What Happened to the Small?
Ordering a pizza from Domino’s or Pizza Hut? You won’t find a small pizza. Many pizza chains have dropped them from the menus. How about an order of fries? You won’t find a small at Portillo’s. Or a soft drink from your local 7-11? You won’t find a small there either. In fact, their Double Gulp (not even their biggest fountain drink) holds 200% more than the average adult stomach. Even Starbucks starts their (addictive) coffee products with a tall. And for the ice cream lovers, Cold Stone Creamery starts with a “Like It.” So, where did the smalls go? I’m not sure but our world now demands more from us.
For so long, people have wanted more for their money. The thought was if you could buy a double cheeseburger for the same price as a single, there would be no reason to buy a single. In fact, there are convenient stores that will offer any size fountain drink for the same price. Recently, the trend has started to change. For many, it has become more about quality than quantity. Dine at the finest restaurants in town and you will find the portion sizes to be a fraction of their more economical competitors.
When it comes digital marketing, it’s time to focus on quality over quantity. We must align our strategies with the finest restaurant and forget about the bottomless fries. Social media should not be about the numbers of posts a day/week/month. Content marketing should not be about how many articles you post. Instead it must be about the quality of the posts and articles.
What makes the perfect social post?
We believe that there are four elements to the perfect social post. Whether you are posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or another platform, these four elements must be present for maximum impact.
AN ATTENTION-GRABBING GRAPHIC
The perfect post starts with an attention-grabbing graphic. I could write pages and pages trying to define the perfect graphic, but in short, it should be something that forces the reader to stop their browsing and look at the post.
Some industries will swear by professional photography. Others prefer more “real” photos. Still others prefer infographics or illustrations. The answer for your industry must rely on analysis and testing. Look at your history of posts and see which performed best. That will help you understand what kind of graphics work best. Then test. Retest and come up with some ideas that you can use as a guide for creating posts.
Too often, digital marketers spend more time on graphics than on copy. And while a picture may be worth a thousand words in other industries, engaging copy is the most important element of the perfect post.
Copy must be succinct but clear. In school, we were forced to write 5, 10 or 20-page papers and are penalized if we express our thoughts in fewer words. Twitter forced us to re-think our writing style – it challenged us to write tight. When it comes to social media, size matters and bigger is not better. Say what you need to say, in a clear manner, in the most succinct way possible.
Simply put, copy should never contain misspellings or grammatical errors.
Finally, your copy must connect with your audience. You have to know who your audience is and must write copy that resonates with them. More importantly, that copy must paint a picture of who you are as a company, person or brand.
A post without a call-to-action is useless. It doesn’t matter what that call-to-action is, but there should be one. Visit your landing page, shop at your store, fill out a contact form – there are so many options. Use one.
The call-to-action should align with both your digital marketing goals and your funnel. If you are reaching new prospects, have them click into your website so you can remarket them with specialized ads. If you are nurturing prospects who already know about your company, encourage them to give you their email address to advance the marketing relationship.
There should be some thought put into the call-to-action. Do not neglect this critical component to the perfect social post.
The final component to the perfect social post is proper placement. Different people use different social sites. Different content types perform better on different platforms. Different platforms will yield better actions from certain audiences. So think about where you are planning on posting that piece of content.
At the dawn of social media, people would find one piece of content and share it on all the different platforms. The text would change slightly to accommodate different specs by each platform, but generally the content wouldn’t change. I challenge you to create posts for individual platforms. If the post may make sense on a second platform, great. If not, create a different post for that platform.
When Instagram first came out, digital marketers across the globe cried because they could not put a link in a post. It was like the end of the world to some marketers. The dialogue moved to the importance of a trackable link in your Instagram profile. If your audience is made up of Instagrammers, why are you trying to move them away from their platform of choice? Build the community around Instagram. Be sure that link exists, but keep the relationship growing on their platform of choice. To make this happen, you must create unique posts specifically for this platform. Same goes for Twitter, Facebook, etc.
As social media evolves and we look for ways to perfect our tactics, we must remember these four elements of the perfect post. More importantly, we need to take these elements and the principles behind them and integrate them into our work.