I realise we have finished the semester, but I came across this VERY USEFUL post from the makers of Buffer, on how to craft the perfect post for each social media medium.
How to Craft the Perfect Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
I realise we have finished the semester, but I came across this VERY USEFUL post from the makers of Buffer, on how to craft the perfect post for each social media medium.
No matter what type of post you’re sharing on Facebook, the copy you add alongside your content can be key in how it performs. Here’re a few tips to creating some awesome copy to boost your reach and engagement:
Facebook’s character limit on status updates is a whopping 63,206. However, when we studied Facebook post engagement a few years back we discovered that posts with 80 characters or less receive 66 percent higher engagement.
National Public Radio (NPR) also studied over 3,000 of their Facebook link posts and found that shorter posts (those under 120 characters) had higher click-through rates than longer posts (those above 280 characters). What’s also interesting is that NPR found longer posts received more “Other Clicks” such as clicks to “See More”.
It’s worth experimenting with both short and long posts to see what works best for your social media goals. It appears that short copy could work well for clicks, whereas longer copy could work better for engagement.
Questions are a great way to pique interest as someone scrolls through their Facebook feed. Questions can often turn an average status into a great one.
For example, instead of:
You could include a question to make the copy more interesting:
Lists usually work well too for giving context and invoking intrigue. Try breaking out some of the key points from your Facebook post into a few quick bullet points to include within your status.
Is there a cool stat or quote from the article? If so, you could use that and then give context to your post.
Whether you’re linking to a blog post, sharing a video or any kind of Facebook post, there might be some great quotes within the content you could pull out and add to your post.
For example: Rather than “83% of marketers plan on Instagram Ads” you could write “Did you know that 83% of marketers plan on Instagram Ads? Here’s how you can get ahead of the curve!”
Hubspot discovered that emojis in your post can increase likes by 57 percent, comments by 33 percent and shares by 33 percent over posts without them. Experiment with adding emojis to your copy to see how it affects enagement.
An incredible 300 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day. For the best chance of standing out from the crowd and grabbing your audience’s attention as they scroll through their News Feed, the first thing to do is ensure your image sizes are spot on.
Here’s a quick overview of ideal images sizes for both shared images and link images on Facebook.
An image is one of the most popular types of content to share on Facebook. When you share an image it’ll appear on your Page’s timeline and also in your followers’ News Feeds.
The recommended upload size for images on Facebook 1,200 x 630 pixels.
Links are another popular way to share to Facebook. When you share a link to Facebook, the image specified within the webpage’s metadata will be pulled into your post automatically. The optimum size for a shared link image on Facebook is 1,200 x 627 pixels.
Ideally, you want to grab the readers attention with your opening line or two in order to provide context to your post or encourage them to keep reading further through your caption.
A new trend that’s growing on Instagram is to use the caption much like a short-form blog post to share valuable content with your audience.
Microblogging on Instagram allows you to elaborate a subject in more depth than a quick one or two line caption. For example, you could use Instagram captions to share:
Hashtags allow Instagrammers to discover content and accounts to follow. Research from Track Maven found that posts with over 11 hashtags tend to get more engagement.
Experiment with adding various hashtags to your posts and see how they affect your reach and engagement.
Top tip: If you would like to avoid adding too many hashtags to your caption, you can also add hashtags as comments.
Asking your followers to respond directly to your post is one of the best ways to increase engagement on your Instagram posts. For example, DRock captioned a recent Instagram post about sneakers: “I love sneakers. What’s your favorite sneaker? ”
Think about questions you can ask and ways you can encourage your audience to comment on your Instagram posts. Often, all it takes is a little nudge to get the conversation flowing.
You can now upload landscape (horizontal) or portrait (vertical) photos to Instagram as well as traditional square images. Here are the best sizes for Instagram’s three image types:
The ideal size for a square Instagram image is 1080px in width by 1080px in height.
The ideal size for a vertical Instagram image is 1080px in width by 1350px in height.
The ideal size for a horizontal Instagram image is 1080px in width by 566px in height.
Minor tweaks to the copy in your tweets can drive huge improvements in your results. Here are 4 tips for creating awesome tweets:
Through rumors are always circling about Twitter’s character limit, tweets still come with a maximum of 140 characters. However, any images, videos, polls, or tweets that you quote don’t count against your 140 characters.
