Social media is at the core of the 21st century lifestyle. People use it to buy clothes, follow their favorite celebrities, and easily connect with friends. Businesses use it to better target their key audiences, highlight significant achievements, and grow their brand. With platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram exponentially growing their user base, it’s more important than ever for all social media experts and the like to understand how to effectively use social media platforms to achieve their goals.
We know that there is no room for error when it comes to communicating in the digital space. A brand’s social media presence is one of the first things a person reviews before deciding to purchase a product or visit a website. So, we’re sharing five essential tips every person should know for creating effective and compelling content on social media to meet their goals.
1. Don’t share content without an image/video.
Visual stimulation is everything. Your audience doesn’t just want to read text to understand your story; they want to see the story. Buffer reports that Tweets with images receive 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets than those without. In addition, the American Marketing Association predicts that by 2019, “video content will be the driving factor behind 85% of search traffic in the United States.”
2. Beware of hashtag overkill.
Hashtags are important to include in all social media content. But, you can be doing your brand a tremendous disservice if you over use them. Helpful tip: you should avoid using more than two hashtags on any post. A study conducted by Buddy Media in 2012 revealed that tweets with one to two hashtags received 21% higher engagement. Any posts with three or more had a 17% drop in engagement. So, choose your hashtags wisely.
But of course, the playing field is a bit different for Instagram. Users are encouraged to use Instagram’s 30 hashtag per post capability, so content receives maximum engagement. However, placement is important. The key is to place any additional hashtags in a comment within the post, rather than at the end of your caption. While there has been some debate on where the extra hashtags should go, be mindful that if you have a call to action within your caption, it can easily get lost when you have a storybook of hashtags following it. Your followers are less likely to read it.
3. Tag, tag, tag!
Tagging is a great way for new followers to engage with your content. Instagram provides the ability to tag others within your image or video. When this happens, your post then appears in the “Tagged” section of that account’s profile. This is a great strategy to have your content seen by those who may not be following your account.
For Twitter and Facebook, when an account is mentioned within the text, that post will then appear in search results including that account’s name. To add, across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, accounts receive a notification when they have been tagged. There is a higher likelihood the tagged account with either share, comment, or retweet your post — further maximizing your post’s engagement.
4. Include links when possible!
Links are an important element to include in posts. When there is a 280 character limit, links provide a way for your followers to receive more information. Buddy Media’s study of more than 320 Twitter accounts revealed that Tweets with links receive 86% higher retweet rates than those without. In a world where engagement is a key metric, this is something we don’t recommend overlooking.
5. Respond to your followers with haste.
Social media is a way for followers to easily access your brand. And with this easy access comes the questions, comments, and inquiries that, ten years ago, would have been received via mail or email. Treat each comment as if it was a hand written letter. Your follower took time to write it, and trust us, they expect a response. Entrepreneur reports that “more than half of Twitter users expect a response within an hour.” This increases to 72% when they have a complaint. So, a good measurement would be to respond A.S.A.P.
We hope these tips were seen as helpful and insightful. Do you have any social media tips that you find beneficial to your brand’s overall ROI? Share them in the comments below!