Posts

social media posts

A Handy Dandy Guide on How to Write Social Media Posts: Best Practices, Length, & More

Imagine this:

You’re standing at a crossroads.

Facebook is open.

You’re ready to write a social media post for your brand, but you don’t know how to write social media posts strategically.

What do you do?

It’s not as easy as it looks. Writing and posting on social media is a whole different story when you’re a business versus an individual.

You have to know posting practices to get the most out of social: the way you write your posts can affect your authority, reach, and more.

Don’t just compose a post and call it done. You need to conform to best practices to get the most rewards for your efforts. To fit into each social network niche, you have to post in expected ways.

Follow the below formula for creatively (and correctly) posting to each social outlet, and people are more likely to see and discover your posts. Let’s delve in!

a guide to social media posts

How to Write Social Media Posts That Hit the Mark, Every Time

Stick to proven best practices when thinking about how to write social media posts. Stay true to the best structure for each different network. Then, get creative within that post content and use your own ideas, content, and visuals.

Here’s a rundown of best practices on how to write your social posts for each network, from Facebook to Pinterest.

1. How to Write Engaging Facebook Posts

Facebook can be tricky, as lots of different posting techniques work. Here are some general guidelines. Play around with them until you find a method that works for you.

Post Length

In general, shorter posts are better for social media. However, when it comes to Facebook, you can go a little longer with no worries. For twice the engagement, 80 words is a good sweet spot to shoot for, but you can get as lengthy as 120 words.

Best Practices

A good best practice for Facebook is to include a visual with every single post. Even if your post is a text post, add a graphic or photo to increase engagement. Videos are good complements, too.

You can also boost engagement by ending your post with an exclamation mark. Positive sentiments do well for Facebook posts. Similarly, ask your audience a question to get more reader involvement, like comments.

Hashtags

Using hashtags on Facebook is a good way to connect your post to a larger discussion. It may also get more notice if you choose hashtags wisely.

That said, hashtags aren’t huge on Facebook, so limit yourself to one or two. You can create your own brand-related hashtags and use those, as well. For instance, a marketing campaign with its own hashtag is excellent for getting engagement.

 facebook_innocentdrinks

Example: Innocent Drinks

The British juice makers behind Innocent Drinks post stuff that’s short-but-sweet. Yet, it still falls in line with their trademark “innocent” humor.

They keep their average post length pretty short, use photos in every other post, and occasionally use hashtags. Their engagement level on every post speaks for itself.

2. The Best Way to Tweet on Twitter

Twitter is notoriously harder to get right because of its length requirements, but when you do nail it, you can really soar.

Post Length

Twitter only allows you to post up to 140 characters at a time. Obviously, your tweets need to be short and to-the-point. Twitter itself recommends only posting about one topic at a time. You won’t be able to fully address multiple topics.

A good length to shoot for is 120-130 characters. This way, there will be room for your Twitter handle at the end if anyone retweets your post.

Best Practices

If you have more to say than what Twitter allows, include a link to a blog post or article. TinyURL can shorten long web addresses so they don’t hog your writing space.

Another good practice for Twitter posts is including compelling images with your tweets. These types of posts get more engagement than other kinds.

Finally, did you know you can tag up to 10 people in a photo on Twitter? This is great for directing their gaze to your post, but make sure the tag is relevant to both the post and the photo. Tagging somebody as a random grab for attention will not win you any favors.

Hashtags

You don’t have much space in Twitter posts, so use hashtags wisely. This does not, under any circumstances, mean you can hashtag every other word. For example, this type of hashtag usage should make you cringe:

I love #coffee! My #favorite #coffeedrink is a #hazelnutcappuccino from the #localcoffeeshop.

Instead, go for one or two hashtags that are relevant.

Example: Disney/Pixar

Disney/Pixar did a few things right, here. They used one hashtag to participate in a fun holiday, they posted a relevant joke, and they included a playful visual that’s their own content. Win, win, win.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Learn the best practices for creating amazing #socialmedia content via @ExpWriters!” quote=”Learn the best practices for creating amazing #socialmedia content via @ExpWriters!”]

3. How to Write Instagram Captions That Complement Your Photos

Posting photos on Instagram is one thing, but what about the other half of the equation, the caption? Turns out, a good caption can do a lot of work for your post and get it noticed! Here’s how.

Post Length

On Instagram, your caption length doesn’t matter too much. However, there is a character limit, so you can’t write a novel.
As for what to write, feel free to describe your photo and put it in context. Or, ask your followers questions to increase engagement and encourage comments. In fact, any call-to-action in your Instagram caption is a great idea.

Best Practices

If you like longer captions, hit the “return” key a couple times after each point to make them easier to read. You can also use emojis creatively to break up your caption.

Emojis work great in Instagram posts, as they mesh well with the general lighthearted nature of the platform. You can even use related emojis as hashtags.

Hashtags

You can go wild with hashtags on Instagram – up to 30 are allowed with each post. Add them in a new comment on the post to keep things cleaner.

When using emojis as hashtags, as always, keep it relevant. For instance, a post about Earth Day could include a hashtag with the globe emoji, or a hashtag with a plant or tree emoji. This is the best way to help interested people find your posts, discover your account, and, by extension, discover your brand.

