Tips for Social-izing

by Mycah Hulst

If you’re looking to post content to your social media account, there are definitely some dos and don’ts to help your posts be engaging. The social media community is typically looking for efficiency, authenticity, and simplicity when they’re browsing online. In a huge sea of content out there on the internet, you don’t want to get lost in the flow! Read on for some of my tips on content, visuals, and technical details to help your social posts stand out.

Captions

1. Be Simple: A caption for any social media platform should NOT resemble a book or simply be copied and pasted from somebody else’s content. While Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. all have different word limits and purposes, there is a fine line between being insightful and irrelevant. In general, posting a “wordy” phrase along with your photo or video typically confuses the viewer and decreases attention span. One tool that will help you get started in following this social media absolute is Sprout Social’s Social Media Character Counter ATM.

2. Be Clear: Not only should a caption be simple, but the point should be clear, relevant, and content-aligning. Make sure what you are saying correlates with what is being advertised or displayed. The two need to connect, not contradict. Before you craft a caption, distinguish the purpose. What are you trying to communicate with this post? What do you want to convey about yourself or your company? Once that is established, get typing and stay on topic!

3. Be Unique: Being creative is probably one of the hardest parts of creating a great caption. There is a lot of pressure to be witty and trendy, which makes it easy to spend hours writing an effective caption (think I’m kidding? Definitely not. Time flies in the social scheduling world). That being said, in the end you must remember that captions are very important, but people typically spend less than a minute on your content before they swipe or scroll to the next—so DO NOT kill yourself trying to come up with the world’s greatest caption. Sometimes you will be the Picasso of Puns and the next minute a rock could be more creative than you. It happens to everybody. The point is, set a timeframe for how long you can spend on caption writing, be as creative as possible, but don’t let it distract from the purpose or consume all your energy and emotion.

4. Be You: This is simple… DO NOT try use words or phrases that are not consistent with your company’s image and mission. For example, leave 21st century words like “Gucci”, “Cray”, and “Fleek” for tabloids and teen magazines.

Visuals

1. Stay Clear: Keep your visual content clear and natural. Low-resolution or overly edited photos not only create a “fake” vibe, they also make your company seem cheap and unprofessional. That might seem harsh, but it’s easy to tell when your photos were taken with a cell phone, grabbed off of the internet, or edited with cheap software.

2. Stay Real: The best advice is always the hardest to accomplish. Generating your own content shows your viewers that you are dedicated to being authentic and providing them with material that is unique to your brand. That increases followers and improves brand loyalty. Accomplishing this best practice is often not realistic, which is why stock photo sites like Pexels saturate our search history. And while resources like this aren’t bad, you must remember that access to these images is open to the public. The photos that are being used for your social posts will be recognized as not your own, which removes the authenticity from your profile. In life there is always a risk-versus-reward scenario, and this situation is no different. Consider what you can handle and proceed accordingly.

Technicalities

1. Appreciate Time: Figuring out a time to post can be complicated, because there are a variety of tips and best practices that are recommended by professionals. However, it ultimately comes down to what is most beneficial for your company. Start posting consistently and then look at the demographics and ask the questions: When is my highest click-through rate (date and time)? Who is viewing my content? Why are they viewing my content? Learn to DIG DEEP. Overall, post when the audience is listening, not just when your business is open. This will ensure more user engagement. Also, do not always post at the same time of day. Followers that are on in the morning are going to be different than the ones who are on in the evening.

2. Appreciate Followers: Understanding the DNA of your following is essential for creating meaningful, relevant, and purposeful content. When you are able to connect your material or product to the differentiating factors of your viewers, intrigue is built, and a new need is defined. If you don’t create this type of relationship, you’ll have a better chance of losing followers and stunting your digital growth potential.

3. Appreciate Digital Purpose: The 21st Century has brought about a lot of change for society and business strategy. Learning to successfully reach and sustain new markets is no longer limited to how charismatic a sales person can be, but has transitioned to basically zero human interaction. The success of face-to-face sales is declining, and people are starting to favor digital in all facets of life (i.e. social lives to grocery shopping). Embracing the change that occurs with time is the name of the game and must be taken seriously if a company hopes to stand a chance against competitors. Succeeding socially in a digital world depends completely on perspective. A business that is cautious, stubborn, and traditional will lose out on the potential rooted within technology.

I hope this helps get you started creating content and visuals, and getting the other technical details correct as you plan your social media strategy (always a part of the whole picture of your marketing strategy!). Social media posting can seem overwhelming, but learn to embark on and enjoy the adventure. With social media there is always lots to learn and improve upon, but the reward is more than worth the effort.