Keeping up with the latest techniques for social media posting can be like chasing cars on a speedway. For example: “In the constantly changing world of best blogging practices, it seems we’ve just learned how to craft the short and sassy snippet posts when a growing trend appears urging longer posts for more engaged reader experience,” writes Cari Bennette of SocialMouths.
While platforms such as Facebook are encouraging longer word counts, these numbers remain secondary in importance to valuable content. Here are some standard practices that will help your social media performance.
• Pay attention to timing. Many people of similar interests are members of the same groups. So if you are posting an event that takes place next week, and a person immediately sees it in five different forums, they probably won’t remember it in a day or two. However, if your reader sees the post once, then sees it 24 hours later, and again the next day, he or she will probably enter it into their long-term memory. Use social media tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule and crosspost. Such platforms can help you streamline your process. They save you time and provide analytics.
• When possible, include citations, references or links in your posts. Share your expert sources. This will add to reader trust and your credibility.
• Be mobile friendly. Given the staggering increase in mobile users, the following quote from Matt Trotta of BuzzFeed pretty much sums it up: “You can’t go viral if your content can’t be viewed and shared on the mobile web.”
• Show readers that you care. Danny Wong, posting on Shareaholic, cites Marcus Cordero: “It starts with having a purpose beyond pushing your brand.” Be more than an expert. After all, they call it “social” media for a reason. Be personable and friendly. Humorous, inspiring and motivational quotes also perform well.
• Keep posts Twitter-friendly. Even though I recommend longer posts, that still leaves many opportunities for headlines 140 characters long. And if your Facebook automatically links to Twitter, just make sure that the first 140 characters sends enough of a complete message to make your reader want to click through for more.
Write longer blog posts. A study by SerpIQ’s shows search result ranks based on volume of word count: The more content you have, the more of it gets indexed. The more that gets indexed, the better it will perform in searches and results. Content with greater word counts creates more backlinks and is shared more often. Longer posts also leverage the power of long-tail keywords. Such words perform better in semantic, meaning-based search queries and not just exact matches. This strategy enhances SEO and conversions. But remember that length itself is not a cure-all. Always pay attention to your target audience and your intended purpose.
Meridian-based social media maven Bri Clark offers the following content suggestions for high performance retweets and shares: “Pose simple, basic questions that your followers can answer quickly,” she says. “Share new, relevant industry statistics or data. Use fill-in-the-blank posts (e.g. “If I had $1 million I would _________”). Clark also suggests behind-the-scenes photos, candid shots of yourself and your employees or shots of your office or workspace.
Finally, Clark tells social media writers to have a good time. “Sometimes it’s serious, but most of the time, it’s not,” she writes. “Much like the social experience, people favor conversation that is light and entertaining. If it’s good enough, others share it. Don’t get too far removed from it all. If you’re not having fun, neither are they.”