(updated October 2021)
If you are regularly engaged in social media from a business perspective, like myself you may be somewhat confused by the differing viewpoints on what are considered best posting practices. Everyone has their own ideas about how to achieve “success” on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and I compare this to determining who has the “correct” political opinions or the most successful economic theory. Everyone is right and no-one is wrong—and vice versa!
As a Social Media Manager, I try to establish the methods I have found to be best practices to follow, and I’d like to share some of them with you. These views are based on actual results and a no small amount of trial and error.
Facebook is without a doubt the most difficult of the social media platforms to be successful on. I liken Facebook to “playing a game of chess on the deck of a boat in a raging storm!” The endless changes to the Newsfeed Algorithm force you to constantly review your strategy and results.
How often should you post: One post a day max; more frequently could cause a dip in engagement.
- DON’T worry about page likes, but DO be concerned about post likes, shares, and comments. These three functions drive reach, and at the end of the day that is what your client wants—their products/services in front of as many eyes as possible.
- Facebook post types with the most engagement potential are:
- Videos (original content and NOT YouTube—Facebook hates YouTube)
- Text updates
- DON’T repeat the same post type continuously. Varying your type of content will help increase engagement.
- DO allow at least 3 hours between posts in order to let content “percolate” and establish the most reach. Post “trampling” can ruin potentially engaging content.
This is definitely the most time-consuming of the three networks. If you are managing several accounts, disciplined time-management is a must in order to be efficient and effective on Twitter.
How often should you post: 1-2 times per day, and no more than 3-5 times per day.
- DO make good use of relevant hashtags, and tag other users on every Tweet. Irrelevant hashtags can be damaging, as your content will be deemed to be of little value.
- DO Retweet content that you find relevant and interesting, ESPECIALLY from local businesses and users. If you are seen to be engaging regularly with other Twitter accounts, they will act likewise.
- DO create advanced search terms based on the client’s business profile. For example, a Honda dealership in Boston would want to know if someone 35 miles away was in the market for a new Civic. Several well-placed searches can create valuable sales leads.
- DON’T “over-Tweet.” Putting out 4-7 tweets per day is sufficient. Tweet too little and you will become “invisible,” while tweeting too much will cause unnecessary unfollows.
Instagram is a very visual platform, so cultivating a cohesive brand aesthetic is a top priority here.
How often should you post: 2-3 times a week to your feed, no more than 1/day. Stories can be more frequent.
- DO aim to use similar colors, filters, fonts, and other visual elements for your feed posts. Although the pressure to have a perfect grid has eased some over the years, users still gravitate toward profiles that post consistent types of content.
- DO try to write an attention-grabbing introduction for your caption. Instagram will automatically shorten your caption down to the first two lines, encouraging users to expand via the “more” prompt. In order to get them there, try starting with a question or catchy phrase that makes them want to continue reading.
- DO utilize the URL in your bio! Since Instagram doesn’t make it easy to add links to some types of content, consider using the LinkTree tool, which allows you to add multiple links to important, off-platform content such as your website, contact page, products, and more.
- DON’T forget that Instagram offers several ways to share content: feed, stories, IGTV, and Reels. The platform continues to give more attention to video content, so don’t be afraid to play around with their variety of tools. If your message would be better served as a video rather than a picture with a lengthy caption, give it a try! Reels don’t have to be as polished as feed pics, so it’s okay to experiment.
Create a Social Media Strategy with LDM!
Obviously there is much more to a successful social media strategy than these few brief points, so if you need help creating a social media strategy for your business, we’ve got your back! Launch Digital Marketing offers social media management for Chicagoland businesses and beyond; contact us for a free consultation!