Buddy Media found that Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17 percent higher engagement rate. And more recently, Twitter shared that Promoted Tweets with 40-60 characters of copy result in a much lower CPA than longer Tweets.
If you want to make an impact with your copy, try to keep it as short as possible.
Twitter is where hashtags exploded into mainstream internet culture, but interestingly, jamming a number of hashtags into your tweets probably won’t drive too many clicks.
Joe Wadlington explains more on Twitter’s Business blog:
Hashtags link to all the other mentions of that phrase, and are useful if you’re focused on engagement. But, if your goal is have people go to your website or follow your account, you don’t want to risk someone clicking on a hashtag instead of your call-to-action.
Think about the purpose of your post before you add any hashtags. If you’re looking for this post to reach new audiences or trying to boost engagement, a hashtag or two can make sense. But if you’re looking for clicks from your existing audience, it could be best to not use hashtags at all.
When sharing a link to Twitter, think about alternate headlines you could share or ways you could use some key quotes or stats from the post within your 140 characters.
When links are shared to Twitter, the headline is displayed within the Twitter card and it can be good to avoid repeating it in your tweet, too.
Twitter is all about real-time and in-the-moment content. When people open up their timelines they’re often looking to discover what’s going on in the world that they care about.
With Twitter Ads, tweets that mention “new” products or services achieve a 10 percent lower CPA and a 26 percent lower cost-per-link-click (CPLC) and we believe the same to be true for oragnic, non-promoted tweets.
If you want to boost your clicks and engagement, tell your audience when something is “new”.
Images now appear uncropped on Twitter, so you can experience and present them as they were meant to be viewed. The minimum display size for an image on Twitter is 440 x 220.
Here are some recommended guidelines for Twitter images:
At Buffer, we tend to make our images 1024 x 512 pixels for Twitter.
We now know the importance of tailoring your message to each social platform you’re sharing on, but there hasn’t always been a great way to do it.
Traditionally, the two options for doing this are either to go to each network individually for each piece of content or repeatedly open the Buffer composer (or any other tool you may use) and share to one network at a time. We wanted to improve that.
With Tailored Posts, you can open it on any web page and instantly have a starting point ready for you to customize your post for each network.
We hope the new update makes it simpler for you to handle varying character limits, media attachments, tagging others across networks, and more. Tailored Posts also has a bunch of useful features, including:
Create unique and authentic messages for each social network. With Tailored Posts, it’s easy to change your message between profiles for any given post.
Use unique images and videos with appropriate sizes on each social platform.
It’s amazing to think about all the possibilities and various ways you can share your content across social media platforms.
How do you share your tailor your content to each social network?
I’d love to hear any tips and ideas you’ve used that I might not have mentioned here in this post. Feel free to share your future ideas as well! Looking forward to hearing from you.
Food that looks good enough to… Instagram
Here is a newspaper article, indicating the importance of Instagram in certain industries, such as fashion. Enjoy!
Social media stars are wielding increasing power in the fashion industry. What happens when Jess Cartner-Morley trades places with ‘influencer’ Doina Ciobanu?
Friday 7 April 2017 07.00 BST
The front row is a world divided. Montagues and Capulets, in bare legs rather than doublet and hose. Between the two blocs – editors on the one hand, “influencers” on the other – there is little love lost. Last autumn, American Vogue staffers branded the influencers “pathetic”, describing the job as “turning up, looking ridiculous, posing, twitching in your seat as you check your social media feeds”. The influencers hit back, branding their Vogue attackers as haughty and out of touch. (“Get back to your Werther’s Originals,” was a particularly choice comeback.) We think they are airheads; they think we are fogeys. So, to find out who’s right, I have arranged a job swap at London fashion week. Doina Ciobanu is 22, has 225,000 followers on Instagram (at time of writing), and attends shows as a model, VIP guest and brand ambassador. Ciobanu grew up in the former Soviet republic of Moldova, where she began blogging aged 16. She moved to Bucharest at 19, and now lives in London. For Saturday at London Fashion Week, I will do her job and she will do mine.
My job is to write about the shows. Writing to deadline frames my days and everything else – designer interviews, checking out up-and-comers, analysing emerging trends – has to fit around that. Doina’s job is to provide online content, mostly self-portraits with fairly brief captions, some of which are arranged in collaboration with labels whose clothes or beauty products she wears in the photos. I am an expert; Doina is an avatar.