Planning perfection! Get more @BritandCo cuteness via link in bio.

A post shared by Target (@target) on

Example #1: @Target

Target has a super short caption, but they have all the right elements. Their post includes a catchy description, relevant emojis, a tag to a related/featured brand, and a call-to-action.

Example #2: Obvious State

Bookish goods and stationery sellers Obvious State get everything right in this post featuring one of their products. Note how they posted their hashtags in a new comment and kept their caption engaging.

4. How to Write Good LinkedIn Posts

For a business, LinkedIn is a good platform for sharing news and insights from your industry. Here’s how.

Post Length

LinkedIn is a good platform for longer posts. Try posting company updates, new ideas, and insider experiences. Any other enlightening topics about your work will do. Don’t forget to post about company events, either.

Link-sharing related to your business will work well, too. Describe your link and add a few insights of your own. Or, ask your followers a question about a trending topic.

Best Practices

Format your long-form posts like blog posts. Include a headline and subheaders, and generally make sure you organize your ideas so the post is readable. Stay professional and avoid rants or casual posts. For more engagement on your posts, include related images.

Hashtags

LinkedIn posts benefit from 3-5 related hashtags plugged in at the end unobtrusively. This will help you contribute to larger professional conversations as well as get you more notice.

Example: TED Conferences

5. Tips for Posting Original Pins on Pinterest

Yes, there is a formula for writing pin descriptions/captions on Pinterest, too. Follow them for best results!

Post Length

Much like Instagram, the picture is the focus of the post on Pinterest. However, you can boost your post with the right description.

Don’t be afraid to use detail when describing your pin. 150-300 words is a good standard, depending on the pin. Make sure you include relevant keywords in the description. Provide more information about the pin and make users want to click on it to learn more.

Best Practices

When posting for your brand, Pinterest is not the place for internet slang, acronyms, or text-speak. For all descriptions, use correct punctuation and grammar, and keep your tone informational. Strictly avoid salesy language or anything that sounds inauthentic.

Hashtags

Don’t use hashtags. Pinterest doesn’t recommend it, and it’s not a common practice. In fact, pins with hashtags look strange and out of place.

Ancestry.com describes their pins naturally and with minimal fuss.

ancestry

Example: Ancestry.com

Note how the pin description asks the reader an interesting question. Intriguing!

Now that we’ve covered the right formula for writing for various social networks, let’s get into some general do’s and don’ts.

How to Write Social Media Posts: 3 General Best Practices

Keep to these general best practices for writing on social media and you’ll stand head and shoulders above the competition.

1. When in Doubt, Keep It Short

If you’re ever waffling about how long your post should be for Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other platform that allows length, go shorter.

Shorter posts always do better than longer ones in terms of engagement. If your post does get on the long side, include an image to draw in your audience.

2. Be Authentic

Don’t ever be salesy or overly promotional in your social media posts. Quite frankly, nobody wants to listen to your sales pitch. Instead, practice authenticity. Be a real human with opinions, emotions, and ideas.

3. Consider Evergreen Posts

The lifespan of a social media post is brief. You only have a limited amount of time to catch people’s fancy before the post gets lost in the endless scroll.

Try posting content on social that will stand the test of time to combat this. If a post ever misses out on notice for some reason, you can also try posting it again. Try a different time of day, try different hashtags, or reword your description. You’ll quickly find out what lands – and what doesn’t.

[clickToTweet tweet=”What are the three best practices for #socialmedia content? Find out via @ExpWriters!” quote=”What are the three best practices for #socialmedia content? Find out via @ExpWriters!”]

Your Social Media Posts Can Be Better

If you’re scratching your head wondering how to write social media posts that stand out, you’re not alone. Social media is one of the hardest avenues to cruise down without speed bumps.

Follow this guide to help you get your outline down, then branch out and find the best way to fill in the blanks.

If you need a cheat sheet, download our Quick Handy Guide on How to Write Social Media Posts below!

social media manager

How to Become a Social Media Manager: A Day in the Life of One, from Krystal

Ever wanted to learn how to become a social media manager, or what it’s like being one?

Krystal, one of our talented client social media managers, is guest blogging today with her thoughts on the subject. Plus, she’s sharing a look at her day, writing and creating social posts for our client base. Enjoy!

I grew up on the Internet.

No, seriously.

If you knew me up until college, you knew me as the shy, quiet, artsy anime/video games nerd that had some good ideas, but wasn’t very effective in communicating them. That is, unless we were friends online.

Text role play, fanfic writing, and managing online communities was how I got out of my shell and found my writer’s voice.

It was a way to communicate that didn’t always flow as freely in person. I learned how to manage folks on MMOs and do customer service via email.

These types of things were done for leisure, naturally.

I was always a reader and a lover of fiction, but when I started working for an indie bookstore, I was reading ten books a month and bridging the gap between having an online personality and communicating with bookstore patrons in person.

