How to Maximize Your Social Media Reach in One Post
Social media users have become numb to our messages. They’ve been shouted at by businesses for so long, they’re treading water in a sea of clutter.
Fortunately, this isn’t so bad for you; now is your chance to intrigue people with highly relevant posts that stand out because of their quality, not despite their quality.
Expand Your Social Media Reach
Coca-Cola’s Facebook page posted a graphic so appealing that over 4,300 people liked it and more than 2,000 users commented. How can you get this much engagement for your brand?
Having more than 65 million page likes is a start. However, not everyone can be the social media manager to an irrationally beloved and trusted brand– think of how they used to put cocaine in our soda, yet we still trust them enough to ingest their products.
Coke regained our collective trust by spending inordinate amounts of money to market Coke as a wholesome product.
By taking advantage of social media, you can win your market’s trust without spending any money, and grow that trust by expanding your social media reach and increasing user engagement.
Fight for Attention
Most users spend their time in the newsfeed.
Whether you’re a small business owner or a big business social media manager, your posts have to compete in the user’s feed with countless other stories stealing their attention.
Nevertheless, you can use professional tactics to get the type of engagement Coke is getting.
The first example garnered a 2:1 like-to-comment ratio. The second had more than double the likes, yet very few commented. Most users pressed the like button and moved on.
Likes are beneficial to your post, but you really want to see your posts becoming hotspots for social interaction, with your product or service being the topic.
Acquiring Investors on Social Media
At first glance, these posts have more similarities than differences. They look like billboards, though neither have that ten-car-pile-up quality to them. Both contain brand colors, and clearly identify the product. Both received plenty of likes, yet only one compels half the viewers enough to leave a comment.
So, how did they engage all those users?
Easy: an attractive graphic and an inviting fill-in-the-blank statement. They never had a chance.
Although the other post was more creative, the first example directly engages the viewer. It lures users in to give feedback, uniquely express themselves, and in turn, develop an emotional connection to the brand through social investment.
The investment was their engagement for the entire internet to see. They invested time and energy—our brains eat up 20% of our caloric intake—to leave a comment. The users made unique connections or emotional investments in Coke by commenting.
Unless they manually disable those notifications, the users will get the rewards for their social investment when other people also comment.
The best part is, all these interactions will occur under your brand’s name, literally.
How You can Increase Engagement
Not every business can employ a squad of graphic artists to create visuals, but you can use photos, links, and text to encourage user investment into your brand.
For example, maybe you own a butcher shop. Have someone snap a photo of you slicing a chunk of meat with a cleaver while you look intensely into the camera. Put a caption saying, “Chopping half off all meat products: who’s next in line?”
If that’s a little strong for your taste, that’s good. You will need to identify a unique tone that reflects your brand’s identity. However, your posts do need to be enticing for people to interact with them.
A brilliant tactic to allure users to engage is by creating controversy. Lime Fresh Mexican Grill used this tactic well. There is of course, no great debate over whether Queso is superior to Guacamole, but you can’t blame Lime for trying to stir things up.
Catch Them While You Can
In their study of how users read the web, the eminent Neilsen Norman Group found that users will only scan through text on a given page, and they read in an F-Pattern in the Western World.
Time is of the Essence
You will only have milliseconds to catch their eye before they’re clicking on another post that links them to something this useless. Consider that the user probably has a routine when they’re browsing their social media accounts; it’s usually fast-paced and involves lots of high-speed scrolling.
What to Post
Interesting visuals can stop people in their tracks. Images don’t have to be masterfully Photoshopped or Pulitzer Prize winners, they just need to add a touch of personality to your brand.
Below is an image from Next Level Sailing, who simply posted a photo of their average workday. In this case, it’s the caption that transforms the photo into a story rather than just a static image. The playfulness of the caption also communicates a positive tone for the brand, making it more likable– that’s always a good thing.
If you’re unable to post a visual, post a link that’s relevant to what you do, or some text with any sort of anecdote.
Users will only pay attention to the first few words of a new post; it’s vital that they’re enticing enough that a user wants to break routine to click and explore.
The first words should be thought of as headlines that are in-line with regular text, and they have to command attention.
When posting only text, make sure you keep it short: between 100 and 250 characters. Hubspot.com found short posts get 60% more likes, comments, and shares than posts over 250 characters.
Friends with Benefits
The key to engagement is making the user care about what you’re posting. So create interesting posts. If that’s not always possible, then post things demonstrating the benefits of subscribing to your page. These benefits could range from business updates, new deals and products, or exclusive content available only on social media.
Know How to Stack Your Odds
The advantage of this type of engagement goes beyond impacting the people interacting with it. Engagement will make your post more visible to others simply because it’s what people are interested in. It becomes increasingly relevant to appear in a user’s activity feed if the user’s friends are buzzing over it.
Stories appearing in a user’s feed are determined by algorithms unique to each social media platform. They’re complex in determining the most important ones, but it’s useful to know the basic elements that will increase your visibility. Check out this in-depth report about EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm to determine what your NewsFeed looks like.
A post’s rank is mostly weighed according to the relationship between the poster and user.
Rank is also affected by what the content of the post contains; whether it’s a photo/video, a link, or plain text, decreasing in weight respectively.
Lastly, posts decay with time in favor of newer posts. Keep these elements in mind as you post, they all work together to determine if your post will break through or drown in the social media sea.
The Ideal Post
The post with the highest chance of getting noticed will be a photo with a link, and plenty of comments and likes under the post. It will be relevant, interesting, and most of all, useful.
When You Absolutely Need To Have That One Post Seen
If you’re planning an extra important post, say a new promotion that would generate some buzz, if only it would get noticed, here’s a trick: post it as an image and make it your profile picture.
If it’s only text, use MS Paint or its equivalent in Mac, and write the text against a solid background. Think minimalism. Use contrasting colors and make sure it’s legible in thumbnail size.
As a profile picture change and a new photo, your image will carry a heavier weight and have a much higher chance of being at the top of the feed. The half-life of this post will remain as long as you keep posting with this picture as your profile, and will last until you change it.
Just be sure the photo doesn’t look terrible as a thumbnail. Reference dimensions of social media pages here while scaling your graphics to thumbnail size.
Best Times to Post on Social Media to Maximize Reach
Now don’t go all crazy barraging users with a cluster of high quality posts all at once.
When breaking through the clutter, only higher quality clutter is created.
Check out our upcoming article all about when to post to social media to get the most engagement.