The unspoken fashion editor dress code is low-key. Black trousers and a navy jumper is fine. The goalposts have shifted over the past decade, as fashion week has become a more public event – but still. Today, however, I am an influencer. So my first outfit is a new-season Gucci logo T-shirt, Mih wide-legged, floor-sweeping jeans, a checked Simone Rocha jacket with puffy sleeves, to which I have added my own black Nicholas Kirkwood shoes and a cherry-red Alexander McQueen bag that is many years old. The outfit feels cumbersome, both literally (I can’t get the belt to sit right, and I’m terrified of tripping over the hem of the jeans) and figuratively. It takes up a lot of mental space, being dressed like this.
I meet with Doina in a Pret near London Wall, around the corner from the Julien Macdonald show. She has come dressed as a journalist, in jeans and a black sweater, with her hair in a bun. But she doesn’t look like a journalist at all, not just because the sweater is a fancy one that Julien sent over this morning for her to wear to the show, but because she is 22 and, like most of the new wave of influencers, absurdly beautiful. Imagine Kendall Jenner crossed with Emily Ratajkowski, and you get the idea: not just gorgeous, but with a specific aesthetic that is millennial catnip. Eyes disproportionately large, cheekbones defined even in repose, she looks like an animated Snapchat filter.
Doina’s favourite book, she tells me, is Plato’s Republic. She reads newspapers in English – the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times – but fiction in Russian. (“A lot of things in life, you can express them better in Russian.”) Her life plan is first to build a brand along the lines of Chiara Ferragni, aka The Blonde Salad, the 29-year-old Italian influencer who has built a personal brand worth an estimated £10m, and then to become the first female president of Moldova. “I have plenty of time,” she says. “I will do this first, and then, when I am 40, perhaps I will go into politics.” I am 43. What have I been doing with all my time?
Outside the show, Doina greets the streetstyle photographers with kisses before obligingly recrossing the road so they can get a better shot of her arriving. And then crossing the road again, so they can get the shot again. And again, and again. She does this eight or nine times, allowing each photographer to capture the same reportage-style shot of her, apparently serenely indifferent to the lens. These images will appear on streetstyle blogs; the photographers will tag her, so she can find and regram the images.
Being Doina is a complex business. Some brands pay her to model in their social media marketing, others pay her to endorse their products. An agent negotiates fees. “He looks at what a regular model would get paid, and at what a top celebrity would get paid, and pitches me somewhere in the middle,” she explains. A brand will send Doina images or samples of a new season’s products – it could be a mascara or a piece of jewellery – and “if I like the brand and it fits my aesthetic”, she will select pieces she is happy to endorse. But many posts are unsponsored, starring Doina in clothes she has bought or borrowed. These reinforce her aesthetic and voice, and build following.
The resistance of the fashion establishment to the likes of Doina is one part anxiety (the elite always fear becoming obsolete), one part snobbery (there have always been It girls who got photographed outside shows, but they used to be debutantes, the goddaughters of the elite, not young women from Moldova), and one part ethical suspicion that there is something compromised or false about the influencer role. This last part is tricky to unpick. Authenticity means something different for Doina’s generation than for mine. A tiny example: halfway through our day, a shot appears on Doina’s Instagram account of her in a cafe, captioned “much-needed coffee between shows”; we haven’t stopped for coffee. But when I bring it up, she is politely nonplussed by how baffled I am. In the run-up to busy periods, she explains, she will often prepare posts so as to have appropriate content ready to go. That the photo wasn’t taken on the day doesn’t strike her as in any way fake. Her social media isn’t a logbook of her life, it’s a contemporaneous brand-strategy document. So long as she’s the one calling the shots, then it is true to herself, because it is true to her vision of herself.
To Doina, being independent of commercial alliance is not aspirational. A generation who have grown up dreaming of becoming personal brands do not treat brands with suspicion. Now that every man and woman is her own brand, The Man is the bogeyman no more. If the designer of a dress she likes will pay Doina to wear that dress, that’s not a compromise, it’s win-win. Indeed, she sees herself as a force for good. “I want to get involved in female rights in eastern Europe, because no one is fighting for this,” she says. Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, and its female population face significant discrimination. A 2010 study by the National Bureau of Statistics found that 63% of women had experienced psychological, physical or sexual violence from their husband or partner. In her efforts to use her profile to help the cause, Doina has been in touch with UN Women in Moldova, “and with Versace, who are very interested in talking about female empowerment”, she adds, as if the UN and Versace were two comparable platforms.