Now how, might you ask, did this culminate in becoming a social media manager?

how to become a social media manager

How to Become a Social Media Manager: Krystal’s Starting Roots

Reading and writing have always been my pillars. I used to do more Fine Arts (I even had a brief stint in art school), but I found that I couldn’t communicate with my paintings and photos as deeply as I could with words. This became apparent to me as I started becoming engaged in online communities such as LiveJournal and managing big raids in World of Warcraft and really excelled at connecting with users and empathizing with them.

You learn how to communicate with people in a whole new way, using persuasive and subtle language to create a sense of a virtual community. No matter what online platform I’m on, that’s what I strive to do – create a community, whether it’s with fellow nerds or customers I’m trying to reach out to.

It’s like calling a hotline and having to speak to a computer. That’s bad social media. Good social media is connecting with the user on the other end. Great social media is getting them to laugh at the screen and look forward to your tweets or status updates. You want to feel like the person on the other side of the screen is your confidante, ready to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction, whether it’s helping you figure out why your flight was delayed or which ice cream is the hot flavor of the month.

Being a Good Social Media Manager is All About Great Research and Writing

Of course, there’s more to social media than just being a solid communicator. You have to love research. Having a degree in Applied Psychology, I’m used to spending hours, days, even weeks doing research on one topic.

My biggest hurdle when I first started writing copy for social media professionally was getting used to writing copy for topics that I knew nothing about, or –let’s face it—topics I couldn’t care less about.

A Day in the Life: Writing for Typical Subjects Can be Fun!

But the beauty of loving research and writing is that, in general, you most likely love to learn. This was an unexpected perk when I joined up with the great folks at Express Writers.

I was getting clients that were connected to products like luxury vehicles, RVs, beds, and real estate litigation. I happen to own a bed, but otherwise I don’t know anything about any of those. I was pleasantly surprised by how fun it was to research the kind of content that their customers wanted to see, Googling all sorts of articles and such to get people excited about RV safety. Who knew!

As long as you check your sources and make sure they’re legit, you can find some awesome content out there. I keep a word document of all the websites I’ve found to be useful depending on the subject, just so I can revisit the ones I know will give me great content if I need to.

Tip: Be Conversational in Your Writing Style

Then, I get the information out there as if I’m having a conversation with someone. Even if a client wants the tone of the copy to be professional, I try to give it my own personal spin so that every tweet feels like a greeting, a first impression between strangers. I can talk a lot about keywords and SEO, which are all essential in the most fundamental ways, but once you’ve drawn in your customers with the right algorithm, you need to keep them hooked with your personality. This is of course true with actual face-to-face interactions, but when information is flying at users on their Timelines or Dashboards.

This is what I love about being a social media manager. It’s the ultimate social experiment of the human condition, only way more fun and interactive than anything you’d read in a textbook!

4 Tips to Share on How to Become a Social Media Manager That’s Worth Their Salt

TL;DR, right?

Well, I’ve zeroed in on some tips that I think you’ll find useful if you’re thinking of getting involved in the professional social media world:

1. Keep Reading

Seriously. Whether its articles online, novels, or even episodic video games – keep yourself immersed in some form of literature, whether it’s Dostoevsky, Murakami , or That-Indie-Graphic-Novel-That-You-Wish-Other-People-Read,-Too. It makes you a better, savvier writer overall and keeps your noodle engaged with language. Draw on the voices in literature to help you cultivate your own. It’s important to do, even if you only have 140 characters to show it.

The same goes for writing. If you get an itch to write a little story, poem, or blog, scratch it.

2. Stay Connected to Social Media

This is related to my last point, and it may sound pretty obvious, but it deserves special mention: stay involved.

Read your timelines, study how your favorite companies stay relevant on a daily basis and how they connect with their customers.

Really listen to their tones and how they come across.

Sometimes I even say posts out loud to see if they sound natural. You can really learn how much tone makes a difference when it comes to what kind of impact one has online.

3. Remember Your Audience: They’re Just Like You

I hate stuffy sounding social media. You know what I’m talking about. It sounds like the kinds of emails your boss writes when they’re trying to sound engaging – the ones that make you roll your eyes.

If you’ve been in the position where you’ve read a social media post that’s trying to be engaging and it makes you roll your eyes, then you know that that writer hasn’t found their inner voice.

This goes for professionally-geared social media accounts, too, not just the fun ones. Your posts should sound like a conversation – a virtual handshake to your followers – not a thesis statement.

4. Emojis Are Fine and All, But…

Use them smartly and sparingly.

Same goes for hashtags.

This is 2016 – you really don’t need twelve hashtags and thirty emojis in your tweet unless you’re a spam bot.

You can follow Krystal on Twitter @pseudomachine.

 

Need great social media content? Can’t keep up with the demanding schedule that social media needs for the highest exposure results? We can help! Check out our Social Media Management packages – to have Krystal on your social media, just request her in the order form!

Facebook's Long-Form Content

Facebook’s Long-Form Content Platform Is Coming, Here’s How You Can Use It

Do you want to hear something cool that is going to help you reach a wider audience?

Of course! Today’s latest news involves the trusty channel Facebook.

Yes, Facebook has a new change coming that can really help improve your content outreach; but how? The channel is providing its users with the ability to create long-form content pieces on their new platform, called Facebook’s long-form content platform.

Is this the new face of blogging? What can you expect and how can you use it? Let’s take a look!

