3 Rules to Create Captivating Social Media Posts

Have you ever shared an amazing conversation with someone and at the end of it you feel like you've engaged with someone who really knows you? Your likes, your dislikes and your aspirations- on a much deeper level.

This is what engaging your audience on social media is all about.

Discovering what makes them tick; what scratches that positive emotional itch to connect with a brand that just gets them. Hitting these nodes of positive emotion carry the conversation back to you, the franchisee or regional manager. Establishing this dialogue is how you get social media site algorithms to work in your favor.

Creating posts that engage your audience is the first step.

It all begins with a story

Social storytelling is about narrating your brand's story. It's not about marketing or selling.

It's about putting a genuine face to the company. The goal is not just for audiences to connect with a product or service; but to connect with an idea. A story in which they see themselves as an active character. A story that both the brand and individual can share.

How can you tell stories more effectively?

Maybe it's time to rethink your corporate strategy for social media. Take a break from doing what marketing gurus might say, and focus on creating a more genuine experience online.

Involve local managers and franchisees in the creation of social media content. They are the ones connecting with your customers daily and can translate your brand's mission and ideals on a local level.

In addition to this, start using social media platforms as if they were just an alternate form of storytelling. For every post, every photo, every video; think in terms of beginning, middle, end. How can you tell a story with this content? How can you continue a story from a previous post? How can you end the story with a positive brand image?

Rule 1: Don't lose them with stagnant stories

One of the most important factors is to avoid creating a stagnant, predictable environment for your audience. Vary the content and medium. You want them to feel as if every engagement is fresh and unique.

Additionally, you should know what each platform is trending towards and accentuate that. Facebook is a multi-faceted platform but they're beginning to emphasize video content. Similarly, although photography dominates Instagram, video content is increasingly becoming the norm after the introduction of Stories. Twitter still dominates with witty written content.

Other than content type, there is also style and length to consider. A study done by National Public Radio (NPR) showed that shorter posts accompanied with a link had very high clickthrough rates on Facebook. The ideal length for posts with an additional link is 40 characters. This find was not too surprising, however what was surprising, was that longer posts (those accompanied with a "see more" button) had consistently high clickthrough rates as well.

Use what you learn and diversify. If the content, the format and length is captivating people, they'll want to engage in the story.

Lastly, don't be afraid to experiment with new technologies. AI lenses blew up with the rise of Snapchat, and are only becoming more fun and interactive as they spread to Facebook and Instagram. Virtual reality and 360 degree photos haven't taken off yet but it's only a matter of time before someone finds a way to leverage the high level of engagement these mediums could provide.

The end goal is an omni-channel customer experience that can consistently generate brand awareness across all platforms. It doesn't matter how you get there.

Rule 2: Remember it's a conversation, not a speech

If there is one thing you take away from this post, it's the statement above. Engaging with your audience is a two-way street, and your social media posts should reflect that.

A great way to engage is through asking. The simple act of asking a great question can lead to highly involved social media interactions from multiple people.

Ask questions to the community as a whole, as well as to individual members. And just like with one-on-one conversation, avoid questions that end with yes/no answers. Even if you're doing something like a social survey, get creative and give your community more ways to answer outside of a simple yes or no.

Other ways to spark audience engagement would be:

  • Social Contests: Creating a sweepstakes campaign in order to gain likes, followers, or creative ideas from fans
  • Social Surveys: Seeing what your audience really wants for new products, or how older ones could be changed for the better
  • Involving Local Customers: Get local and have customers share their story about their experience with your brand. Additionally, source user-generated content by searching for hashtags and location tags of your business

Rule 3: Keep it fun and keep them coming back

At the end of the day people are online to escape from their daily lives. They follow your brand for a reason, or else they wouldn't waste their time reading your posts.

Be there for them.

Create content that will provide an entertaining break in their routine. It'll keep them coming back for more.

Wendy's does this expertly, without compromising their brand voice. They use Twitter to respond directly to customers in an extremely casual way. When not responding to customer concerns they use any chance possible to retweet love from superfans, and prove (in a humorous way) why they are the best fast food chain.

On Instagram, Wendy's focuses entirely on presenting their food in the most visually appealing way possible. They still add some funny captions here and there to their posts. Yet their main goal on Instagram is to leverage the platform for what it's known for: great photography.

Although their strategy is totally different for both platforms, you still know it's Wendy's. Key words repeated throughout their posts-fresh ingredients, 50-cent Frostys, 4 for 4, fresh never frozen-solidify Wendy's brand voice across all their platforms.

Humor can be done well, as long as brand lingo is used consistently across all platforms.

Another brand that uses humor in social media is Charmin. They have awesome social surveys, and plenty of random musings which they call #TweetsFromtheSeat. They have fully embraced the awkwardness that comes with all bathroom-related things and made it into something funny. If there is an aspect of your business that you can leverage for humor, then check out Charmin's tweets for some ideas.

Become unforgettable

Getting organic traffic that will engage with your brand is an increasingly difficult task. Simply shouting your brand name from the hilltops of the paid advertising space only creates an echo chamber between you and a few loyal fans.

Learning how to tell great stories through social media is the key to captivating audiences and becoming unforgettable. The goal is to get a conversation going that you'll be sharing with your audiences years from now.

What story will you tell today? The MomentFeed platform allows you to deliver highly engaging, localized social posts to your customers thanks to dynamic fields. Provide a local and unique feel to each post, across all of your locations with the touch of a button.

Contact us to learn more about social media for multi-location businesses.