Most individuals are familiar with social media and regularly interact on a personal level; however, managing a page for your business can, at times, be intimidating and/or overwhelming. The key is to set some goals for what you would like to accomplish via social media and then establish a posting plan to meet those goals. Before you can do that, though, you need to familiarize yourself with the various types of social media content to ensure you’re making the most of your efforts.
1. Text Only — A post without any visual elements. These posts are usually low on the engagement scale, so it’s best to keep them short and sweet. The last thing the reader wants is to be overwhelmed by an essay-length post while scrolling on a lunch break. Use these posts for short announcements like unexpected changes in hours due to holidays or inclement weather. Save the essay for a blog post that you can use to improve SEO on your website.
2. Photos — Adding a photo to a post can help grab attention and increase engagement. These types of posts are great for sales, contests, product launches, trade show booth locations or holiday celebrations. Do your best to keep the text minimal or add text to the photo. Think of it as a simple ad with a headline--no body copy.
3. Videos — Placing a video in a post can also increase engagement; however, keep your video short and to the point or people may lose interest fast. Short means a minute or less. You don’t have to pay for air space like you would a TV commercial, but you want to make the most of the reader’s attention span. For longer videos, like tutorials, consider a YouTube account and treat the videos like a blog—use them as web content that you can link through social media.
4. Photo Carousel — Images that the user can slide through. This is perfect for showcasing products or promotions with a link built in to drive traffic to your website. For large numbers of products, it’s a good idea to categorize them with albums. Keeping your photos organized, like you would on your website, makes the most of a reader’s time on your page.
5. Slideshow — A quick slideshow video showcasing 3-10 images of your choosing. Perhaps you want to advertise some new products or additional services. Or you have new employees to show off. You could also use this feature as a PR tool by sharing trade show highlights, volunteer efforts or company social events. Just be selective and only use the best photos.
6. Stories — A visual newsfeed built into Facebook and Instagram that expires after 24 hours, which is great for quick personal updates or promotions. Think flash sales, employee birthdays or holiday wishes. Remember to keep it short and sweet—no need spending a lot of time on a post that will only be up for 24 hours.
7. Live videos — Share updates using the live feature on Facebook/Instagram. Your followers get a notification whenever you go live so they can stay up to date with you. This is great for increasing brand awareness and helping your followers to get to know the real you.
Once you’re familiar with the various ways in which you can share content, you’re ready to get started. Part II — coming soon — will feature the do’s and don’ts of managing your social media accounts, so stay tuned for more on posting like a pro.