Facebook's Long-Form Content

Facebook’s Long-Form Content Platform Is Harking Back to the Good Old Days – Remember Notes?

Facebook is constantly trying to make the channel more user-friendly, as well as helping businesses reach out to new audiences. The social media giant is creating a long form blogging platform and it will be using the once popular notes feature.

Do you remember notes?

Those handy things people would share their latest updates on, do silly question and answer surveys, and more.

Well, for a while, notes seemingly disappeared, losing popularity.

However, Facebook is revamping Notes giving people the ability to blog directly on the channel. The site is hoping to become yet another player in the direct long-form blogging platforms, keeping people on Facebook and away from the competition. Now, Notes will become Facebook’s long-form content platform.

The idea of a long-form content platform isn’t anything new – Medium has been doing it for a while now and LinkedIn opened the ability to all users last year. (I’ll be looking at these more in depth later in the blog.)

And now Facebook wants to be added amongst those channels, keeping users on Facebook instead of seeing them leave for another channel.

Facebook Doesn’t Want to Lose the Content Game: So The Long-Form Platform Is Happening

You saw me mentioned Medium and LinkedIn, but just what am I talking about? These two channels provide long-form content platforms for users, giving people immediate access to blogs.

People don’t have to go to a separate web page when reading the content, which is one of the reasons Facebook is going to utilize Instant Articles, as well.

What is Medium? It is a blogging platform that came about a few years ago. While it didn’t seem to catch on quickly then, users are starting to pick up and more people are going to the channel.

It is a simple blogging platform created by Twitter co-founder, Evan Williams. Its sole purpose is to give people the chance to write and read excellent content without the distractions of other social channels.

Along with channels like Medium, LinkedIn started allowing people to create blog content directly on the site – opening it up to all users. This is definitely something that all businesses have been using to great success.

Facebook began to notice this, and the social channel finally decided to take steps to rectify the lack of blogging abilities on the platform.

This is where Notes comes into play with the ability to write long-form content. According to Matt Southern from Search Engine Journal, Facebook is testing out a Medium-like approach to long-form content with this revamped approach.

Will it be successful? There’s no knowing for sure, but since Facebook is such an important and established channel, it is likely it will gain momentum.

7 Incredibly Awesome Ways to Use Facebook’s Long-Form Content Platform

This is going to be great for so many small businesses, and I want to take a look at just how you can use this new platform for your business page.

1. Create Incredible, Easy-to-Access Content. A great way to use this platform is to provide easy-to-access content to your followers. While they might be more than willing to head to your site, this can give busy people the chance to read your content quicker.

You don’t have to focus solely on this platform, and you really shouldn’t, but it is a great way to gain access to more readers and build your audience.

2. Always Utilize Amazing, Eye-Catching Images in Your Posts. One thing you should always remember is that Facebook is still a very visual place. Those images you use in your social postings? You’ll need them on the long-form content platform, too.

Facebook says that those images are really what will help bring in viewers for your Notes. The blog showcases one post that, when using an image, got 14,642 shares. The business page that posted the image only had about 600 fans.

Can you see just how important an image is?

People are more likely to share something that has an image, and when you add something eye-catching or adorable, you will see more interaction.

3. Come Up With Excellent Facebook-Only Content for Your Users. Whoa, wait. Facebook only content? Aren’t you supposed to make content for all platforms you use?

Yes! However, this is a great way to engage with your Facebook followers, as well as reach a newer audience on the channel. You can offer Facebook exclusives meaning that people will get something awesome if they follow and read.

This will help make them all feel special, share your content, and keep coming back. 

4. Create Awesome, Engaging Content that Really Speaks to Your Audience. Since you’re writing on Facebook, you definitely need to make sure the post is engaging. People don’t want to waste their time reading a post on Facebook that isn’t interesting.

Creating engaging content isn’t all that hard, especially if you’ve already been writing it.

A few tips to take to heart when writing engaging content are to provide your audience with something of value, use a great flowing format, and be consistent with your tone.

Your Facebook followers will definitely appreciate this with your long-form content.

5. Write On Something Absolutely Trendy. Since you are writing on Facebook for a Facebook audience, this gives you the chance to write on something trendy.

Writing on trending topics gives you the chance to be current with your readers and build a great relationship with them. There are tons of topics you can use any given month, which gives you an endless supply of awesome ideas for Facebook.

Don’t worry; if you’re finding it hard to locate great trending topics, Elisabeth Michaud from Hootsuite lists some great tips.

Locate these topics, and start utilizing Facebook’s new platform to get those pieces out to your audience.

6. Be Yourself, Be Personal, and Write in the First Person. When writing content, you always want to make sure it comes across as genuine. This is vital no matter where you are sharing it.

When it comes to writing for Facebook’s new platform, you need to make sure you reach out to audiences and be as genuine as possible. There are so many ways to do so, helping you establish yourself and build client-business relationships.

A few great ways to be more personal, according to Mark Lerner from Business2Community are to write in the first person, incorporate emotion, and don’t hesitate to state your opinions.

7. This is Long-Form Content – Don’t be Afraid of Writing Longer Pieces. It’s in the name – long-form content. This means you can definitely write longer content pieces.

This is always debated amongst content marketers, but long content is quite successful.

SERPIQ did a study looking into content length to find how many words got the most clicks, reads, and shares. The study shows that pieces that are over 2000 words tend to get the best traction from people.

Take a look at the screenshot below to see what the study found:

serp

Believing that people don’t like longer content is a major content myth that so many people have. As you can see, many people do, in fact, like reading lengthier content.

And remember, it isn’t just about the length of your content, but it is also about the quality. Just because you have a longer piece doesn’t mean people will like it.

Make sure you focus on the quality of what you’re writing and if it provides value.

Don’t worry; if you write shorter content, people will like that too. Just always be sure to include longer pieces, especially when writing on Facebook’s new platform.

Are You Ready for Long-Form Facebook Content?

Facebook long-form content is really going to be an exciting time for businesses and users; are you ready?

If you’re already writing blogs for your business site, then you are just one step away from creating excellent Facebook content.

Simply add content for Facebook’s new platform to your blogging mix, write excellent posts for the channel, and you’ll start to see some awesome engagement.

Looking for great content to share on your blogs or even on Facebook’s new content platform? Express Writers can provide you with the blog content you’re looking for.

jannoon028 / Shutterstock.com

The Science Behind the Most Successful Social Media Sharers (Infographic)

In today’s infographic from Express Writers, we’re taking a look at the hottest social media posts in history – and how you can be inspired to run a more successful social media campaign yourself! Enjoy, and don’t forget to share and leave us a comment! Full transcript is below.

science of social media infographic

Transcript

The Science Behind the Most Successful Social Media Campaigns & Sharers

Social Media Shares: Why Do They Matter So Much?

  • 53% of Americans who engage with brands in social media become more loyal to those brands
  • Interesting content is among the top 3 motives for consumers to follow brands on social media
  • The majority of brands measure content success by social shares
  • 47% of B2B marketers cite creating engaging content as their top marketing challenge

The 3 Most Re-Tweeted Tweets in History

What’s the secret to the sharing power of the top tweets? Let’s take a look at which tweets made it to the most re-tweeted list.

Ellen de Generis. 3.3 Million Re-tweets.

Ellen de Generis breaks Twitter with this iconic tweet. Leverages the “buzz” around the Oscars, making this tweet the most shared in history.

Louis Tomlinson. 1.4 Million Re-tweets

Louis Tomlinson shows just how a simple, sincere tweet can capture the heart of millions, especially thanks to their passionate fandom.

Barack Obama. 700,000 re-tweets

Barack Obama’s social media team captured a moment of human emotion and celebration that followers can relate to: and, keep in mind, it’s also news to share.

Facebook Posts That Had the Most Shares in History

What’s the magic formula for the most shared Facebook posts? Here’s who and what really hit it out of the park on Facebook.

PerezHilton.com. “This would have legit traumatized me as a kid! Heck, even now!” 4.4 Million Shares.

We love to share videos that make us laugh. Perez Hilton shares this stunt video promoting a horror movie, proving that humor is always a good idea.

AMC Theatres. Minions Preview Video. 3.1 Million Shares

AMC Theatre demonstrated the power of video for Facebook sharing, particularly when tapping into a community of fans who love the brand.

WomenWorking.com. “Why We Need Best Friends” Image. 1.7 Million Shares

Facebook users share posts they relate to, and they think their Facebook friends can relate to. The posts they share are also social currency: to show their friends what they care about and who they are.

5 Techniques For Successful Social Media Campaigns: Inspiration From the Best Brands on Social

Here’s how businesses succeed in increasing engagement and promoting shares. include the company logos with the mentions (Autodesk, Whole foods, etc.)

  1. Genuine Value. Autodesk shares social content that offers genuine value to its niche target market.
  2. Be Personal. Whole Foods Market makes their customer service personal leveraging their local profiles.
  3. Authentic Conversation. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants gets personal, engaging with its guests through real, authentic conversation.
  4. Contests. Intuit rolls out a year-long contest that their target market loves to engage with.
  5. Transparency. Mars shows a behind the scenes peek of its businesses, offering greater transparency of its business practices and ethics to their intrigued followers.

5 Steps to More Engagement & Shares for Your Content

Follow these simple steps to gain a successful social media campaign and inspire more shares for your content.

1. Listen to Your Fans. One of the best ways to increase your engagement is to look at what your fans already like to engage with and duplicate their efforts with your own, unique spin.

2. Post More Photos. 87% of a Facebook page engagement occurs on photo posts.

3. Take Your Own Photos. People engage with authentic, human social media brands. Take your own “candid” photos to show your followers into your world. Don’t be afraid to be personal.

4. Get Your Own Custom URL. When a URL is shortened, it looks less cluttered, making your post more appealing and easier to read.

5. Post Evergreen Content. Evergreen content is timeless. Focus on creating posts that can be shared over a long period of time and still remain relevant. A great way to do this is to create evergreen blogs that can be shared, and re-shared, on social media.

