Each week we see new updates or added features being introduced on social media channels. For small business owners, it is hard enough keeping up with regular postings let alone keeping up to date with the latest trends and new features.
No matter what new app or tool has been created to make your life easier, they are worth nothing without your post actually being full of good quality, useful content that is of interest to your readers. However, social post creation can seem rather daunting, especially if you are not a natural born writer.
Each social media platform also has its own standards and guidelines for you to follow when posting, so it helps to look at some best practices for crafting your posts that not only fit with site guidelines but are also snooze-free!
Creating a post on Facebook
Facebook allows you to use a whopping 63,206 characters for your status updates – but that doesn’t mean you should use them all! On average, most peoples attention span lasts around eight seconds, so you don’t want to deliver a message that has a long introduction. Remember that your posts are basically updates – so no need to waffle on or skirt around what you want to say.
You will obviously want to grab your readers attention with your post about your new product or service, the results of a survey, or an upcoming sale etc. The best way to do this is to accompany your message with an eye-catching image. Facebook recommends that your feature image is 1200 X 630 pixels, but you should also make sure you use bright and vivid colours to be more appealing. Somewhere in your post you should also include a back link to your website or blog so that interested readers can click through to find more information.
Handling your Twitter character limit
Short and sweet is the name of the game with Twitter updates. As you know, you are only allowed to use 140 characters in total within your message, but luckily any media attachments you include, such as images or gifs, do not count towards your 140 character limit. It would be very difficult to create a twitter post that would make people snooze – there just isn’t the space! However, your tweets should make sense. Nothing makes people scroll past your tweet faster than a confusing message.
Twitter is great if you are not a natural born writer and you struggle to write more substantial social media posts. Think of Twitter posts as little teasers that you can throw out to your followers. Tweets are great for building anticipation as you approach a new shop opening, sneak peeks of a new product line or some exciting business news announcements. Add a link back to your site or blog plus an eye-catching image. Images should be high-resolution at 1280 X 720 pixels. You can add hashtags, but only when they make sense.
Your LinkedIn Business Pages
As THE professional social media platform for business, LinkedIn is a great place to post information such as your latest business news, new appointments, job opportunities and important announcements.
Your status update is limited to a maximum of 600 characters, but most people tend to keep their LinkedIn updates short and sweet too, usually around the same length as a Twitter post. It is helpful to keep updates short here simply because your message will be easier to read on mobile devices and much simpler for people to click through your link. Again, an image would be advisable and try to choose a high-resolution image for LinkedIn that’s a minimum of 646 X 220 pixels.
How frequently should I post?
How often you post to your business social media platforms is a matter that only you can decide. This will, of course, depend largely on how much available time you can dedicate to your social media activities. Most small business owners who try to handle all their social media activity by themselves often find that after an initial enthusiastic thrust, their motivation wavers and their input tapers away to a bare minimum. This is never a good move for your business reputation.
Being consistent with your posts is crucial if you want to build successful relationships with your audience. If you feel that you can only commit three mornings a week to your social media tasks, then start out doing this and stick with it. If your followers have gotten used to seeing a flurry of posts from you only to see them drop off to one or two updates per week, they are going to lose interest and look elsewhere. If you are truly pressed for time, then consider outsourcing your social media requirements to a specialist provider to handle on your behalf.
You can also make good use of a social media scheduling tool such as Social Report (our recommendation) or Hootsuite if you are able to sit and write out a few posts in one go, but are unable to actually post live as and when you need to.
Hopefully, these tips will help you make the most of each of your small business social media platforms, but remember that consistent posting should be your number one priority. Good luck!
Gan Michelle Newbold, Lobster DM, Cardiff