How many of us wake up first thing in the morning, eyes still adjusting to waking light, and strrrretch, reaching for our phones in one swoop motion. It’s probably been waiting there, on your nightstand, since the night before, when you last checked Facebook from that softly lit screen before falling asleep.
It turns out, it’s probably not just me. 74% of 2013 internet users were on at least one social networking site, 52% of online adults used multiple social media sites and 70% of people on Facebook used it daily! Those numbers have only gone up in 2015. I’m not telling you this so much to be informative, as I am to justify my unhealthy internet habits stated in the first paragraph.
Before I had a job crafting an online presence for a media company, I never really thought about my “reach”. I posted the first thing that came to mind. Done. Now this stuff haunts my dreams. No, really! I’ve woken up trying to determine the most efficient place to put the subject in a sentence.
In an effort to perform some kind of digital marketing Freddy Krueger number on all of you, I’m sharing my tips and tricks on how to engage your social media audience. And, when you start counting the number of words in your Facebook blurbs at 2 am, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Brevity is most import- Yes, almost more important than finishing that sentence. Because, according to science, you already got the gist. We’ve become insanely skilled at extracting the important words in a headline, blurb, or tweet and moving on. Normally, this leads to us paying most attention to the first and last three words. So, if a blurb is rambling on about why you should click, don’t be surprised if my millennial brain taps out by the 95th character. Ideally, your blurbs should hover around the 40 character mark and tweets should stay in between 71-100 (I recommend 70-80 for more retweets).
Funny or Die. It turns out, people like to be entertained… or horrified. Marketing researchers have found that, unsurprisingly, humor and cute overload are incredibly effective (i.e. Top 10 Cutest Puppies Falling Asleep While Standing for Charity). But, interestingly, we might click even more for negative superlatives. One study found that negative expressions performed 30% better than positive superlatives. Yikes. Because I’m an optimistic gal, I suggest spreading peace and love, so maybe try your best to bring the funny before resorting to negativity in your social media, and life, for that matter. 🙂
Picture Perfect. Photos can be easier to consume than text (especially in that first-thing-in-the-morning scenario we discussed earlier). So, I highly recommend using large, aesthetically pleasing photos. It’s honestly one of the easiest and most effective changes you can make. If you don’t believe me, studies show that adding a photo to your tweet can boost retweets by 35% and, on Facebook, posts with photos account for the highest rates of engagement by a landslide. Go for Facebook’s aspect ratio of 485 x 255 to ensure half of the photo doesn’t get cropped out during posting!
Be Coy. How many times have you been lured into clicking on a post you didn’t actually care about? If you’re anything like me, it probably went a little something like this: You’re scrolling through Facebook and a blog you follow posts: “You won’t BELIEVE what Kylie Jenner did this time…” Mind you, I barely know who Kylie Jenner is, BUT, what if she did something actually news-worthy and I’m the only person who won’t know about it? What if she succeeded where her brave, trailblazing sister failed, and actually broke the internet?! Ugh, fine, Refinery29, you got me, *click*. Then, the article reveals she got a trim and natural highlights… Duped again!
Now, I’m not at all suggesting you trick your audience, but it is perfectly acceptable to not give everything away in your bylines. In fact, I would highly recommend it.
Ask Yourself: What would you want to read? This is sorta the Occam’s razor of online marketing. What do you find most interesting about the thing you’re sharing? By putting yourself in your audience’s shoes, you’ll be able to decide what type of byline would catch your eye — and, hopefully, theirs!