References

James A. Martin, CIO | http://buff.ly/1NywMSa

Amy Porterfield, Social Media Examiner | http://buff.ly/1NywRVY

Kevin Lee, Buffer Social | http://buff.ly/1TWDHcU

Chanelle Bessette, Fortune | http://buff.ly/1HYEgXq

Shea Bennett, Ad Week | http://buff.ly/1LnruJV

Jonathan Anker, HLN TV | http://buff.ly/1LnvOsz

Business 2 Community | http://buff.ly/1E8sleY

facebook instant articles

What Does Facebook’s “Instant Articles” Mean for Users and Businesses?

The world of content and social media is buzzing with some of the latest news coming out of Facebook HQ. Facebook is planning to host various content pieces from a select number of websites for a new experimental feature that could bring about epic change to social media content.

The new feature is called Instant Articles and it aims to bring content directly to users in a quick, efficient manner. What is this new feature and what can you expect? Take a journey with me to find out.

What is the New Feature?

Instant Articles is a new feature Facebook is testing to see just how well it works for their users, as well as publishers. According to Tech Crunch, Instant Articles gives users access to the news and content they want without having to click and go to a publisher’s website, waiting for it to load. Sometimes, users experience too much load time with various sites, and Facebook wants to help them cut that time down and have quicker access to their favorite sources. The new feature is currently being tested by a few publishers to see how well it works for them and users alike. These publishers are Buzzfeed, The New York Times, National Geographic, and a few other well-known news sites. This is only available on mobile so you will not see Instant Articles within your browser.

Will Instant Articles Give Users More Control Over Their Newsfeeds?

Facebook has recently said that it plans to give users more control over what they see in their newsfeeds, which many are excited for. However, many experts are questioning just how this will play out with Facebook’s newest addition. No one can say for certain if people will get the control they desire over their newsfeeds, and it is likely everyone will need to wait for a bit to find out. However, one element of Instant Articles is to give users the ability to see content that is curated specifically for them. For example, according to the Tech Crunch article I shared above, if users like, comment, and/or share certain types more often, their newsfeeds might be tailored more to show more Instant Articles on topics they like. This isn’t truly control over one’s newsfeed, but it might be a step in a direction that helps Facebook users feel they are getting the content they want.

Will This Help or Hinder Businesses?

Since Instant Articles is in the experimental stage, it isn’t entirely sure just how much it can help or hinder a business. However, there will be an easy-to-access share button on all Instant Articles postings, which can help get content shared by more people on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Remember, I said earlier that this was only available on mobile, which means that the share button for Facebook will help push the content from mobile availability to browser availability.

It will also be great for users because there won’t be a delay when they open web content. They will get to see their content right away without waiting, and possibly leaving the story before it loads. The feature will also support the ability to expand images and GIFs, giving publishers the ability to create trendy pieces that will resonate with a social media crowd.

The main way it can possibly hinder a business is if Facebook does do what I mentioned earlier in the article. If the social media giant starts to tailor a user’s newsfeed based off of what Instant Articles the user likes, comments on, or shares, this could mean other articles get lost. This can be a detriment to different companies, and it is a legitimate worry. Will this truly happen? We will just need to wait and see how Facebook uses this feature, and how it will impact the newsfeed. It is too soon to say if this will be the main hindrance or if there will be other hindrances to look out for in the future.

This is What Paper Was Supposed to Be

Do you remember when Facebook released a new app that incorporated the person’s Facebook account plus news content? If not, don’t feel too bad. Many people ignored this app, known as Paper, making it an epic failure for Facebook. That didn’t stop the social media company, however. In fact, this new feature is very similar to what Paper was supposed to be for the company. It features the ability to access curated news stories quickly, giving users the ability to read their content in the app. Now that Paper isn’t really being used for that purpose, Facebook has implemented Instant Articles, hoping it will prove to be successful. It might just be since it will be in the Facebook app as Paper could have failed simply due to needing to download yet another app.

Who Does This Really Benefit?

When Facebook implements a new feature, the natural question is who will it really benefit. Many times, people believe that the feature will only benefit Facebook, but the company is trying to make sure people know that is not the case with Instant Articles. First of all, it will benefit the users of Facebook because it provides them with a quicker load time by not making them leave the platform to read the article. It will also benefit publishers because Facebook has said they will receive 100 percent of revenue from Instant Articles ads. Another way publishers benefit is that Facebook is also planning on sharing analytics to help the publisher create perfectly tailored content.

Obviously, Facebook will see benefits such as making it a leading news source, which the company hopes will beat Twitter. If the company is set apart as the leading social channel for news, this means more publishers will work with Facebook, which will bring more viewers, and eventual revenue, to the company. This is all speculation, of course, as everyone waits to see just how Instant Articles will work and if it will be the success Facebook is hoping.

Content is, Yet Again, King With Instant Articles

Just a year or so ago, people were questioning if content was king, or if that statement was starting to be irrelevant. With the new Facebook feature, it is once again driving home just how important content is for websites. This means you need to focus on creating content in the form of web pages, blogs, and social media to help bring in and convert new clients. Express Writers can help you create this content with our web content and social media services. Take a look to see how we can help you by preparing your content for Instant Articles.

