By Oliver Hope
Quite often I am asked about how social media posts can be more impactful, we all want to avoid the desolation of a tweet which gets no reaction or a Facebook post receiving negative traction. My answer? It’s all about presentation and timing. A tweet can be a hit solely based on what time you post it, get the right video and your Facebook post could be more successful, it is all down to the right presentation and time slot.
Time slots? Yes, the hands on the clock can equal likes if followed correctly. Many social media platforms have what we shall call “peak times” where many of the population choose to browse at the same time. These usually coincide with events such as daily commutes and lunch breaks but can also coincide with events across the world. Typically, the peak times are between 7:30 am through to 9 am, 12:30 to 1:30 and from 4:30 until 7pm. These all relate to commuting times, where many people will be travelling across the country glued to their smartphones. A post that is timed with these slots can increase your traffic vastly. A simple hashtag can see your tweet viewed by more eyes than at any other time during the day. The more eyes on your post, the more success you will see. The worst times to post would be between 9 pm and 6:30 am. The vast majority of people will not be using their phones at this time and the engagement will be a lot lower.
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But what makes the perfect post? Keeping it simple. Never over saturate a post with text, people on the go will not take the time out of their day to read a elongated piece of text so being concise is key. Twitter encourage short and snappy posts, but ideally you should be aiming to tweet under 140 characters to see success. 140 characters on the average Twitter feed is not really ideal, especially during peak times. Scrolling through the average timeline, a 140 character post will often be overlooked. To enhance a post, it is often a great idea to add an image, GIF or short video. These make the post instantly more appealing and as a result, more likely to gain traffic.
Alternatively, make your post more engaging, provide: questions, facts or figures to include the reader and encourage feedback. The more you talk to your audience the more appealing your profile will be, conversations and replies encourage more users to actively engage with you. Be clear with the point you are getting across and what you expect your readers to do. If you would like feedback, add it to the post. This can be simple as adding, “thoughts?” to the end of a tweet. By doing so, the readers know you want to hear what they think on the subject matter and you are awaiting their opinion. It is simple and what could be seen as obvious, but many pages avoid doing this, so their post seems to just be a statement rather than an opinion. A statement is a final conclusion and will not see people replying.
Posts containing correct grammar are far more likely to be read than those with abbreviations and capitalised words. There are far more effective ways to get your point across by using synonyms and correct syntax rather than cramming as much as you can into the 140 characters. For a longer drawn out point of view, stretch it our over a couple of tweets rather than a short summary. This can easily be done by numbering your tweets, it looks smooth and will allow you to tweet in depth about a topic rather than summarising and potentially missing out key points. An appealing format would be “…….. (1)” followed by “……(2)”. In doing this, the audience knows you are going to have a string of tweets and the number does not take up the bulk of your tweet. It is both simple and effective.
Effective re-tweeting is another great way to make your profile more appealing to your audience. They key factor in this is knowing your audience and finding content that they want to read. Keeping a constant stream of relevant content is key, find a genre that appeals to you and stick to it. This may be sport, music or just lifestyle; keeping to the same topic will allow you to gain a following of likeminded people who will be much more likely to engage and share your content. This, in term, will expand your potential audience and over time have more eyes viewing you insights. The more your work is shared, the higher potential you have to gain numbers.
Create your own buzzwords to make your page unique and your audience have an association with your tweets. Keeping a buzzword will instantly alert a commuter that it is you who is tweeting. The average person will scroll through Twitter not really engaging with everything they see, so having something that stands out will instantly allow you to gain more notoriety, for positive reasons. Another easy way to avoid your tweets from looking messy is to shorten any hyperlinks you use. YouTube videos can be downloaded and posted as a straight up video rather than a link, and articles can be shortened using any bit link website. Doing this both increases your character count and makes your post look a lot less clustered. When using anyone else content or images, remember to ask for permission to use first.
Effective uses of Buzzwords and Re-Tweeting:
No matter how popular your page is, it is always best to ask as otherwise you are effectively stealing someone else’s work, which would not be looked on kindly if it was you who was the one having your images used. An effective way to protect any images you have taken personally is to watermark them, that way you have an effective way of keeping your image and stopping people from claiming it as their own.
Let’s switch focus to Facebook now. Positivity encourages engagement here. A constant stream of negativity and shall we say “moaning” about life’s events will not encourage users to engage with you, in fact it is likely to drive people away from your site. Keep it light and exciting and you will soon see a lot more people wanting to talk and engage on your site. The most engaging posts you can provide will open up a forum for discussion. Presenting people with a question rather than a closed statement will make readers a lot more likely to provide input, rather than closing off all forms of conversation by making your statement final. Being available to reply is also a very effective way of gaining a following. Think of this with a simple scenario, you are having a conversation with someone who makes a really long and engaging statement, then leaves and ignores you before you can reply, it is the same scenario with posting on Facebook. If you get a lot of people wanting to comment on your post but you have gone off Facebook it will create annoyance from your followers. Such as walking away from someone mid conversation is detrimental, the same can be said about posting something online then logging out.
The post is not the main way to grab someones attention, the engagement is what the users are after. Conversational dialogue and a positive mental attitude will actively grab peoples attention and make them a lot more likely to seek you out when it comes to having a conversation online. Being both polite and friendly towards your followers will not go amiss as well. Talk to them as if they were in the room with you, rather than acting differently to your personality. Think like you are having a face to face conversation with them and do not talk in any way differently than you would in that situation. Peak times come into play here as well. people tend to drop off around 8pm when it comes to Facebook so try and work your posts around this timeframe.
An application of all these features can actively see your social media page grow in popularity and make your page a lot more presentable. The combination of all of these factors will see results, your page will look a lot more appealing and will actively encourage people to visit your site.