30 April 2014

40 ways to improve your social media posts

A simple but powerful list. What are your secret tips?

1. Write with a consistent, natural and conversational tone of voice. 
2. Focus on your readers. Understand their interests, needs, desires and motivations. 
3. Focus on timely topics but add your own voice. 
4. Add value to a post by encouraging discussion, asking a genuine question (advice or opinion).
5. A post should be clear and easily understood.
6. Avoid simply promoting your own company or work. 

Twitter (follow me: @Scott_McQuade)
7. Post 4-10 times a day.  
8. Avoid repeating a tweet more than once a day. Don’t automate the same tweet.
9. Include 1-3 relevant hashtags in tweets to help people who search by key words.
10. Include links, to get 86% more engagement.
11. Use images for twice the engagement rate.
12. Shorter tweets get read and re-tweeted more (under 100 characters).
13. Use no more than 130 characters, so people can retweet and add hashtags etc.
14. Live tweeting of events helps people follow along: nominate a clear, simple hashtag.  
15. Post during working hours for 30% more engagement.
16. Ask for re-tweets of important posts: it drives 12x more re-tweets. 

Facebook (like my Facebook page
17. Consistent quality matters more than quantity.  
18. No more than 4 posts a day.
19. Short messages work best. Long messages are okay if they’re compelling.  
20. Timing matters, but your audience is international. Spread posts throughout the day. 
21. Don’t forget weekends! Readers are more engaged when they have more time. 
22. Photos attract readers, responses and re-shares. 
23. Emoticons receive a 59% higher engagement rate, but use sparingly.
24. Explicitly ask readers to like/comment: it drives higher engagement.

Google+ (put me in your Google+ circle)
25. Include an image to grab attention.
26. Include links or post web articles (web links usually include images).
27. Pose a comment or question to encourage discussion.
28. Monitor discussions and return to the post to interact with readers.
29. Hashtags are automated, but make sure they are appropriate and delete if needed. Include 1-3 hashtags at the end of your post, but only if needed.
30. Keep it short: 1-3 paragraphs. Only a few lines are immediately visible, so get to the point.
31. Share with specific circles as well as making posts public. Include usernames in the post or comments to draw their attention or give thanks, but do it sparingly.

LinkedIn (if I know you, let's get LinkedIn)
32. Only share high quality content. 
33. Share new, informative material. Readers are happy to learn.  
34. Be a thought-leader by only talking about your area of expertise. Join relevant communities.
35. Only discuss professionally relevant topics. LinkedIn is not a general discussion forum.
36. Start conversations with a thought-provoking statement or question. 
37. Avoid simply promoting a corporate initiative or service or posting a news story. Instead, put it in context, pose a question and invite comments.
38. Prepare to engage with discussants: don’t post and run. 
39. Don’t simply post a link to a website. Put the content on LinkedIn for better engagement.

40. Share your expertise: add your own tips below!

Most of these commonsense principles also apply at Tumblr, YouTube and other social media sites.