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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 posts creation

10 Key Ways to Craft Engaging, Fun Social Media Posts for Your Brand (With Examples)

When it comes to social media posts, from writing to visuals and publishing, every brand wants to create the content that fans want to follow.

This is far easier said than done, though.

To be a truly “likable” brand, a company needs to master the art of social media content creation.

Think, for a moment, about why you would follow a brand on social media. Maybe it’s because you are interested in the industry that they post within, know and personally like them, or you just found them and simply fell in love with the fun, unique content they were posting on social media.

Either way, social media follows are typically about a desire for content – and that follow means you have an active fan or reader that will come back for more, so consistency is key.

creating social media posts

How to Write Engaging, Fun Social Media Posts for Your Brand (Consistently): 10 Key Ways & Examples

Fans don’t want to follow brands that post dry, boring content and, in light of that, it’s wise for brands to put in the work that it takes to learn to create fun and engaging social media posts.

Here are a few key tips I’ve put together to get you inspired, thinking, and started out on the right foot.

1. Be real about your industry, add tasteful humor

One of the best ways to create engaging social media content is to be real.

The fact of the matter is that most brands, regardless of which industry they work in, deal with something that is taboo, awkward, confusing, or just plain funny on a daily basis.

What better way to make a great social media post than to capitalize upon those things?

For example: Charmin, a toilet paper company, wins on social media – especially Twitter. They’re simply real about who they are, what they do, and bring in a lot of humor consistently about it.

They have a consistent Twitter column #CharminAsks that sparks humor:

And, one thing I love is that they even engage back with their punny fans:

By posting lighthearted content that makes their fans laugh, Charmin earns many more follows, re-tweets, and favorites than you might imagine a toilet tissue company would.

2. Use color to stay consistent with your brand

Take a moment to consider brands that have tied color into their branding schemes:

  • Coca-Cola, red
  • Evernote, green
  • The Honest Company, bright blue
  • Content Marketing Institute, orange

…To name a few. These brands have figured something out that the rest of us can do well to learn from. Namely, that using a trademark color scheme across social media can be a fantastic way to draw more attention to your posts and earn more readers.

cmi twitter

Because social media is a very fast-paced world, people using on social media platforms are often scanning through their newsfeeds quickly.

This means that anything that isn’t immediately different, eye-catching, or unique is likely to get skimmed past. To save your content from meeting this fate, brand your company with a trademark color scheme and use it in your social media posts. In addition to making your brand’s content more immediately recognizable, this will also go a long way toward making readers slow down and interact with your social media posts.

3. You can be promotional if you’re also being helpful, generous, and authentic

In order to create the best possible social media content, brands can enhance their reader ship by being generous with information. And here’s the secret: you CAN blend that with a mention of you and your products, provided you don’t oversell and stay helpful during the mention.

Fans come to your page hoping to find something to engage with and when you hit the nail on the head and address a problem they can relate to or a struggle that everyone has, you’re likely to earn a spot on their social media short list.

Think of it this way: each time you interact on social media, you’re provoking some reaction from your readers – be it interest, laughter, or curiosity.

This means that all of your social media posts should be aimed at creating a helpful, generous, and funny presence as often as possible. Look at how Poopourri blends a mention of their product with a fun Halloween costume idea:

While you don’t have to solve all of your readers’ problems, a few social media quips that show them you relate to their lives will go a long way toward making them want to engage with the rest of your content.

4. Spark curiosity in your social audience

Any good marketer knows that the headline of an article is the most important part. While 80% of people read headlines, only 20% read body copy, which means that a great headline can go a long way toward earning you more traffic, and more engagement.

To make your social media posts more fun, consider toying with your headlines a bit. Instead of writing a dry, information-only few words, consider playing with headlines that will provoke your readers’ curiosity or make them laugh.

For a great example, consider Innocent Drinks, a smoothie brand whose social media is decidedly not focused on smoothies.

