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Best Practices for Social Media Posts: Matching Content to the Platform
With so many social media platforms to choose from, be sure to set aside time to plan out your content! If your company is present on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, be mindful of the type of content being posted to these very different platforms. While they all fall under the “social media” umbrella, their audiences, usage, and opportunities for your business vary greatly. Here are some guidelines for writing content to reflect your platform:
Facebook currently has the largest number of users, coming in at over 2.3 billion! With such a wide potential audience, the pressure is on to master content marketing. Luckily, Facebook offers many options when it comes to creating a post, from text posts, photos, photo albums, video, polls, content (link) posts, and more. The underlying theme is a more casual, though polished, approach. A personal twist on traditional company content goes a long way, here! For example, if your company is in a big anniversary year, consider making an anniversary photo album from your celebration as a post to both promote your achievement and acknowledge your employees. Other events which make for great, personalized content are employee birthdays, company BBQs, new team members -- anything to provide insight to your company culture.
Does your company have a strong ability to produce great-looking photos? Instagram might be the platform you find most natural. Due to being highly-visual and aesthetically based, opportunities to post content which showcases the best of your product line, shop floor, storefront, or company culture are abundant! As a Facebook-owned company, Instagram carries a similar structure when it comes to creating posts and the multitude of options available. Feed posts allow for the posting of photos, a collection of photos (called a carousel post), and video, with the accompaniment of captions. Instagram Stories were introduced in 2016, and have evolved continuously since. Stories allow users to post photos and videos, with additions like text, .gifs, music, and links. When planning content for Instagram, the most important consideration is to collect high quality images which are original and relevant to your business to build your feed. You don’t need the most expensive equipment--mobile devices can take great photos! Remember to orient the image horizontally (landscape) and take several shots, so you can choose the sharpest image with the most detail. Consider the old photographer’s cheat: frame your picture, then take 1 step closer and shoot.
A fast-paced, feed-centric flurry of information, Twitter can be a powerful place for businesses to establish a voice. Tweets, which are posts of 280 characters and an optional image or .gif, make the vehicle for messaging on this platform, and they can pack a punch. For businesses, tweets should be mostly short and to the point, but with a conversational tone. Though not quite as personal as Facebook and Instagram, Twitter can drive engagement as your audience retweets, replies to, and likes your content. The nature of the platform is fast and furious, so timely responses to audience interaction, relevant hashtags, and fresh content ensures your company stays ahead of the curve. Timing is everything on Twitter, which can make this the trickiest of all the platforms. Despite its challenges, this “in the moment” content is what makes this platform so popular.
LinkedIn, the platform for professionals, has evolved from strictly networking and job-searching to a major provider of information, advertising, and other content. Videos, images, and a variety of dynamic content fills user feeds, all with different objectives. However, when posting to LinkedIn, it is imperative to keep the content professional and “buttoned up”. The personal touch in your posts should come from your branding, voice, and company information, rather than opinion. With this in mind, your feed doesn’t have to be stiff and static! Try mixing up your content between images with relevant captions and hashtags, videos, and even linked content to encourage engagement with the large pool of professionals who are active on LinkedIn daily. Be sure to encourage your team to share company LinkedIn posts for increased viewership of your posts.
Planning with the platform in mind makes creating content for social media much more manageable--and will lead to better, more appealing posts for your audience!