*Citation Needed. Probs.
So you’re following my advice because you’re super-duper smart and you’ve worked out a small social strategy and are sitting down to write your very first post and all of a sudden it feels like your fingers got sucked into quick sand and you literally have no idea how to put your thoughts into a cohesive, smart and relevant message to your target market. Welcome to the club (not “da club” – that’s an entirely different situation).
But that’s why I’m here: to teach you my top three post formats you can use to write content that wins big with your followers. I don’t like to throw the word “hero” around, buuuuutttttt.
You probably already know the basic social media post formats, but let’s cover those bases just to be sure we’re not leaving any money on the table:
1.Basic Text Post
This is literally the most basic type of post. I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it, we’ve all seen it. I don’t recommend using this type of post by itself, because it’s the first thing that’s going to get lost in someone’s news feed and then you just got buried. So open in case of emergency, only!
2.Text + Image Post
Now we’re talking. Using an image plus some text is an awesome way to get in front of the right target market, get a message across, grab your target market’s attention and address appropriate emotions all at the same time. Yay! Everybody wins. You can even get super creative and use images like infographics to convey important info to your prospects and customers.
Protip: Use an app like Canva or Adobe SparkPost for professional-looking graphics you can make yourself.
3.Text + Video
Look at you, you freaking rock star. You’re already thinking about video social media posts. That’s so amazing. I would always use keyword-based descriptions of the content and sprinkle in a few hashtags to boot. You can do prerecorded video, or live video (I’m a super huge fan of that), or kinetic whiteboard/animation/webinars. Really, the sky’s the limit here.
Pro Pro Tip (that’s twice as many pros): You can reuse video as blog posts on your website for maximum mileage out of a single post.
Now let’s dive into organic vs paid for just a second.
I’m not going to go too in-depth into this topic today, because that’s a whole blog post on its own. But sometimes I have clients ask what an organic post is, and how sponsored posts work, etc. Here’s a super quick skinny on the difference.
An organic social media post is an post you put on social for free. You just publish and voila! you have organic content.
A sponsored post includes text, images, videos, links or all of the above and you pay to get those posts in front of a highly targeted and preselected audience. That’s literally it.
That’s the basic 411 about social posts. But how do you create the best content? That’s a fair question. I actually stumbled across these formulas in response to my own search to keep my content from getting stale. Anyone who works in a creative or evolving industry knows how important it is to make an effort to keep your info fresh. Social media marketing is the same: you gotta keep that info up-to-date. Like the stuff in your freezer, it needs rotation every 3-6 months.
Here are three secret post formulas for getting the best results from your social activity.
Solve Some Problems, Okay?
One of the most important things you can do for your customer is to solve a problem or issue they’re having before you ever ask them for a sale. Are you trying to help them have a more positive outlook on life? Start saving for retirement? Quit smoking? Prevent sun damage? Give better presentations at work? Connect more with their friends and family? This post is all about the magic formula that enables you to do just that.
I give you…PAS:
- The first step is to outline the problem your customer is facing.
- Then provide them with an action they can take to stop that problem dead in its tracks.
- Finally, present them with a solution that will knock their socks off!
Here is a great example:
Et voila! Problem > Action > Solution. As with any good formula*, you can always rearrange the way the information is presented and compose posts that are Action > Solution > Problem or Solution > Problem > Action. You get the picture. What I love about this is that the pain points and calls to action are baked right into the post so you never forget to include them. Pretty cool, amirite?
*Side note: I’m not actually sure you can flip every single math formula around like this. I’m bad at math, remember?
Dare to Compare
The next amazing formula I have for you is making a unique comparison that will capture the attention of your audience and help them see the concepts and processes you work with in a completely new light. Let’s face it – a lot of what we do in our daily lives as business owners is to overcome commonly held beliefs that our target market possesses. Unique and unusual comparisons are an amazing way to do that.
1.First, I want you to think about an issue that affects your target market.
2.Second, come up with a unique comparison you could make about that issue to help them think of that topic in a new light.
3.Finally, provide an action your customer can take to learn more.
Ready for a ‘zample?
The QAA Method
If you are like me and want to make things easy, pronounce this as KWAAAA. It’s fun to say!! Anyway, what does it stand for? I’ll tell you.
QAA = Question + Answer + Action.
Here’s why this works: by asking a question, you are helping to
- Address a pain point your customer has or an emotion they’re feeling
- Self-select their suitability for your product/service/brand
- Apply an action to their issue
Let’s see what that looks like in real life:
I hope you enjoy these post formats and that they really help you next-level your social media marketing content, get more engagement and interactions on your posts, and achieve your organizational objectives.