When writing for social media, you want to keep your audience engaged by writing content that is compelling, easily understandable, and not too lengthy.
Know Who Your Actual Audience Is
“The public” isn’t one monolithic block – you can hope to speak to professionals, allies, teachers, students … whoever. Keep that person in mind.
Stick to One Message or Idea
Keep it Short
A concise post makes an impact because people tend to lose interest if content is too lengthy. There are studies that found social media performance decreased as posts grew longer.
Limit What You're Asking of People...
You wouldn’t ask a friend for five things at once. Spread out the calls to action – click, share, tag, answer a question.
...But Do Ask for Something
Statements of fact work if you offer something to share – a statistic or an image – but a fact on its own can fall flat.
Write for the Platform
Consider the opportunities and limits of the platforms. Twitter now has 280 characters, so tweets can go a little longer. Facebook doesn’t have a character limit, but it will truncate longer posts with a “read more.”
Let the Reader Know Where They Can Learn More
Social media is often a starting point for finding more content, so link to relevant content on your website.
Think About the Whole Journey
The social media post isn’t the end of the line – ideally people will click a link to learn more or further engage. The destination should speak to the same audience as the post, both in tone and content. Don’t be casual and use plain language then send someone to a dense PDF of federal regulation, and don’t craft a post directed to the general public and then send them to a resource for federal agencies.
Use Visuals in your Posts
Adding a bold image, video, or GIF to your posts enhances it, and leads to higher engagement rates. Readers are three times more likely to engage with posts that contain videos and photos Visit disclaimer page .
Incorporate Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#). They’re used on social media, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic. When you click on a hashtag in a tweet it links you to other tweets using the same hashtag.
Having a good hashtag helps you to expand your reach and tap into relevant conversations. Focus on keywords that are relevant to your program. Best practices recommend using no more than two hashtags per post.
Find out more about hashtags by reading The Do’s and Don’ts of How to Use Hashtags.
Sweat the details
Each social media post is a first impression. Details MATTER.
- Make sure you’re using the right handles. They’re not always obvious.
- Images should look official. Using clear fonts, government colors, government logos – all of these help.
- Check for typos. Seriously.