make every post fit this structure, however, the more time you spend creating a cohesive message that grabs the attention of the reader, the more valuable your post will be.
Tip: Create bullet lists to help readers quickly know what your content is about.
Call to Action
This is the part I see the most left out of a post. You must tell the reader what you want them to do next. When left to their own devices, they will keep scrolling. Whether this be to book a session, give you a call, or go to your website, you need to give them some direction as to what to do next. Strong (not pushy) call-to-action statements are key to converting readers to customers. Compelling content gets scrollers to be readers and in this fast consumption age, getting a scroller to be a reader and engage is great! However, you aren’t growing your business just from getting people to read your content, you must get them to take the next step through a call-to-action.
How should you communicate the information?
You might have started with a visual piece of content and written text based on the visual. Or, you might have started with a concept and how that you have the great text content, you need a visual. If you have the ability, video is best. Even a short video of at least 15 seconds can be enough to grab someone’s attention. In the video realm, there are differing opinions and stats about how long videos should be on social media. Depending on the format (post or stories), platform, and goal, you could have a video for 1 minute, 2 minutes, or 3 minutes. This study from Wistia shows there is a significant drop in viewing after 2 minutes. Here is some information on Facebook and Instagram video sizing.
No video? You can achieve a video through the use of animation or animated graphics. Use a tool like Canva to create a short video from a still image. They even have a full library of free images and animated stickers to use to help you create content.
No time to create a video? Use an image/picture. Visuals of any kind always are better than just text. Visual content gives the viewer/reader more to absorb and is likely to lead to a longer time on the post, which tells the social media platform positive things about your post and inspires the platform to push your content to more people.
You can reformat or jazz up your images in most platforms. If you don’t have that ability, open up Canva and let your creative juices flow, or use a template for a professional yet fast image.
When should you post?
When is the ideal time to post? When your followers are online. This can be different on different platforms, use the analytics or insights in each platform to determine when your followers are online. Post during those times. If you find this to be unimaginable time-wise, don’t worry, you don’t have to do this in real-time. Use a scheduler program to help you out! Here is a full blog post about scheduling and which platforms I recommend.
Why does this matter? All social media platforms only push your content to a small percentage of people. There is simply too much content out there to expose everyone’s content to all of their followers all the time. So each platform has algorithms to help them sort out relevant and interesting content. They determine relevance and interest based on engagement to the initial group. If those people engage, the platform will push the content to more people. If there is quality enough engagement, say a comment or two, the platform will push the post to even more people. At some point (each platform is different) when the engagement is high enough, you get what is called a viral post where the post is then being exposed to a group of people that aren’t your followers.
In addition to this, when a person sees your post and interacts be in a simple like or better, a comment, this tells the platform what type of person might be interested in your post. The platform will start to expose your post to your follower’s friends. If your follower shares your post, you will see even greater engagement, especially if that follower has a particularly active social media presence. And again, once the post has this traction, the platform notices and keeps pushing it out to even more people it thinks would be interested.
On the flip side, if you post when you can, when it is convenient for you…this may or may not be when your followers are online. You could be spending a lot of time creating amazing content only for no one to see it. Social media posts have a life span and it is relatively short. Maximize your efforts and Market Smart by posting when people will see your content!
Use your business page as an extension of a good customer coming into your place of business. You would ask them how they are doing, maybe how the kids are, what is new in their world. You might tell them what is going on in your family or a great restaurant you just went to. You might chat about an upcoming event in your area or the latest news. Your business page doesn’t need to be exclusively information about your business. Especially if you have the business type, like a realtor, where someone might not use your services on a regular basis.
What is going to keep those people engaged in your content?
Post about interesting things going on in your area. If you are a realtor, post about upcoming family events, farmers markets, family-friendly restaurants, senior-only deals, etc. Make your page stand out as the place to go for interesting information. You will find that people will interact with your content more, particularly if you ask them to tell you about their experiences! This interaction just might turn into your next customer!
Inform – Inspire – Educate – Motivate
Hi! I’m Carolyn.
I help small business owners manifest their destiny through functional business coaching and social media management. My passion is helping people discover greatness. If you are seeking a better life full of happiness and joy and an abundance of success, let’s talk. Your best life is waiting.