How to Write Engaging Social Media Content

Published on February 16, 2015

The way we communicate with one another now is different than it would have been in the past. We send each other messages on Facebook, Re-Tweet content that we like, tag friends on Instagram, network with business professionals on LinkedIn.

Social media has changed the way that we interact with one another, to be sure, and has thus changed our expectations for how we expect to communicate with brands. Articles, images, and updates saturate our feeds in a noisy and ever-shifting stream of information. As a small business, rising above this "noise" is all but easy.

What we must keep in mind is that it is near impossible for any one user to consume everything that their connections post. An average user skims their feed a few times a day. While they skim, they pause over content that catches their attention - and it is our goal, as small business owners, to have our content catch their eye.

How do you create content that will quickly engage a reader on social media, and effectively keep them reading once they click through? Here's what Steamfeed recently said on the matter.

1. Keep it Short and Sweet

The average attention span of a human being is a mere 8 seconds. Skimming is the name of the game, especially when it comes to social media consumtion.

Keep your social media copy as succinct as possible. Delete anything that doesn't add value or make a clearly articulated point. Use specific language that will entice readers to click-through, and try to always leave room for the "curiosity gap." If more information might be valuable, use the link through to your website or blog post fill that role.

2. Use Visual Stimulation

Imagery just plain works on social media websites. Photos, videos, and infographics garner more clicks than text alone.

In selecting a multimedia source to post, consider what the image/graphic/video actually communicates to your skimmers. Does is provide valuable information? Does it elicit an emotional response?

If you're unsure where to start in selecting an image, be sure to check out our guide to creating powerful images for social media, and then use Canva to create the right size image for different social networks.

3. Ask Questions About Your Product or Service

Taking a closer look at what your product or service has to offer your audience is an essential part to understanding what kind of content will work for you on social media. Do they need what you offer daily? Is there a unique way to engage with your services? What do you provide that is different and compelling?

Use this collected feedback to cater posts that your audience (or perhaps specific groups within your entire audience base) will respond to.

4. Display Value First

Reporters are discouraged from "burying the lead" - that is, from concealing your top information within a large body of text.

Clarity is key. Put your vauable and interesting information RIGHT at the beginning of the social media post. Engage your audience with compelling info which inspires your audience to respond (or click through to your website!) Essentially, do what Steamfeed suggests here:

A good rule of thumb is to concentrate your content on educating, entertaining or inspiring.

5. Push the Envelope

Do things your compeditors aren't. Try using different insustries as models for your own success. Incorporate new tactics, take new stances, and otherwise set yourself apart in unusual ways which ring true to your company's beliefs.

6. Track Performance

You'll learn a lot from the numbers you collect. Social media success is often a bit of an experiment. Collect statistics and track progress. When are you getting likes and shares? What kinds of content is your audience responding to? What are they not responding to? Is there any consistency to your strategy?

Test new angles, chart new territory, and track everything. From there, you will be able to develop your own successful social media posting strategy that works for you.

Of course, success rarely comes overnight. True ownership of your content and personal brand will help create your own voice on social media. It may help your company to work with a digital marketing company like Geek | Chicago to help guide this process for you. Whatever you do, post often, analyze often, and don't give up. Persistence is key.

Questions? Need help? Send us an email or give us a call! We'd love to work with you.