It's one of life's great mysteries: how often should you post on social media in the year 2021? And what about the right time to post? Does it exist at all? And if so, how do you determine that? There are probably more recommendations than grains of sand on the beach. This makes it very difficult for marketers to create good social media posts. Here are 7 tips!
7 tips for good social media posts
Spoiler alert: There is no magic formula. What works for one company will not necessarily work for yours. The one-size-fits-all is an illusion. There is no universally valid ideal time or perfect frequency.
However, before you decide to close your laptop for good and hang up your marketing dressing gown: there are guidelines and strategies to follow that have proven to be useful.
1. Community is the only policy
The algorithms of Facebook and other social media channels seem to change more often than we change our pants. As annoying as that is to keep track of, the reason behind it is very logical.
The entire raison d'être of social media is built around a single goal: building a community, bringing people together. Their main concern is not to lose the interest of their customers (the social media users). If it gets boring, they are gone.
But of the 11.61 million Belgians, no less than 8.83 million, or a staggering 76% of the population, are active on social networks. And together they spent an average of 1h45 per day on social networks in 2020. That means the algorithms work.
So if you generate content that many people find interesting, that brings them together and creates a community, the social networks will reward you for it. Your good social media posts will be visible more often and for longer.
2. Consistent is better than frequent
In the light of the knowledge that your post should be above all interesting, the frequency with which you post is therefore irrelevant. The operators of social networks primarily want to offer their customers stability. They want to be able to count on you. For example, if you decide to post twice a day on Facebook, you need to make sure you can create enough interesting content to keep up that pace. Your audience then knows that they can go to your page at any time and expect two recent posts.
In the words of Jay Baer of Convince and Convert:
"The best social media publishing frequency is: when it's worthwhile." Jay Baer
And that brings us seamlessly to the next point.
3. Quality is more important than quantity
Make sure your content is valuable. Even worse than posting nothing at all on social media is posting bad or boring content. There's really no point in throwing something uninspired onto your channels just because it fits into your content calendar.
In fact, bad content puts you at risk of losing fans and followers. In times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, this is even more true. People are looking for useful information and facts, a moment of diversion or a glimmer of hope and inspiration.
4. Be authentic
Think about the posts on Instagram or Facebook that you yourself respond to, and especially: why. What content do you respond to? What means do you use: a thumbs up, a heart, a tear, a smile, etc.? Social media, the community that is built there... it is all about emotion. If it doesn't touch you, you scroll on.
The distinguishing feature of good social media posts that touch and move people is authenticity. Forget brushed-off and formal content. There is no easy way when it comes to content either. Forbes predicted it:
"We're trending away from perfectly curated content and toward authentic, everyday moments." Forbes
Research has shown that 86% of consumers consider authenticity to be an important factor in choosing a brand or company. On the other hand, more than half of them (57%) think that not even half of the brands succeed in creating content that feels authentic. So be yourself!
5. Make it personal
You can assume that the followers of your page are not there by chance. They may be people who know you, for example, because they are already your customers. Maybe they are sympathisers who know you personally and are also friends or acquaintances in offline life. Or they have liked your page because you make content that appeals to them, inspires them or interests them.
Taking this into account, it is actually strange that you would address them in a formal and distant tone. You do not need to convince them of anything; they are already there! So talk to your audience as if they were your friends. Don't treat them like strangers to whom you explain what you do over and over again. Good social media posts are all about community, remember?
6. Adapt your content per channel
Does that mean you talk the same way on every channel? Of course not. It remains appropriate to take into account the target audience per channel.
On Instagram and Facebook, you can use more or less the same tone of voice. There, the target audience is rather broad and very diverse. On LinkedIn it is different again. The goal of that medium remains the community and also there your contacts already know you, but they are more situated in a professional context. That requires a different approach.
The content of your message can be the same for each channel. You can say on each channel that you are looking for a new colleague or share an action. However, the form and tone in which you bring that message is best adjusted per channel. On Instagram, a good picture is a necessary condition, but even on Facebook, a picture works better than text. And there is (after all) a one-size-fits-all: video is always and everywhere a winner!
7. Create a content calendar
It should be clear: good social media marketing takes time. It is no coincidence that more and more companies are looking for a social media manager, someone whose sole task is to maintain the social media channels. But even those who combine various tasks can get a return from social media. The code word is: planning.
Make a content calendar and include regularly recurring formats such as a product or a customer in the spotlight, projects to be delivered... Also investigate which topics link up with what's going on at your target audience: holidays, (inter)national days of X. You can find plenty of inspiring calendars and tools online to get you started.
Once you have created a content calendar for, say, a trimester, it becomes much easier to throw something spontaneously online. A photo of a company dinner (or in times of COVID-19 perhaps a Zoom meeting 😉 ).
There is an aura of mystery surrounding social media that often gives marketers a headache. It helps to not take it all too seriously. Keep in mind that everything you do should strengthen the community. Good social media posts flow from that. Experiment, analyse what works and try to have some fun in the meantime!