Photo credit: media.fb.com

#WLW14

The World’s Largest Webinar: #WLW14 with Hubspot, LinkedIN, Facebook & Twitter Leaders

Were you in the loop on the webinar that happened this Wednesday? Over 34,000 people signed up and listened in, breaking the world record for 10,899 participants, set by Hubspot just a few years ago in 2011.

The Best Social Media Webinar of All Time

We were there, and the event was worth the hype. No less than three of today’s top social media platforms had a senior director or marketing head present during the webinar, with Hubspot hosting: Russ Laraway, Twitter’s Senior SMB Director; Jed Clevenger, Facebook’s Global Head of SMB Channel Marketing; and Scott Engelman, Head of Online Marketing at LinkedIN. The host was @Dan Zarrella, Hubspot’s own Social Media Scientist. Check out the event page on Hubspot.

 
hubspot 2014
 
Since the webinar was not recorded, we took direct notes while listening in. Here are our favorite tidbits from the experts who spoke. Enjoy!

Twitter Company Page tips shared from @Russ Laraway: “Your first impression on Twitter counts. Use your bio to be descriptive and reflective of your business. Give people a compelling reason to follow your account. Include URL to an important landing page, your store hours, and anything that makes it easy to find you. Feature your logo and visual elements to describe your company. @Bonobos is an excellent example that does all of this for their Twitter profile. Be relevant on mobile. Twitter was born on mobile; 75% of users are mobile; think of your Twitter profile as your mobile website.”

Business Facebook Page tips by @Jed Clevenger: “We have over 1 million active advertisers. Setting up your Facebook page is huge for your business. Three things to get started:

  • Fill out complete and accurate information about your business: type, location, hours, URL, contact information. This establishes your business on Facebook, makes it indexed to search.
  • Have great cover pictures and cover photo. Customers want to see that you’re legitimate.
  • Use our free Facebook tools: contact importer, where you can upload all your contacts, and friend invites, where you can invite all your friends.

Test new types of content and spend time in your Page Insights to get information on your posts, audience, and traffic. SweetHaus used no advertising dollars to grow their account to over 3,000 likes: promoting to existing customers and finding new customers.”

LinkedIN Company Page tips from @Scott Engelman: “Write a company page that is informative and engaging. Use keywords that are relevant to your business to get your company in search results. Think of what image to use—an eye-catching image that invites visitors to learn more. Once it’s set up, invite your company network to follow. Engage with your followers by posting updates.”

Of course, we loved this question:

So much of marketing in social media is copywriting. Should my Twitter campaign copy be different from other copy? Russ, Twitter guru, answered: “The short answer is no, but it’s safe to acknowledge that Twitter offers constraints – 140 characters. Generally speaking, consider email marketing. I bet everybody here does this. With email marketing, you’re creating and constantly refining a list of interested parties; create content; send it out regularly, with minor adjustments, you can use this for your Twitter audience. Your followers are your lists. Work on shorter-form for Twitter. Most of you will create bigger content pieces like blogs, newsletters, e-books, think of these as base documents that you can carve into bite size pieces and use Twitter to drive those bits. For example, take a newsletter. Instead of tweeting the link with “check out the newsletter,” tweet a tip about the newsletter, a series of tips all day, and link to it or that excerpt in it. You can get a lot of mileage out of what you’re already producing this way, just modify it to make it work on Twitter.”

How do you get engagement with your tweets? A great question, and it got a great answer from Russ Laraway: “Forgive me for being obvious, but you can get more engagement with your tweets by giving your audience what they want. Really think about the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should NOT be focused on what you are selling. Non-direct selling, direct offering of value that is informative and helpful. What can your followers benefit from? Best practices, industry trends, are examples of great kind of content. Tweets that include rich media are more than likely to be shared. If you upload an image that tweet will do twice as well. 20% of your content SHOULD be focused on what you are selling.”

I can’t seem to grow, how do I get a relevant following? Russ answered: “It is true that it is really important to build a great follower base on Twitter. Remember, followers are optional. The users on Twitter regularly refine who they follow. There is no friction to stop following an account. So, users are very careful about the accounts they follow. Your followers will be interested to hear from you with regularity. Use the profile tips from earlier for a compelling profile, and jump in on industry conversations with hashtags—like the smart marketers hash-tagging #WLW14!  For example, if your target audience is educators, reach out to Alexander Russo and build a relationship with them. If you just tweet out valuable content in order to get a retweet, you’ll get more relevant followers over time.”

How do I target content for Facebook industry audience? Jed says: “A lot of the same principles from Russ for Twitter can be applied here for Facebook. We encourage you to start testing your way into great content. We have tools similar to A/B testing. From your page, any post you publish can be available to the public, but not all the public. Target your post by location, country, state, city, language, gender, relationship status, educational status, age—there is a ton of targeting option. Speak with an authentic voice to reach core audiences.”

How do I use hashtags successfully? Russ said: “Hashtags are best used for tweets driven for engagements. Leave them out of tweets driving direct responses. Don’t squat on a hashtag by just using it. Offer some value when you use it. Anyone can create their own hashtag: just make sure it’s easy to understand, and you’ll get good results. If it’s not widely used, think about trying to build momentum around it. We’ve created the #WLW14 hashtag and incorporated it into other avenues: email, marketing, etc. Build a community around your hashtag.”

