A lot of people get stuck when trying to come up with social posts. They may not know what to write, how to write it, or if what they’ve written is any good. The good news is, it’s not hard to write social posts. Every good social post has just a couple of basic elements behind it.
The goal of social media is, of course, to be social. It’s a way of connecting with your audience, meeting them where they are at, and building a relationship. Social posts are your way of making that relationship with your followers. Like all relationships, social ones are built by understanding the other person, talking with them, and keeping a meaningful conversation going.
To accomplish this goal, there are four elements of good social posts. Luckily, there is an easy acronym to remember what they are.
What do all good social P.O.S.T.s have in common?
- P- Personalized
- O- Open-ended
- S- Style
- T- Timely
Each of these elements ensures that the posts you write and share are appealing and engaging to your audience. Read on to learn more about what makes a good social media post.
Personalized: Make sure your post is personalized to your audience
You have your own, unique audience following you. If you’re not talking to them about things they care about, they are not going to engage with your posts. You have two tasks then: know your audience and know their interests.
This all starts with the development of buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal audience. They spell out who your persona is–gender, age, and occupation–and what their habits and interests are. You need to determine where your persona hangs out online, where they gather their news, what their goals are, and what pain points they get hung up on. Learn more about buyer personas here.
Once you know who your audience is, you can write and share content that is personalized to their likes and interests. So if you know your audience trusts one news source over another, you can share the articles you know that they value. Or, if you know they like messages that are short and sweet, you can write accordingly. Other personas may want to read posts of extraordinary length on Facebook. You need to know your audience to know which kind of content your followers prefer.
Open-Ended: Write open-ended posts that lead to conversations
Social media is all about conversations. People go there to find updates from their friends and families, to see breaking news, and to participate in the dialogue and give their opinion.
Once you are writing and sharing posts that are personalized to your followers, you can start conversations and get them talking. This keeps them engaged in what you have to say and keeps your posts interesting. They’ll begin to care about what you’re saying and look forward to your next post.
So, encourage two-way conversation. Ask your audience their opinions, get feedback, and encourage participation.
Style: Use a style that matches your business and its industry
While thinking about your audience is a crucial step in writing out your social posts, you also need to be faithful to your brand and the industry you’re in. Certain industries are by nature more casual and laid-back. Others are technology driven with specialized (maybe even complex) information that will appeal only to those in the industry. How you write the post will be determined by the confines of your industry.
To create strategic content around your industry, it’s helpful to use the 4-E rule of engaging social posts.
- Be Expert-Driven: Become the hub for a wealth of information related to your industry. This content should help solve your follower’s pain points.
- Entertain: Share visual and creative content that shows them you’re human and gives them insight into your brand's culture.
- Educate: Teach your audience how to address and overcome pain points by sharing your blogs, videos, or podcasts.
- Engage: Participate in real-time marketing conversations. Ask questions and be social.
You know your industry best. What style matches your brand and what you do? How can you translate that online while being helpful and, most of all, social with your followers?
Timely: Be timely when you post, so the audience is invested in what you’re talking about
Some posts you’ll write are evergreen, and it doesn’t matter when you post them. They will always be relevant. Others are only pertinent at a particular time or before a specific date. Sometimes newsworthy information is only relevant for a couple of days, tops. If you wait to chime in or share articles, you will find the conversation has already moved to the next topic.
Be mindful of what’s happening online and don’t wait to post something if people are talking about it. Move appropriately with the flow of conversation.
Therefore, you need to make sure your posts are timely. On social, there will be posts that you can create ahead of time and schedule to post at a later date, such as employee anniversaries and birthdays, blogs and articles, videos, quick tips, and more. See here for more information on the 10:4:1 rule and scheduling content. But, if a major story has broken in your field and you want to make sure your audience sees it, post it right away. This is an example of an in-the-moment post that can’t wait to be scheduled down the pipeline. It needs attention now when your audience is thinking about it.
Another example of timely posts is events. You’ll want to create posts leading up to events, letting people know what’s happening, where to find the event, and when to show up. During the event, post timely images and information, so your audience knows what’s going on. Post pictures real-time as they happen. This keeps people excited. On the other hand, if you post a photo album a week later, it’ll be less exciting. By then, it’s already out of mind. Your followers are already looking forward to the next event.
Timely posts will get great engagement from your audience. So strike a good balance between scheduled posts, timely information, and in-the-moment posts.
As you can see, the elements of good social media posts all revolve around using the platform as it’s intended. To be social! Your posts should be centered around the people you want to interact with. First, who are they and what interests them? Second, encourage them in join in the conversation and give their opinions. Third, focus your post’s style around your brand and the industry you’re in. And lastly, be engaged yourself and post when it’s most relevant.
Add all these elements together, and you have a great post that will be interesting to those reading it. Good luck!