Doina’s business model is resolutely digital, but her aesthetic is absolutely within the glossy magazine tradition. Her Instagram is all bubble baths in chic hotel rooms, soulful evening strolls along the Seine. “My content is always aspirational,” she says, “and that takes time. I can’t take a photo if there’s litter on the pavement.” So there is, inevitably, a disconnect between the carefree tone of her content and the effort required. The Julien Macdonald show runs half an hour late, so it’s a race against the clock across to London to a meet-and-greet for influencers with Gigi Hadid at the Tommy Hilfiger store, an appointment that is as significant in Doina’s diary as any fashion show. Hadid, with nearly 32m followers on Instagram, is digital fashion royalty.
During fashion week, my life involves a lot of small talk with whoever I happen to be seated next to. But in Doina’s world, communication through a screen trumps talking to the people who are around you every time. It’s a numbers game: if an influencer has to choose between talking to the thousands of people who are with her on social media or the three people in her taxi, she will naturally prioritise the thousands. In the cab on the way to Knightsbridge, she breaks off our conversation to post a video on her Instagram story telling her followers that she is in a cab on the way to Knightsbridge. At the Tommy Hilfiger shop, influencers nod greetings to each other and get on with the business of posting photos to their followers. After the rush to get here, Hadid is running late and I am now regretting having passed up the opportunity to eat at Pret. The room is lavishly catered with beautiful food that does not seem intended for actual consumption. There are miniature burgers, but the beef patties are sandwiched between macaroons rather than bread buns. It looks shareable, but only in the digital sense. When Hadid arrives, she and Doina say hello and then, even before Doina has lifted her phone aloft, they both automatically fluff their hair and position their faces next to each other for a selfie video, which Doina immediately posts on her Instagram with the caption “keep running into this beauty”.
By now I am starving. But there’s no time to stop, because we are racing back along the river for a fly-by visit to the Astley Clarke presentation at the Institution of Engineering next to the Savoy hotel, before a two-mile dash north to Bloomsbury and the JW Anderson show. Doina’s sweet face clouds over when she realises she has been neglecting her Snapchat over the last couple of hours. “If I forget,” she says, “my mum or boyfriend will text to nag me about it.” She works “every day from morning until midnight or 2am”. At Christmas, she took three days off from social media. “Those were my only days off in the past three years,” she says. This is the only time I hear Doina being remotely negative about anything. Being an influencer might be hard work, but to make it lucrative it has to be aspirational, so you have to look like you are having fun at all times.
One of the key differentiators between editors and influencers is that while we wear the same clothes all day, give or take a 9pm black tie upgrade, influencers will often change into an outfit by the designer of each show they attend. So, on the way to JW Anderson, I commandeer the backseat of a British Fashion Councilcar to change into a skirt and shirt by the designer. The stress of being in my bra and knickers in broad daylight, fumbling to fasten shirt buttons in time to make the next show, rattles me more than any copy deadline does. I completely forget to put the coordinating earrings on, and give up on changing shoes, because the skirt is much too long and has a tentacle-shaped hemline that I swear is trying to kill me. But it turns out you do have to suffer for fashion. The killer skirt works. The photographers outside the show love it, and my picture ends up on American Vogue’s Best Street Style Pics from London’s Fall 2017 Shows. Still, you can tell I’m not meant to be there: everyone else in the gallery is studiously avoiding eye contact with the photographer for the preferred “candid” format. I am smiling at the camera. Total sophistication fail.
Doina is much better at my job than I am at hers. After the show, we head to Emilia Wickstead, and soon afterwards she files her reviews to me for feedback. They are excellent. From her Julien Macdonald review: “Female empowerment is a term du jour. But where New York’s designers offered up feminism in the guise of slogan tees, Macdonald interpreted it through his concept of a future where clothes are made on-demand, tailored to the shape of every woman.”
We go our separate ways for a short time, and when I see her again at the 9pm Versus show, I am reminded of the famous quote about Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire: that she did everything he did, backwards and in high heels. Doina has used the hour to change out of her jeans and into a fuchsia tuxedo suit with a black lace camisole and spike-heeled sandals. And me? I ate a pizza.
