Do you always post the best social media update you possibly can? Are you sure? Posting on social media for optimal results may simply not be as simple as it sounds. Especially when you are just starting out there are probably some things you keep forgetting, some optimization you could to for the extra mile – or simply some better content you could post.
There are a lot of things you should consider before you post on social media and not all of them are technical. Some aspects of posting on social media are due to targeting and social media marketing aspects.
Think it through before you post – not too much (you don’t want to overthink every post), but enough to consider if you got everything right.
The following 5 questions can help you to get more out of your social media activity – simply ask them to yourself before you click „post“ on any social network. And don’t worry: Even though it may sound complicated at first, once you get familiar with your favorite social network, you will automatically consider most of these each time you post something.
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1. Does your planned update have value?
The basic concept of successful social media marketing is to provide value to your followers. That way people WANT to follow and to listen to you.
Your updates should meet this standard and provide value. Value, in this case, can take many forms: Not always is value a very narrow concept. Of course, helpful and interesting information has value. But depending on the situation and the audience value can be something totally different. To make people smile or feel better can be very valuable.
2. Does your planned update speak to your target audience?
At first glance, this may look as if it is the same as the value question in #1. In truth, often the update is very valuable – only not to the target group. When you are trying to market to teenagers, a very sophisticated and earnest update may just not be the best to speak to your target group.
Make sure you meet the needs of your target audience. And understanding your target audience often is key to getting your social media marketing right.
3. Is the topic or theme of your update related to your work?
While it is nice to always be entertaining and helpful – in truth you are still trying to market a business or product. This will be hard if your topics and updates never touch any remote connection to what you have to offer.
It is nice to run a motivational Facebook fanpage and get a ton of engagement on all those motivational quotes: The question is if the audience that kind of activity will attract is really interested in you and your products – or if they just like to be entertained and do not care who you are.
In marketing, this is probably the hardest part to figure out: You do not want to talk about your products all the time, but you want to keep the conversation on your social channels as close to your offers as you can without sounding over salesy.
Choose your stories and topics with care, make them interesting to your target group and figure out how to connect the dots between the information you post and what you want to sell.
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4. Does your update match the best practices of the social network?
I admit, I hate to see tweets on Facebook or Pins on Twitter. That is just annoying and, from a marketing point of view, it is not your best option either.
Of course, it seems to be so time saving and efficient, to just throw out one post on all available social networks – but it is not. Not when your reach and the attention your audience is willing to give your update quickly goes to zero if your update does not match the requirements and best practices of a social network.
While I strongly believe that when you are active in social media marketing you will not be able to make it right for everyone and your activity will annoy some people – not giving the attention and investing the effort to optimize a post for the network you are posting on is plain lazy. And it will hurt your results.
Make sure your post has an image in the right dimension, add hashtags where they make sense, mention other accounts if you talk about them, share a great teaser text and ask questions if you want to engage your audience. There is a lot you can do to optimize your updates in each social network. A Facebook update is not a perfect tweet and an Instagram post is not a perfect pin for Pinterest.
You can find some ideas to optimize your tweets in this article.
Learn what it takes to be successful on your chosen networks and post accordingly.
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5. Are you posting at the optimal times?
There are several aspects to be considered here: The posting frequency and the optimal times to post depending on when your target group is online and when the competition with posting is strongest.
Let’s fist talk about posting frequency: When you read that on Twitter you should post several times per day, then it is not best practice if you shoot out all your posts within a couple of minutes. Best results can be expected if you spread out your updates throughout the day – at best throughout the time when your followers are online.
But not all times per day – or week – are equal: in some social networks, most people are active during daytime while on others the time when most people are active are rather outside working hours. And, be honest, are all people from your target audience within the same time zone?
Is your content business-related and do you want to reach your audience during working hours? Or is your topic rather about hobbies and personal life? Maybe a posting time that reaches people at home and when they relax is better?
Tools can help you figure out when the optimal times based on your followers and their activity is. In addition, you should test what happens if you post at different times. Often the difference is so significant that you can figure out what works better simply by watching your numbers when you post at various times.
While you should still be active outside your optimal times to post, you may want to make sure that your most important updates go out at your best times.
There is a lot to consider before posting on social media. If you are already active and seeing some success, you will probably already be answering some of these questions for your updates.
If you post but your results do not meet your expectations, take a step back and ask yourself the above questions: What can you do betters – most likely you got at least one of them wrong or not totally right.
And finally: Don’t fall for any of the most common social media myths.