You might look at successful influencers and even many businesses and wonder why they are so successful on social media. How is it that they can have thousands of followers interacting with their posts when you are lucky to break into double figures?
Obviously, this is a complex issue. One of the reasons that some people and businesses succeed online is because of the quality of their social posts. They don’t post solely to promote their products. They post to interest and captivate their followers.
Successful social media users vary the types of social posts they make. They don’t make every post a link to their product, listing their prices, or even linking to their blog posts. Every post is different, and any sequence of posts includes a wide variety of post types.
The most significant hurdle many people who operate corporate social accounts face is overcoming the perception that a social account exists solely to sell a product. In reality, business social accounts exist to engage with a target audience. In time, your brand will be so familiar to your audience that they will automatically think of you when they need the type of product you sell. In the meantime, you need to keep your posts fresh, exciting, and varied, without appearing like an advertising channel.
Another important consideration is the need to be social. Engagement is vital for any successful social media campaign. You need to vary your posts to maximize social engagement.
There is a surprisingly large number of post types you could consider for your post. Just avoid falling into a rut and making identical-type posts repeatedly.
- 1 Product Posts
- 2 Engagement Posts
- 3 News / Trending Posts
- 4 Promotion of Blog Posts
- 5 Competitions
- 6 Stock Photograph Posts
- 7 Screenshot Posts
- 8 Infographics
- 9 Personal Photograph Posts
- 10 Workplace Behind-the-Scenes Posts
- 11 Videos
- 12 Multimedia / Interactive Content
- 13 Polls
- 14 Questions
- 15 Quotes / Memes
- 16 User-Generated Content
- 17 Stories
- 18 Livestreams
18 Types of Social Posts to Keep Your Followers Interested:
The first type of post is, unfortunately, the default post that unimaginative firms make. It is easy to make every post an advertisement for your product. Unfortunately, you will not build up your audience this way, and when the social networks spot the lack of engagement on your posts, their algorithms will make your posts almost invisible to your followers.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make any product posts, however. You still have some opportunity to promote your products. However, limit these posts to perhaps no more than 10% of your entire posting output.
You can consider your engagement posts your default posts. You don’t use them to promote your products, although you can refer to your product features and other good points, as long as this does not dominate the post. Often Engagement Posts will look at the bigger picture, revolving around the brand rather than any individual product.
You want your engagement posts to pique your followers’ interest, perhaps their curiosity, without perceiving them as a promotion for your products.
News / Trending Posts
People liked to be kept up-to-date with what happens around them. If you can find a way to legitimately tie in the latest news or craze with your business, you could create a post on that theme. However, in your effort to be seen as current, avoid writing a trending post if it is irrelevant to your social audience.
Overall, news articles generate more shares than any other type of post.
While your post doesn’t need to relate to your product at all, it will perform better if you find some connection and can explain to your followers why you choose to post on this topic.
This could include posts connected with any sponsorship activity your brand may participate in.
Promotion of Blog Posts
One of the most common types of social post that brands (and indeed anyone with a blog) shares is a promotion for blog posts. Sometimes they may just share a link to the latest post with a brief description. Hopefully, you will also include the post’s feature image.
Ideally, you should custom-write a paragraph describing the benefit to somebody from reading your post.
As with product promotions, it is easy to overdo blog post promotion. Make sure that these are just part of your posting mix, and don’t use them exclusively (or even just mixed with product promotions).
One way to build engagement is to create a competition for your followers. You can make posts building up excitement for your competition. These posts reward your followers for their engagement.
The more you run interesting and worthwhile competitions, the more people will take note of your social posts.
However, any competition needs to be relevant to your target audience. In particular, your competition prize needs to be something that your audience will value, and preferably something that will be of less interest to those not in your target market.
Some firms have spent a considerable sum of money buying generic high-value prizes, such as iPads, and then been disappointed when analyzing the effects of their competitions. The problem with such a prize is that while the engagement statistics for your competition posts will rise, many of the entrants will take little interest in your other posts or products. , Ideally, you require a laser-like focus between your competition prize and the interests of the type of people you want to enter your competition.
Stock Photograph Posts
There can be no doubt. People love visual social media. Indeed, most social posts, no matter what the type should include some form of a social image.
Most businesses find that their most successful posts include images. Indeed, the quickest-growing social network, Instagram, relies on the visual component of its members’ posts. On Twitter, tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
However, you will notice a decreasing return on your social investment if you merely add images for the sake of it. You want to share pictures that connect with your followers’ emotions.
The cheapest and easiest way to source images for your posts is with stock photography. However, you do have to be careful. Too many stock images are cheesy and unnatural – and they do you no favors if you share such content.
Look for high-quality stock photos to share. Consider paying for images from a photo library if that is within your budget. Whether you use paid or free images, look for interesting pictures that have some relevance to the message you are trying to get across.
You should often use high-quality stock images to enhance your other type of posts. For instance, if you include good photography in your blog posts, share these in those social posts that promote your blog posts.