And Dan at Hubspot added: “Social media is awesome because advertisers can do really smart advertising!”

Using sponsored updates on LinkedIN, LinkedIN expert Scott says: “Sponsored updates are a great way to extend your reach and get the best content in front of a target audience. We recommend starting with an organic company post, that has the highest engagement, and use sponsored updates to extend the reach of that post. Use industry location, job function, company size to target these sponsored updates. This allows you to get in front of your audience in an organic way. The power behind this targeting is the accuracy of the data: you can target your exact audience. Finally, sponsored updates allow you to get into desktop, tablet and mobile audiences.”

On Facebook app success, Jed says: “Facebook has four pillars for Facebook ad strategies. 1) Ad formats – 20% of all user time in ads are spent on Facebook, in the newsfeed. Create newsfeed ads. 2) Targeting – You’re targeting people, not cookies. You can target them in a safe way. Our targeting includes demographic (age, interests, etc.); custom audiences (from email lists, app users, etc.); just-launched website custom audiences (target people on Facebook who were on your website); look-like audience creation (find other people on Facebook with similar characteristics). 3) Conversion tracking – drop a conversion pixel on your website to track everything.  4) Measurement – use your page insights and manager. An example: Little Passports grew their customer base 300% and cut back on costs by 60% using Facebook advertising. They saw a huge uplift in sales and is their life in sales.

Some of the biggest takeaways were about images, which are vital in your tweets, Facebook shares, and LinkedIN posts:

  • Russ says: “Use images in tweets. You’ll get double the engagement. Get deeper: create images around hashtag vortexes, and make it aligned with what is popular with your audience. You can even pair this with an offer and then track it with Twitter’s tracking capabilities. Chegg is a great example. Using this resulted in 13,000 post engagement purchases, a 23% engagement conversion rate.”
  • Jed says: “Use bigger and better images. Use pictures that relate to your posts and companies. Use newsfeed advertising.”
  • Scott says: “Remember, audiences are professional on LinkedIN. Keep this mindset in mind. GE uses creativity in their images that still stay professional.”
  • And Dan says: “Followers on platforms are different people. Always be experimenting. Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.”

 

social media content tips

3 Awesome Web Content Tips That Will Help You Boost Your Brand on Facebook

Social media platforms represent dynamic environments in the world of web content tips which more than 56% of all living, breathing individuals connect socially.

In this context, it goes without saying that giant, extremely popular social networking websites are a fertile ground for clever web content strategies, developed and implemented by most companies to grow their online presence, maximize their ROI, enhance conversion rates and increase brand awareness.

Studies indicate that 1.2 billion people have a Facebook account and spend approximately 700 billion minutes on this platform on a monthly basis, exposing themselves to countless marketing messages. Would you like to boost the popularity of your online business on Facebook?

Follow these simple web content tips to gather tons of likes from an increased number of visitors.

#1 Distribute various types of insightful web content to prevent boredom

Posting 2 or 3 photos on a daily basis with a flat comment won’t draw more visitors to your Facebook page. In this case, diversity is the key to success. Distribute various types of web content to discover exactly what makes your targeted audience tick. Count on:

1)     Funny, entertaining videos: Do you know what has gone viral these days in your line of work? Don’t be afraid to post videos which are not directly related to your brand, but still manage to entertain, inform and educate your segment of potential buyers. For instance, viral videos about fun, adrenaline-filled activities will always be a gold mine for a well-known, popular energy drink.

2)     Inspirational blog posts: Do you want to create buzz around an event, a new product or a recently launched service? Write an engaging blog post and promote it on Facebook.

3)     Press releases: Are you getting ready to launch a new product? Are you eager to announce a few recent updates and/or major improvements? Share the exciting news with your friends by posting informative, well-written press releases.

4)     Photos: Try to find great pictures which are relevant to your business. Here’s an extra tip: post snapshots of your employees and clients photographed while testing your products. Your motivated staff members and satisfied customers are the best brand evangelists one could ever hope for!

#2 Less is sometimes more on Facebook

Recent studies indicate the fact that most people choose to unfriend their acquaintances simply because they are constantly bombarded with tons of useless information, game invitations and other forms of dull web content. One post a day would be more than enough, though many brands choose to break this rule and end up spamming their followers. A wrong posting strategy is correlated with a low engagement rate, so try to stay active and relevant at the same time without annoying your virtual friends with countless Facebook posts on a daily basis.

#3 In the end, it’s not about you

Social media content strategies are very tricky: the end goal is to bring your brand under the spotlight and persuade your audience into doing something, but without actually leaving the impression that the whole (digital) world revolves around your company and your line of products. Remember the fact that all your followers are self-centered and consider their needs a top priority. Give them tips, useful pieces of advice, recommendations, helpful information, how-to articles, valuable tutorials and they’ll land on your Facebook page regularly, constantly asking for more. Don’t forget to end your posts with a (pertinent) question addressed to your fans to encourage their feedback.

It’s always virtually impossible to reach your destination when you don’t know which way to go. If you’re looking for amazing web content and a suitable social media marketing strategy tailored to your objectives, requirements and expectations count on professional content writing services and start turning dreams into accomplishments today.