It’s hard to keep up with the latest techniques for social media posting, isn’t it?
In the constantly changing world of best blogging practices, it seems we’ve just learned how to craft the short and sassy snippet posts when a growing trend appears urging longer posts for more engaged reader experience. But take heart, crafting a longer post can be expertly achieved without too much effort and will pay handsome dividends.
While the limited number of characters should be used for tweets and Google headlines, writing short posts is important for some social media, platforms such as Facebook are encouraging longer word counts. While the bottom line remains that word count is secondary in importance to valuable content, there are a few standard practices that will help your posts’ online performance.
Let’s explore them, shall we?
1. Craft shareworthy posts
The same strategies apply here as with shorter posts. A shareworthy post needs to be one that that others find enough value in to share with friends and colleagues. On longer posts, you can gain valuable shareability by:
- Building trust. In longer posts, there’s more flexibility to include citations and references, and by sharing your expert sources, you gain in trust and credibility.
- Sharing your data. For greater credibility, let the numbers and stats speak for themselves regardless of your expertise. Check out datavisualization.ch for some creative ways to present your information.
- Be mobile friendly. Given the staggering increase in mobile users, the following quote from Matt Trotta of BuzzFeed pretty much sums it up. “You can’t go viral if your content can’t be viewed and shared on the mobile web.”
2. Post with purpose
Danny Wong, posting on Shareaholic, cites Marcus Cordero “It starts with having a purpose beyond pushing your brand”. Show your readers you’re not only an expert, but that you care about them.
Writing longer pieces can be challenging to stay on topic with. To keep your writing on purpose, post with your audience in mind: know what their questions and concerns are and why they’re using social media.
3. Write great headlines
Short posts or long ones, great headlines rule. Check out Jon Morrow’s Headline Hacks Report or Brian Clark’s Magnetic Headlines for comprehensive instruction on how to create compelling headlines for optimal social media shares.
4. Go longer for better performance
Neil Patel explains SerpIQ’s study which shows search result ranks based on volume of word count: “The more content you have, the more of it gets indexed. The more that gets indexed, the better it will perform in searches and results. It’s just that simple.” Still, be smart and don’t overdo it. Remember, it’s not all about length – it’s about quality and length. Mr. Patel recently claimed that much depends on your target audience: businesses or consumers.
5. Write longer posts to leverage the power of long-tail keywords
Also, Mr. Patel makes the convincing point that in longer posts, the opportunity for using a variety of long-tail keywords is greater. And this means better performance in search queries for semantically related keywords, not just exact matches.
6. Longer content creates greater backlinks and gets shared more
And a final point from Neil Patel’s post. He presents a couple of graphics from Moz that show an undeniable relation between higher word count and increased backlinks – which increases SEO and, of course, conversions.
A second chart shows the same correlation between word count and social media shares. Facebook and LinkedIn shares almost doubled when word count rose from 400 to 1,500, and Tweets increased by approximately one half in the same span.
7. Give your blog posts time to simmer
When writing longer articles, give your posts a day or two to age. This gives you time to switch gears between writing and editing to really fine tune your post.
8. Use more, bigger and better images
You can exercise greater hold on your readers’ attention in longer posts with interesting photos, screenshots, or graphics. Ensure they’re of high quality and relevant to your post for visually stimulating engagement.
Rebecca Corliss of Hubspot reports on their study that shows using images on Facebook pages increased shares by 53% over the average post, and that posts with images have an increase of 104% in comments. That’s fairly substantial and well worth getting out the camera for.
9. Avoid repetition
Mitt Ray of Social Marketing Writing presses this point home on his blog. In longer blog posts, it can be easy to fall into the trap of repeating your ideas when trying to hit a specific word count. Don’t try to force your ideas with filler content; if you’re satisfied with what you’ve got, stop writing. And edit ruthlessly after you’ve finished writing.
10. Put share buttons at the bottom of every post
Make it easy for your readers to share by placing social media share buttons at the bottom of all posts and pages. With longer posts, readers are less likely to share if they have to return to the top to find how to share it.
And there you have it, 10 tips for creating great social media posts that your audience will love and share. Try them out if you’re new to writing longer posts, and of course, test, test, test to find the best ones for your audience.