10 Social Media Tips and Tricks to Know
1. Maintain a consistent voice. You want your voice to reflect your mission and your content. When you post regularly, your followers come to expect a certain tone in your copy. a. That said, sometimes it works to throw what people expect of you out the window. Surprise factor is an effective tool for keeping followers interested. Note, though, that the effectiveness of this strategy depends on the type of brand you are and the message you are trying to send, and is always a gamble.
2. Keep it simple. Be professional without being overly formal. If your goal is to reach a layman audience, avoid business jargon (words used by a particular profession or group that are difficult for others to understand). Maintain a 6th- to 8th-grade reading level. Try to keep posts conversational rather than formal.
3. Keep it short. Twitter recently doubled its character limit from 140 to 280. But research shows that tweets under 100 characters tend to get Retweeted the most. Remember, you’ve only got an average of two seconds to draw a reader’s attention to Twitter. For Facebook, you’ve got a little more leeway (more characters, 10-20 second attention span).
4. Include a direct call to action. Your audience should be able to look at your Tweet and understand exactly how you want them to interact with it. Use imperative words like “see, make, look, Retweet.” You’re looking to create a sense of urgency, to make someone click away from their newsfeed and do something.
5. Incorporate media. Photos and videos make content twice as engaging, and users have come to expect them. Visual media’s job on Twitter and Facebook is to make a user stop scrolling, take an extra second to look at your post, and engage with your content. a. Use images that add context to your copy. The best images are clean, interesting at a glance, and easy on the eyes. b. Use gifs, but sparingly. Powerful because of their short duration and how they stand out on a static page. They don’t autoplay, but they’re tempting enough to stop people mid-scroll. Lean toward the humorous; users respond to humor on social media more than anything else. c. Image clichés work. Pictures of puppies, food, that overused distracted boyfriend meme. Most brands can find a category of clichés that work for them. Think outside the box. d. Stock photos suck. Users are tired of looking at photos of beautiful people shaking hands at business meetings. Use original content as much as possible. If stocks are a must, find less literal images to represent your content. Illustrations and vectors work well for this.
6. Use quotes. Tweets with quotes are 54 percent more likely to be Retweeted. If you’re posting an article, include a prominent quote from that article to draw your audience in.
7. #Hashtags. Hashtags can help people find your posts—if you’re using them correctly. When using an existing hashtag, make sure you’re adding value to the conversation. One or two hashtags can get you up to two times more engagement than tweets without. However, Tweets with more than two show a 17 percent drop in audience engagement.
8. Maintain correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. It might be tempting to shorten words and leave out punctuation when you’re working with limited space, but audiences are more likely to engage with posts that contain correct punctuation and spelling. Always end your post with a full stop.
9. Schedule your posts. Some Twitter accounts post two to three times a day. Some post 20 times or more. Your audience should have a general idea of how much content they will see from you daily. Develop a regular cadence and stick to it. a. Post at the right time. Tweets have a half-life of just 24 minutes and reach 75 percent of their potential engagement in less than three hours. Research shows the sweet spots for audience engagement are around 12pm, 5pm, and 6pm.
10. Practice. Writing social media copy is hard. The best way to get good at it is to keep doing it.