Social Media for DUMMIES: Understanding the Top Social Platforms
March 03, 2019
When it comes to social media, there's always something new to learn. Social platforms hardly ever stay stagnant, but rather change often and quickly. Just when you get used to the latest upgrade, your favorite platform is yet again changing things up on you. While it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest changes, it's equally important to understand the basics to each platform and to find a strategy that can keep you grounded among all the changes. There are a few social media ingredients that will always steer you in the right direction when it comes to crafting your perfect social media post.
Whether you've just taken the dive into the social media world, or you've been swimming around aimlessly for a while, this information we're about to share will give you a true north that you can always reference. If you're looking to increase your social media game, read on for the best tips for crafting the perfect social media post.
Staying Grounded: How to Craft the Perfect Social Media Post
A successful social media post is one that generates a ton of likes and engagement or encourages people to follow you. While a video of Goldendoodles or a witty meme about the Bachelor are both likely to generate likes and follows, it won't really accomplish much for the purpose of your business.
Consider these 4 questions when making your posts.
What do I want to achieve from this post?
There are multiple purposes for posting to your social media pages. A company can use a post to generate leads, increase their brand awareness, or drive sales. If you want your post to drive sales, then we recommend making it straightforward and to the point so that your audience clearly understands what you want them to do.
If you want your post to express your brand, then the post needs to avoid any kind of sales pitch. Instead, focus the post around your company's mission and purpose. These kinds of posts are meant to connect with your following and encourage interest in your company.
What does my audience like?
Of course, in order to connect with your following, you need to know what it likes! A good way to figure out what your audience likes is to look at the engagement with your past posts. If your company received a lot of engagement on a post involving food, then keep posting about food! Sticking with what your audience likes is a very important step for crafting the perfect post.
Does this fit my branding?
Branding is all about color and the overall look and vibe of your posts. If your brand colors are pink and white, then your posts need to always be the same shade of pink and white. Make sure you keep your posts cohesive and consistent with each other. Building consistency in your posts will help your following to better recognize your company's post. The faster the recognition, the easier it will be to keep people from swiping past your post!
Is this post right for this platform?
Each platform has its differences. Instagram is all about aesthetics, while Twitter challenges users to craft the perfect post in less than 280 characters. LinkedIn is more professional. Keep these differences in mind when crafting your posts.
Staying Grounded: The Basics of Social Media Platforms
LinkedIn: The Ultimate Business Connector
As we said before, LinkedIn dominates the professional side of social media. Rather than simply gaining as many friends/followers as possible, the purpose of LinkedIn is to build strategic relationships. These relationships help to further your business or career. A lot of LinkedIn users search for career opportunities on LinkedIn, as well as share details of what's currently going on with their business. You will often see more business-centered topics on a LinkedIn newsfeed.
Therefore, the content you post to LinkedIn needs to lean towards professionalism. Post about your company events, job openings at your company, or the latest product your company offers. You want your content to impress your connections. Impressive content will encourage your connections to trust your company as a reliable resource, partner with you, apply to your job openings, etc.
As far as the logistics of LinkedIn, there are a couple aesthetic details that your content needs to adhere to. While the content on LinkedIn isn't as aesthetically-centered as Instagram or Facebook, you do want your content to grab attention. If an article you're sharing includes an image, make sure the image looks professional and appealing. When posting a custom-made graphic, make sure the image is the appropriate size for LinkedIn. Desktop computers often can adapt to an image's sizing in order to display it properly. However, mobile devices are not so adaptable. The majority of social media users access their LinkedIn profile from their mobile devices. Therefore, you want your image to display properly on a mobile device. The appropriate sizing for LinkedIn graphics is for shared link graphics is 180px x 110px. You will most likely always be sharing a link when posting to LinkedIn (at least, you should) so this is the only size you need to know for LinkedIn.
Click here for a guide to image sizing for each social media platform.
Bottom line: Your content on LinkedIn needs to be sized appropriately, needs to impress, and needs to be professional. Don't forget to build strategic relationships!
Twitter: The Curt Social Scene
Twitter is known for the character limit put on its users' posts. Each post on Twitter is limited to 280 characters. You may be thinking that 280 character spaces are plenty of room to express your brand. However, you have to consider that the hashtags, mentions, and possible links on your post take up those characters, too. A smart strategy to use when making a Twitter post is using hashtags throughout your post.
Take this caption for example:
"Hyperchat Social is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend - join us! #HyperchatSocial #Anniversary"
You can better optimize your character space by writing your post like this instead:
"#HyperchatSocial is celebrating its 10th #anniversary this weekend - join us! #SocialMedia."
Now let's talk about hashtags. While you may be tempted to use several hashtags on your tweets in order to create the most reach on your posts, we advise otherwise. You really only want to use a few hashtags in your tweets. Sprinkle one or two into the copy of your tweet and slap another one on the end of your tweet. The ultimate goal is to make your content easy to read. Another smart hashtag strategy for your tweets is using custom hashtags. Determine a custom hashtag that markets your brand well and use that hashtag on every post you put out.
For a more detailed hashtag guide for each social media platform, click here.
Facebook: The Ultimate Brand Building Platform
Facebook gives companies more freedom with their content. When posting to Facebook, you are not limited to character space or professionalism. Facebook provides a platform where businesses can promote their brand in whatever way they choose. Whether you want to host a sale, post a video highlight of your company, or share photos from a company event, you can with ease!
Facebook is a great platform to share things like company events and product promotions because you can display multiple photos at one time. You don't have to choose a favorite photo from the event, because you can preview up to five photos on your posts!
Facebook is also the ideal platform for B2C and B2B businesses because of one huge reason: Facebook ads. Facebook ads offer companies various options - you can run a lead generating ad, a page promotion ad, or even a story ad. These countless options provide companies with a valuable strategy no matter what kind of business you're in. With these options comes quite a few things to figure out. For more detailed instructions on how to host the perfect ad, follow this link.
Instagram: The Aesthetics of Social Media
With Instagram, the center of your post is your graphic. While other platforms give you the choice between sharing a link or a photo or both, on Instagram you don't have that choice. Instagram requires that you share a photo, and actually doesn't register links. You can include a URL in your post, however, unless you're sharing a sponsored ad, the URL will not be clickable.
Since Instagram revolves around photos, users often put all their effort into capturing the perfect photo. Captions on Instagram are usually short and sweet and serve to simply compliment the main focus of the post - the photo. While LinkedIn is about making business connections, Instagram is the opposite. The purpose of an Instagram post is to share content that will connect with your followers on a personal level.
Instagram is host to many different types of users, ranging from profiles that chronicle the life of a pet to profiles that promote a photography business. Of course, you don't have to be a photographer to market your brand successfully on Instagram. Use the platform to show off your products, share photos of your team, or capture the best moment from your most recent conference.
We hope that this blog post has been helpful to you! Take these tips and reference them when posting to your favorite platforms! These tips will keep you grounded amongst all the ongoing changes in social media trends. If you want to boost your social media game, but aren't sure how contact Hyperchat Social today!
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