Whenever you share a stock photograph, stop for a second, and ask yourself whether you would be prepared to share that image if you came across it in your social feed. If the answer is no, look for a better, more exciting picture.
Screenshots can be a useful way to demonstrate something to your followers. This is particularly useful for software companies who use screenshots to depict features of their products in action.
There is also a psychological reason to use screenshots. People are more likely to trust somebody when they can see something for themselves. Screenshots can often achieve this.
Infographics have become incredibly popular over the last few years, particularly for visual learners. The brain processes visual information much quicker than text.
Infographics perform particularly well on social media, often becoming viral. They include salient facts, visible at a glance. If you select infographics relevant to your target audience and include teaser facts in the text that accompanies your image, interested followers will click on your post for the full infographic.
Noah Kagan studied the types of posts most likely to generate social shares. He found that infographics generated more shares than any other kind of post.
Personal Photograph Posts
People like to see the human side of businesses. They want to ensure that they are not dealing with corporate drones – they are interested in the personalities behind the company.
Sharing personal photographs on your business social accounts often comes across as authentic, and a sign that the business includes real people. Potential customers find it much easier to relate to a human face.
Obviously, you only want to share appropriate personal photographs – it is not a good idea to share images of management drunk at last year’s Christmas party, for instance.
Workplace Behind-the-Scenes Posts
People love to see behind the scenes. This is just as relevant to a factory, an office, or even the making of a major motion picture.
In the case of a business, behind-the-scenes images or videos help to humanize the place for potential customers – they emphasize that customers are served by people, not faceless robots.
As with personal photographs, workplace behind-the-scenes shots help establish authenticity and trustworthiness.
Video is now extremely popular. YouTube exists exclusively for video posts, and most of the other networks now encourage you to make video social posts as well.
Videos can lead to some of the highest engagement rates, with many people commenting on and sharing the videos they view.
Again, you will want to mix-and-match the types of videos you produce. You could make some promotional, others instructional, and you could post some videos purely for entertainment value.
Just make sure that you have the rights to any video you upload – don’t share copies of the latest Hollywood blockbusters via your company social accounts.
Multimedia / Interactive Content
Some of the cleverest posts uploaded by businesses are multimedia, including interactive content that immerses viewers. These can be as simple as thought-provoking GIFs or more complex such as sharing something via Slideshare or PowerPoint. A few brands are even now uploading posts that take advantage of their followers’ VR equipment.
If you can think of a relevant question for your audience, you could create a poll as an excellent way to improve your engagement. This is particularly the case if you can think of a relevant, but contentious, topic.
Although social media polls are highly unscientific, they can give a general idea of your audience’s views on a particular topic – although you must remember that any self-selected poll will always give biased answers.
Polls are similar to questions, but you don’t give your followers an opportunity to record their answer. The idea is to ask your followers a relevant question, that makes them think carefully about their views on a particular topic or situation. You will generally want the question relevant to your organization and your target audience, however. Be prepared for silly answers in your comments, if you misjudge your question, however.
Quotes / Memes
Some people struggle to see the point of quotes or memes. However, you can’t get away from the fact that quotes and memes are incredibly popular. Indeed, in many ways, a meme is simply a quote that is so popular that it goes viral.
Memes are often funny and entertaining – they are certainly interesting, and thought-provoking.
A surprisingly large proportion of successful posts are quotes/memes, so every business should share some as a part of their posting strategy.
Many of the best quote/meme posts go one step further and include a graphic showing the relevant phrase, often with a thought-provoking background image.
As well as the actual quote, and the graphic you select to accompany it, you should also carefully consider the font you use. Fonts have different emotional impacts – for instance, you wouldn’t use Comic Sans for a serious quote. Likewise, Times New Roman isn’t really a good selection for a fun, quirky, light quote.
People love to see their own content shared online. Many businesses gain favor by sharing their followers’ (users’) content. User-Generated Content is a great way to increase engagement and reach.
Some brands are particularly skilled at this. For instance, they might invite their followers to send in images, and then the business shares them as their Photo of the Day.
The key to this is ensuring that you credit any user-generated content you share. This helps increase the goodwill your followers, and customers feel towards your brand. Often, any people whose posts you share, in turn, re-share with their friends. They may even brag about the fact that your business shared their work.
We have written in the past how you can use Instagram Stories like an expert. Audiences on Snapchat and Facebook can produce stories there, too. Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and Facebook Stories allow you to tell more of your story than any album of individual photos can.
Stories allow you to tell a story, over a day, using a combination of pictures and videos. They vanish after 24 hours but are perfect for storytelling.
Livestreaming on Facebook, Instagram, and other relevant social platforms is becoming necessary for businesses wanting to be part of the social scene. It is an excellent way to add a human face to the business. You also have the option to make the livestream available afterward to those who missed the original broadcast.
It is essential that your livestream provides information of interest to your audience. These people invest their time with you, and you need to reward them accordingly. Depending on the topic of your livestream, you may still be able to promote your product but don’t do so at the expense of your viewers. If your livestream is not exciting and/or entertaining, people will not return for your next broadcast.