I work hard at the fashion shows, but I’m not going to pretend it’s not glamorous. You can see that on my Instagram feed, where I’m skipping down a crumbling staircase in Paris or posing in a Louis Vuitton minidress in Milan. What you don’t see is the behind-the-scenes effort: the months of meetings beforehand, the Google doc full of contact details for designers, so I don’t end up wearing the same Gucci loafers as everyone else. You don’t see the last-minute panics on show day: changing my outfit in the car while my driver tactfully waits on the pavement; shoving protein bars into my mouth between appointments.
I’ve always been fascinated by the journalists I see at fashion week. I like how serious they look. They are in their own world, while I’m talking to my followers on my two phones. We’re both working, but I feel like I’m probably having more fun. I love print journalism; I love to feel a magazine in my hands; I know some people think it’s irrelevant these days, but I really hope that is not the case.
The Guardian’s fashion team asked me to make like a journalist and wear one simple outfit, rather than get changed between the shows. That was a liberation: no desperate rush to find somewhere to change. I even had time to buy a coffee.
At the Julien Macdonald show, it felt very strange to be taking notes, rather than pictures. It’s such a tight space on the front row that a notebook and pen were useless. As soon as the clapping had finished, I rushed backstage, as instructed, to grab a quote. Macdonald was friendly, but I was in a crush of other journalists, everyone is muscling in, trying to congratulate him or ask questions. I had to manage all that, and say something intelligent, and take notes, too. It’s very different from meeting a designer as an influencer, when I’ll kiss them on the cheek and say, “I love your clothes”, and they’ll say, “You look beautiful”, and that’s it.
I wrote the review on my phone, while walking down the street between shows. It was stressful. I’m used to writing one thing quickly on Instagram; I don’t need to give that a lot of thought. But a lot of people are going to read this, and there’s an additional layer of stress that comes from knowing that it’s the Guardian.
My next assignment, an Emilia Wickstead report, was harder. We were short of time, so I didn’t go backstage to speak to her and had to come up with an analysis on my own. It was the end of the day, I was hungry, I was tired, my brain wasn’t working. I started writing the piece on the way home; the deadline seemed impossibly soon and I was anxious to make it good.
I studied political science and history, so I love understanding the cause of events. Being a journalist for a day gave me a chance to flex those analytic muscles; as an influencer, you simply look at what looks good on people, what you think people would like. I’d love to use my brain more in that way in the future, by getting more involved in activism, using my following for good. But I wouldn’t be a journalist. I’m an independent soul. Usually, when I’m working, I’m the brand. As a journalist, it’s not about you.
Female empowerment, feminism and their ilk are the terms du jour for the fashion set right now. New York fashion week gave collection after collection where women’s rights were the focus. But where New York’s designers offered up feminism in the guise of slogan tees and underwear surely destined for fame as a hashtag, Macdonald interpreted it through his concept of a future where technology has such an impact on fashion that clothes are made on demand, tailored to the shape of every individual woman.
For Macdonald that is, of course, a particular style of clothing and a particular type of woman. One empowered, one confident. If feminism is a thread that runs through Macdonald’s winter 2017 collection, it’s the same feminism that the likes of Emily Ratajkowski can be found celebrating: that a woman can express herself and her person at a time of her choosing, Laura Mulvey’s “male gaze” be damned. Appropriate, then, that Ratajkowski has done much justice to Macdonald’s designs before now.
Macdonald does a style and he does it well. His hallmark spiderweb dresses are still to be found, but increasingly with straighter lines and alongside dresses offering a sleeker and more futuristic vision. Macdonald told me that his inspiration was “modern architecture, big cities [and] the metropolis”. His autumn/winter 2017 may be inspired by a future landscape, but there’s also an air of the imagined future that the likes of Fritz Lang once saw for us. Nostalgia, the present, and the future always go hand in hand.
set: 19 March 2017 due: 26 May 2017
The final assessment for MARK526 Social Media Marketing will be in the form of a presentation.
In the presentation you will relate a multi media campaign for a product or service.
The campaign will include at least 3 social media platforms, including Instagram and Twitter.
You will present your campaign on 26 May in class.
Please read the article and listed to the podcast
If you don’t have already, set up an account on Instagram.
You can find me as kacanski
Once I get a notification that you are following me, I will follow you.