Are Your Social Media Posts Optimized?

April 20, 2015
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When people and businesses set up social media accounts on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, they tend to focus on optimizing page elements like the URL, photos and mobile design.

When people and businesses set up social media accounts on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, they tend to focus on optimizing page elements like the URL, photos and mobile design.

Optimizing your social media status updatesWhile all of the above factors are important, it’s also important to make sure your actual posts are optimized. Why? Chances are that the majority of people are finding you on social media because of the content in their own feeds; they probably saw a recommendation, a retweet or a share. Most of the time, people don’t actually visit your profile – ever.

Here are some best practices for optimizing your social media posts.

Twitter

When tweeting, always use a relevant hashtag or two (if possible). This will help others who aren’t following you see your post when they search specific keywords. It is also good to create content based off of the day’s trending topics.

In the past, it was recommended that you not use all 140 characters for your tweets; leaving space allowed others to comment on your posts when retweeting. Now, recent Twitter changes allow you to quote tweets without using up the character limit. Use that to your advantage.

In addition, give credit when sharing someone’s work; always tag his or her username somewhere in the tweet. Not only does the person get credit, but he or she also gets a notification – which could potentially turn that person into a new follower.

Facebook

Although Facebook also recognizes clickable hashtags in their posts, they aren’t as popular. Instead, do this: When you are posting or talking about someone else, include the @ symbol before the name. This will automatically open up a drop down list of potential users you are trying to reference.

Once you select a user or page to tag, the name will become clickable and a notification will be sent to that account. This can be a great way to get that person or entity’s attention and hopefully create a connection.

You should always keep updates short (fewer than 250 characters) and include a photo or – even better – a video within your post, too. Research shows that concise, visually appealing posts have better organic reach.

Lastly, Facebook allows the use of emoticons in its posts. These do well in catching a reader’s eye and should be used when relevant.

LinkedIn

Optimizing posts on LinkedIn is an entirely different beast. It’s a much more professional social network than Twitter and Facebook.

If you are uploading a blog post to your business page, make sure the title contains fewer than 70 characters. Otherwise, it will get cut off mid-sentence and not look very good.  You should also keep your link descriptions short; don’t exceed 250 characters. Keep in mind that hashtags do not work in any capacity on LinkedIn.

Ultimately, content optimization depends on the social network you’re using. Knowing what works on one social network and doesn’t work on another social network is critical for marketing success.