[Episode Twenty One of ‘The Employee Advocacy and Influence Podcast] 🎧👇
The Anatomy of The Perfect Social Media Post
Organizations all over the world in every sector are driving strategic competitive advantage by scaling the impact of their employees’ voices… and now YOU can too! As we delve beyond the why and get straight to the how so that you can put employee-driven growth at the heart of your organization.
Hosted by employee advocacy practitioner and CEO of DSMN8, Bradley Keenan.
And today is a special episode because we’ve just passed 20 episodes. My initial target was to get to 10 and we’re really happy that we’re at 20. Before we get into the topic of today, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everybody who’s messaged me to say they’re enjoying the podcast.
We’re going to do our absolute best to keep going, keep providing these little tidbits of information to help people deliver and run great Employee Advocacy programs. And I think today’s topic is a good one and that is around the conversation of post captions.
Why you shouldn't worry about ‘link hate’
So let’s start with what we mean by post caption. Post caption means to us the text that is put in a social post.
So whether you are having a text-only post, meaning the text is the content or you’re adding text to another piece of content, maybe there’s a video, or you are putting text that hopefully is trying to get somebody to click a link.
Now there is a lot of hate for external links on LinkedIn and a lot of it is B.S. to an extent.
A huge amount of the traffic that goes through our platform comes from links and often they are the things that are driving tangible benefits for the companies that run Employee Advocacy programs. So whether that is launching a webinar, downloading a white paper, all of these things that would require somebody leaving LinkedIn.
How you change behaviour in a moment
But in order to get somebody to essentially change their behaviour at that moment. Let’s use the example of I’m scrolling through LinkedIn, and what you’re asking me to do is leave LinkedIn and go somewhere else. The post caption needs to be great and it almost needs to be a trailer for the piece of content I’m going to.
The mistake with post captions
Now, I’ll be honest and say that when I look at companies on LinkedIn and how they speak, most of the time they get it wrong.
People complain about how company pages suffer, and of course company pages will never perform as well as personal pages. But on the whole, most companies spend so much time speaking like companies, that it’s really difficult for people to actually interact with the content and bond with it.
Where you see organizations speaking in a friendly human tone, the company page almost becomes an extension of the company’s personality. And those companies that treat their corporate LinkedIn page like a personal page dramatically outperform those that don’t.
But if we come back to the topic of when you’re creating post captions for your Employee Advocates, the mistake that I see people make is that they treat that post just like a corporate post.
So let’s use the example of let’s say there’s a new product being released. Rather than saying how excited the person is about the product and how the value it’s going to generate for their audience or their clients…the text that’s used for the personal post is essentially the same as the corporate post. That is a massive red flag for somebody looking at content and it just doesn’t look authentic.
How to create post caption text
So if you’re launching an Advocacy program or you have one at the moment and you’re thinking about how you create post caption text, the first thing that I would say that you need to do is to think like a human being, and write in the personality of a person and not a company.
That’s really important. And then there are some basic fundamentals when it comes to creating good social posts on LinkedIn that you should follow.
If you’re unfamiliar with the person, I would suggest going and following them immediately, a gentleman by the name of Justin Welsh does amazing content around what makes a good personal post.
He has a training schedule, we’re not affiliated with him in any way, but it’s something that we use, and we encourage our employees to use it as well.
And so one of those concepts is the idea of having a scroll stopper, meaning that as I’m scrolling through my LinkedIn feed. There should be one almost power statement that’s at the top of that post, which is giving me a reason to read on.
And I see a lot of copywriters on LinkedIn talking about best practices, but most people would accept that every single sentence in your post caption should be essentially teasing somebody to read the next sentence, and taking somebody through that journey.
And whether that end result is purely for them to understand post captions that you’ve written and to understand what’s going on in your company, or to watch a video or, like I said, to get somebody to leave LinkedIn and go somewhere else. You better make sure that the post caption is leading someone towards that.
So having that scroll stopper is essentially that power statement. And sometimes it can be clickbaity and it’s difficult to tread that balance. Tread carefully around that because you definitely don’t want it to be clickbait, but you certainly want to think about the idea of the person, your audience who is reading LinkedIn on that day, give them a reason to stop.
THIS is the anatomy of a good social media post
Now, what’s unique about Employee Advocacy is that you don’t want everyone sharing the same piece of content in exactly the same way.
So in many cases, you’re going to want to provide many variations of the post captions themselves.
And that can be really daunting because you think to yourself, well, rather than writing one social post, I now need to write 3 or 4, potentially even more than that.
So what I would do is I would, first of all, start with that idea of the scroll stopper, and maybe create 2 or 3 variations of the scroll stopper in itself.
So if we break the post caption down in stages, so let’s say it starts with the scroll stopper, then you have the body of text and then you have the call-to-action at the bottom.
Create variations for the scroll stopper to start with and then use the actual content itself to give you the body of text.
So if I’m sending somebody to a blog post, as an example, my hope is that the blog post is full of insights, quotes, statistics, even just the first line in the first paragraph, if the content has been written well, will have something of value which can be used as a post caption.
So you can quickly dart into the content, extract the key fundamentals of the things that are interesting about that content. Use that as the core body that paired with the variations of the scroll stopper, and you can quickly create even up to 10 variations of the content pretty quickly.
The exception to that is when we’re looking at video because the video doesn’t necessarily have the same structure as a blog post.
But even using tools like Otter.ai which is free I think, to a certain amount of usage, then create a transcript of the video, and use that transcript to create the variations of the text.
But remember if you are looking to get somebody to leave LinkedIn, you’re interrupting their perusing of LinkedIn time. You need to give them a reason to go to the content, so tell them why it’s valuable.