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What makes an effective post?

What makes an effective post?
Call to action – Usually found at the end of a social post, these are words that urge the reader to act on something (e.g. “Find out more”, “Share now”).

Practice makes perfect
Unfortunately, there is no one single path, or set of rules, to create the “perfect post”. You’ll find it takes some experimenting to know what works best for your business.
The great thing about social media is that you can try different things without investing too much time or money. It’s a great place to test and learn, quickly.
Always start with a clear goal
Before you start, ask yourself some questions: What do you want this post to do? Should it create awareness? Encourage comments that build community? Get people to share it? Get donations?
The more specific your objective, the more effective your post will be. And don’t be afraid to make this obvious to your audience – there’s nothing wrong with being clear and direct. A post without a clear objective can be confusing to a user. The information may come across as irrelevant and could cause them to lose interest.
It’s important to be clear about what your goals are. But it’s also vital to remember why you’re setting them, so always ensure your goals relate back to your business objectives.
For example: Nimisha is new to Bengaluru and she’s just opened up a saree shop in town. She knows that social media is a quick and cost-effective way to get her marketing efforts off the ground. For her first post, her goal is to create awareness of her business and drive new customers into her shop by posting about an opening event she will be hosting.

Tell your followers something interesting
As you’re creating your post, think about what’s in it for your audience, not just for you. Are you sharing new information with them? Are you giving them something interesting and exciting that they can pass on to their friends?
Telling stories is one great way to do this, as people love to associate and connect with the people behind a business. Why not show them a glimpse behind the scenes of your business activities through pictures and videos? Or show the skill and craftsmanship that goes into creating one of your products?
For example: Nimisha has a great story behind her saree shop. Her great grandmother started the business over 60 years ago, and Nimisha still uses the traditional methods to create the fabric today. She has a series of photographs from the 60s through to the current day. She uses these to give her followers an insight into how the sarees are made.
The story of your business is just one idea. The key thing to think of is what is interesting to your customers. You might want to join in a larger conversation occurring across social media or share seasonally relevant content relating to national events, religious holidays, or big sporting or film events. We’ll cover how your business can create topical and timely content later in this course in the “Managing your content on social media” lesson.

Be brief
Try to keep your posts short and sharp. Social media isn’t generally the place for long, detailed content. You only have a few moments to grab people’s attention so make sure you choose your words carefully.
If you do have a long article to share with your audience, why not publish it in full on your website or blog page. Then use social media to promote it by posting an enticing excerpt or a relevant image along with the URL to click on to read more.
When you can, use photos or videos
As we’ve mentioned before, posts with photos and videos often get more attention, and they stand out more on feeds dominated with text. It does vary by channel, but generally, photos and videos are a great idea. Based on the nature of your post, think about what you could use to accompany it visually that will make your post eye-catching. We’ll cover how to create great photo and video content for your social media profile in a later lesson.
Use social calls to action
Having a clear call to action is a key part of a great social post. Rather than tempting people away from the social media channel you’re using, focus this action on something they can do quickly and easily. All you need to do is ask your audience to act in a specific way, such as:
  • Share your ideas
  • Comment and tell us what you think
  • Like if you agree
The benefit to using these social-media-specific calls to action is that you can increase the reach of your post when people like, comment or share.
If appropriate, you may also want to consider creating a sense of urgency around the call to action to encourage your audience to act quickly. For example:
  • Share your ideas today
  • Comment now

Don’t forget about hashtags:
Hashtags are widely used across social media platforms. They make it easier for people to find and explore information on a particular topic. Using hashtags on your posts allows your target audience to find your posts more easily. Simply use the # symbol directly in front of a word or phrase you want to highlight. It is these key words or phrases that people may be searching for. And when they do, they might just come across your post.
For example: To increase the reach of her post, Anusha used hashtags to highlight the key elements of her message. 
“To celebrate Republic Day we’re giving away a free pastry to every customer #RepublicDay #Bakery #PastryGiveaway”
This means that anyone searching for: Republic Day, bakery or puri giveaway may come across her post.
Here are a few simple rules to help you start using hashtags effectively:
  • Don’t include any spaces, e.g. #RepublicDay not #Republic Day
  • Don’t use punctuation, just a hashtag, e.g. #PuriGiveaway not #PuriGiveaway!

The key thing is to look back and take note
Analyze your posts as you go and see what is really getting your audience’s attention. Which posts have had the highest engagement? What do these all have in common? Was it a particular product you featured or a certain call to action perhaps? Look at the posts that don’t perform as strongly as well. What do they have in common?
Use these insights to make recommendations on what sort of content you should be posting more of going forward. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution for social media, but stick with it, and you’ll find a posting style that works for you, and your objectives.
Let's recap
  • Good content is the key to ensuring your social media presence is effective for your business. Always aim to attract, intrigue and excite customers.
  • The first step to creating great content is having a clear goal in mind – what do you want to the post to do?
  • You don’t have much time to get people’s attention, so make sure your posts are short and sharp
  • Make sure you’re giving the audience something new or interesting
  • Using images and videos can help to grab attention
  • Use social calls to action to encourage interaction


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