While nobody is advocating making your headlines and short tweet body all about laugh-grabs, it’s clear that incorporating funny, attention-commanding headlines and photos into your social media strategy is a fantastic way to boost your readership and engagement.

For some additional help crafting great headlines, check out these headline analyzer tools and generators:

5. Include custom visuals

It’s a well-known fact that including visuals in social media posts is a fantastic way to draw more engagement and promote more social sharing (including visuals in social media posts increases a reader’s willingness to read by 80%), but what if you took it a step beyond stock photos? By creating custom visuals for your posts, you not only provide readers with value that they can only find from your company, but you also create a solid piece of marketing material that is likely to get passed around the web, spreading the word about your brand.

To get started with custom visuals, consider creating an infographic with the help of a designer or using a service like Canva to create unique images for your posts. Read our SME’s guide on how to use Canva.

Keep in mind that any image you create should match the tone and topic of your post – informational images for informational posts and funny images for attention-grabbing headlines, for example – and that each visual should also be relevant to your audience.

6. Ask for reader response

If you want to reach the ultimate in fun, engaging social media posts, look no further than conversation starters. Everything from caption contests to calls for user-generated photos, videos, or artwork can be a fantastic way to start a conversation and get your social media page popping.

Consider Happy Family as a great example and how incorporate user-generated content on their social media account:

happy family facebook

7. Shout out to readers

If you’re playing your cards right, chances are you have some faithful social media followers that read virtually everything you post. In light of this, one of the best ways to make your content more fun and engaging is to ensure that the people talking about and responding to your brand know that you notice.

On most social networks, it’s easy to respond directly to a comment (Facebook, for instance) or to simply “@” someone (Twitter) to make it known you’re talking directly to them.

This is an effective way to not only enhance the interaction with that specific user but also to encourage other users to reach out as well, which they’re more likely to do if they see you responding to other users.

Plus, the level of customer-brand interaction has increased markedly over the last few years, so it’s a good time to make this move.

SproutSocial recently found that the number of private messages sent from customers to brands on social media increased 110% between 2014 and the end of 2015.

8. Encourage your team to participate

For the most engaging social media posts possible, consider switching up your posters a bit. If you have a team in departments like sales, marketing, or customer service, give them a chance at the wheel for a post or two a week. In addition to the fact that your customers will likely love hearing from these seldom-aired sectors of your company, it’ll also help make your team feel more cohesive and engaged, which is good for everyone!

My team and I live tweet from our Twitter, @ExpWriters, when we’re at events. This October, I tweeted while at #SEJSummit, tagging all of our team present with me on Twitter:

On other days, Rachel, our social media manager, tweets from our brand Twitter account.

9. Tell a story, consistently

For a great series of social media posts, consider breaking your content up into a serialized narrative. This gives your readers something to look forward to on a daily or weekly basis and creates a fun and anticipatory environment.

JetBlue has done this beautifully in their social media profiles. Check out their Twitter, and here’s a sample tweet:


Just remember to be consistent with your social media presence. If you start telling great stories then suddenly stop posting, your readers will think you’ve dropped off the face of the earth and no one will want to check back.

10. Don’t be afraid to be creative with your content!

No two brands are exactly alike and what is going to resonate with your customers is different that what is going to resonate with someone else’s customers. In light of this, it’s important to be creative and playful when it comes to your social media posts.

Depending upon what industry you work in and who your target audience is, you may need to experiment a bit in order to find the perfect social media outline for you.

Have Fun, Interact, and Be Social – Consistently

When used correctly, social media, from writing to publishing, can be a powerful tool for companies in all industries. Whether you choose to interact on Twitter, Facebook, Periscope, Instagram or a combination of any of these platforms and others, fun social media posts are some of the best ways to get your audiences to engage with your brand and spread the word about your company.

Remember to set a strategy in place and maintain consistency with your social media posts.

 

Need great social media copy and visuals? We can help! Check out our single posts here or total social media management packages here.