• Another Post Bites the Dust – 4 Tips on Improving Your Social Media Posts

Improve your social media engagement Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you were the only small business owner who thought of marketing your business on social media platforms? Your unique business would attract a significant fan base and all of your posts- regardless of the content- would stand out in the newsfeeds filled with pictures of people’s cats and documentations of their daily lives.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. While social media platforms grant small business owners the ability to reach large-scale audiences easily, they have provided the same benefit to every business, including those of your competitors. This fact inevitably diminishes the competitive advantage you might’ve gained. As marketers get louder, the likelihood that audiences will actually absorb the information decreases. This post will give you four ways to reengage your social media followers by creating more effective posts.

Market research points to various reasons why marketers and small business owners are struggling to engage with their audiences. Since 2000, the average attention span has decreased by 33%, from 12 to 8 seconds[1]. Meanwhile, the amount of media the public is exposed to and the inclination to multi-task has increased.

  • By 2015, Americans will process over 2.7 trillion hours of media, or about 15.5 hours per person each day.”[2]
  • 96% of people using social media are multi-tasking in some way[3]
  • 71% of people who are online are multitasking[4]

These findings have several implications for small business owners. If both the amount of content vying for the public’s attention and the proclivity to multi-task have significantly decreased your posts’ engagement levels and visibility, concentrate marketing efforts on capturing your audience’s attention in the shortest time possible.

There’s a difference between exposing your audience to content verses actually attracting their attention through your posts which is why we came up with four tips for small business owners to create more effective and engaging social media posts.

social media posts

1)    Keep Posts Short

Social media networks are typically used by individuals for leisure. That’s why long, text-heavy social media posts that require high levels of attention are often overlooked.

Remember, you have less than 8 seconds to capture your audience’s attention. Even if you write the most spectacular masterpiece of your life, people will scroll past it if it’s too long to read within a few seconds.

Learn from Twitter and limit the length of your posts. As tedious as the 140 character cap on tweets may be, in reality, it benefits you more than it hurts you. These limits train you to stay focused on your message, to be concise, and to consider creative ways for capturing your audience’s attention.

So how much, exactly, should you write? As a general rule of thumb, limit what you post to 2-3 sentences maximum.

2)    Provide Link to More Information

An easy way to keeping social media posts short is by including a link in the post to your website where they can access additional information. Not only will you keep your posts short, but this will also help you send more traffic to your website.

In posting all of the necessary information through social media posts, you eliminate the incentive or need for people to visit your website. Rather than trying to do everything at once, take things step by step. Expose your audience to content that will attract their attention, and then drive them towards your website to learn more.

3)    Use Visual Content

Express your messages through visual content that will entertain and engage your audience.

Marketing trends of 2014 for small business owners show the importance of creating visual content to communicate on social media networks. The trends and research point to how people are more likely to engage with visual content than text.

Luckily, there are several tools nowadays that allow you to easily create visual content without a background in design or IT. Check out ThriveHive’s ebook on visual marketing tools for guidance and ideas!

In using visual content, you’re also forced to show your brand’s personality. Use social media networks as an opportunity to create the images you want to be associated with your company. Show, don’t tell, who you are.

4)    Be Human

One of the biggest benefits of being a small business is your ability to be personable, and to develop close relationship with your customers. Social media networks can help you capitalize on this advantage.

Furthermore, if you use social media networks as a way to show your “human side,” the posts will seem less out of place on people’s newsfeeds. It’ll seem as though another friend is sharing events, updates, and opinions with the community.

One way of showing the “human side” of your company, is to post behind the scenes pictures of your business. Take pictures while at work to make your audience feel like they are a part of your everyday routine. These photos will also allow them to see the faces of the business, and help your audience feel more connected to your staff and, consequently, your company.

Another idea is to post about events happening in your community. In so doing, you’re working at establishing a rapport with your audience; you’re making yourself relatable and approachable. For more ideas on what to post in social media, check out our nine case studies from real business owners who rocked their Facebook marketing.

[1] National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, The Associated Press
[2] James E. Short. 2013 report on American consumers institute for communication technology management at the USC Marshall school of business
[3] Middletown Media Studies
[4] BIG Research
 
ThriveHive
ThriveHive
ThriveHive combines easy-to-use tools and expert guidance to help businesses stand out and get found online. Learn more about our guided marketing and advertising solutions here.

7 Comments

  1. Those all great ideas on how to have better posts.
    The only thing I can add is timing.
    It does make a difference what time you post at.

    • Laura Haime says:

      Anthony,
      Thank you for your comment! And you’re right, timing is also a big factor on the visibility and engagement rates for your social media posts. Here’s another post where we discuss a Facebook tool that allows you to see the times when your audience is most active: https://thrivehive.com/facebook-insights-tools
      You can see the tool on the second bullet point.

      Hope that helps you!

  2. Lark says:

    Thanks! It seems harder to grab attention these days. This was helpful.

    • Laura Haime says:

      Hi Lark!
      Thank you for the comment! Yes, it’s definitely getting more and more difficult to engage with social media followers, but your presence and posts on these sites are still important. It’s just a matter of posting effective and attractive material for your audience.
      I’m glad this was helpful for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *