A current and common question from businesses finding their way on social media is…

How can we save time, and prepare status updates for social networks like Facebook and Twitter?

Key Words

While what and how we write is important, a good initial investment of time is creating a base of content that is both relevant to your business brand and your industry. Just like developing your website, the starting point is your group of key words.

It may be that the same key words you used for your website will be sufficient. Often, when stepping into the social networks, additional "hot button" words become relevant for a few reasons:

  • Abbreviations to fit the space.
  • Adopted terminology by industry thought leaders.
  • Hashtags – A twitter technique.

Using key words in your social media helps you get found online, and also improves your SEO.

Hashtags

Hashtags are used most often on Twitter. You will find a pound sign (#) with a word that is specific to an industry, interest group, or tweet chat.

What's so special about hashtags?

On Twitter, they hyperlink to that conversation thread. At any moment, you can click a hashtag and see who is tweeting on that topic. By using the best Twitter hashtags for your profession, you are increasing the chances of being found by your target market, or those you will want to know within your interest spectrum.

Here are a few examples of well written tweets and use of hashtags:

 

@Twylah provides a good example of an optimal tweet for Search Engine People

Notice Kelly (@Twylah) uses a number, an article description, and a link to information.

Search Engine People refers to @FriendsofRicki as a good example of using effective tweets

See how @FriendsofRicki uses their own hashtag and one they are hoping to bring forward in their industry – noted with the red arrow.

Search Engine People refers to @AnnemarieCoach as a great example of using hashtags and key words in tweets

Annemarie's (@AnnemarieCoach) tweet is most optimal of the three. She uses a question to engage her followers, offers a solution with a link to a helpful article, and uses her signature hashtag with one that would appeal to her target market. The effectiveness is evident by the re-tweets (RT) and favorites that resulted.

A Twitter Tip: Twitter allows 140 characters. To encourage re-tweets, compose your tweets with 120 characters or less to leave enough room for your Twitter ID and a few characters of added text. Your goal is for tweets to be re-tweeted by more than one person! :)

Invest Your Time Wisely

Once you identify your key words and optimal hashtags, you will want to plug those into a Content Calendar so that you can use them strategically and even re-purpose your tweets and status updates.

Your content calendar should include easily visible columns for each social network, subjects with links and/or images for each, and a place where you can record results and track success.

That information should reveal when your followers are online, and when you should be tweeting and posting to reach them.

Tweet Speak And Facebook Lingo

Twitter allows only 140 characters to convey your point. Facebook allows you 5000 characters for each status update. There is a big difference there!

If you opt to utilize any social media scheduling tool, the temptation is to post the same update to both Twitter and Facebook. Which usually means that what makes it onto Twitter is what our Facebook friends and fans see.

But are all social networks created equal?

The answer is no.

Hashtags, abbreviations and shortened links are part of the Twittersphere. They even transfer over okay on LinkedIn. But studies show that Facebook users want to see more authentic prose.

Typically, a Facebook fan will not click on a shortened link, because they are unsure where it ultimately leads. It also looks foreign if they are not on Twitter. An exception to the rule is this Facebook Page:

Search Engine People refers to BundlePost's Facebook tendancies as good examples for those working with social media professionalsNote the shortened link used above. Even with adjustments made by Facebook, the shortened links are not recognizable to the average Facebook User. BundlePost caters to social media professionals, so it works well for them.

Even though Facebook gives us the space for 5000 characters, a study from Buddy Media shows posts with 80 characters or less get 27% more interaction.

Statistics also show that photos and images get higher levels of interaction. Here is a great example that utilizes both catchy text and a photo:

Search Engine People refers to RoomSketcher's Facebook page and an optimized Facebook post

This post on Facebook got quite a lot of likes and shares. It also received many fan comments. The key here was a sensationalized image – One that was even controversial to some RoomSketcher fans.

The Third Party Dilema

In the past year or so, there has been a lot of talk about whether Facebook gives lesser priority to status updates made via third party applications such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or other. I personally find that when I post directly to Facebook I get better results – Looks better, and I see greater interaction.

But I have also gotten some good play on scheduled posts to Facebook. Here is an example of exactly what to enter into your preferred social media scheduling tool:

Search Engine People sites Idea Girl Media's Facebook post utilizing a full link as an example for scheduling updates

The text within the post is limited to allow for the entire link to be entered into a scheduling tool. As this post could be scheduled in advance, optimizing any way possible is recommended so it plays well on the Facebook page.

So, How To Write The Most Optimal Social Media Status Updates?

 

The answer becomes less about tools and scheduling and more about starting with a firm base for content, and composing in a style that is relevant to your audience and the specific social platform.

A Social Media Tip: It's not broadcasting. Lead with questions where possible, and use calls to action to trigger engagement.

Are there helpful hints I left out above?

What questions do you have about writing status updates before scheduling?

Please let us know in the comments box below… :)

 

Keri Jaehnig

I am the Founder and CMO of Idea Girl Media - A Social Media Marketing Agency that works with business brands, non-profits & public figures to achieve social media success and positive online reputation. I am humbled to have received a 2013 Small Business Influencer Honorable Mention Award, and a commendation for Outstanding Attainment in Social Media from the State of Ohio Senate. My insight has also been featured at Social Media Today, SteamFeed, AOL Small Business, as well as Forbes and Business Insider. Non-fat lattes, travel & quick wit make me smile, and I am always enthused to meet new people!

ideagirlmedia.com

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18 Responses to “How To Write The Most Optimal Social Media Status Updates”

  1. Dorien Morin says:

    I use all of the above! :)
    I'd like to point out that while I schedule lots of posts ahead of time and I certainly recommend that for everyone, some of the best posts I have posted for myself and for clients are those spontaneous retweets, posts and shares that happened 'spur-of-the-moment' because of what I saw happening on Twitter or a Facebook Page in my newsfeed.

    When news becomes news, it needs to be shared. It wants to be shared. And if it's old news, you will most likely not get the likes, comments or shares. So be online, be engaging, be on the lookout for new content to use.

    Great post, as always, Keri.

    • Keri Jaehnig says:

      Dorien,

      Absolutely — We must be present to be social! The likes, shares, re-tweets — all essential to building relationships that lead to where we're going next.

      Where most of my personal Facebook updates are made organically, occasionally we do need to schedule to reach our followers. The tips I outline are more to consider in that position. If all updates are scheduled, soon all we'll hear are crickets, right? :)

      Thank you for reading, and for your comment,

      ~Keri

  2. Ahmad says:

    Random thoughts on the article above (in no particular order):
    1. Facebook does allow for 5000 chars but one should try keeping their updates short, since only a small fraction of people will really go through a large wall of text (the statistic you posted backs this up).
    2. Investing your time wisely should also include developing a social networking strategy for your business – i.e determining which social networks to invest more time in, and the like. In today's world, we have so many options, FB, Twitter, Pinterest, G+, Youtube… However it is important to invest time in those networks which would yield the largest returns.

    Great post btw!

    • Keri Jaehnig says:

      Ahmad,

      You are correct. Facebook does allow 5000 characters in a status update. Though, I cannot remember the last time I took the time to read past the first two lines on a Facebook status update.

      Also a good point on determining the best social networks for spending time. Every day there is a new one, and as Pinterest has risen to the top 10 social networks, we must continue to re-evaluate where our time should be spent. Where our most beneficial contacts will hang out.

      Thank you for reading, commenting, and for your kind words,

      ~Keri

  3. Ricky says:

    Just recently, I realized the true potential of hashtag. Now, I try to stuff (don't take me wrong) 2-3 hashtags to get maximum conversion. Even, buffer helps me to schedule the tweet and FB message, which I try to leverage as much possible as I could.

    I, however, did an experiment (on a small basis). Just posting a link on Facebook or using RSS Graffiti type tools doesn't get much result. Instead of that writing some extra texts or calling for others opinion helps in getting the attention of the people.

    • Keri Jaehnig says:

      Ricky,

      Wonderful that you are using hashtags in your tweets – That is surely connecting you with more people with like interests.

      You have pointed out something that I continue to test and probe: Posting to Facebook via third party apps. Your technique of using calls to action should help off-set any Facebook algorithm concerns. :)

      Thank you for reading, and sharing your thoughts,

      ~Keri

  4. Juan Felix says:

    Hey Keri,

    Great tips! Thanks I think what also works well is to find your own Voice. Do you want to sound funny, serious, formal, italian, savvy, weird, etc…

    :)

    Juan

    • Keri Jaehnig says:

      Juan,

      Definitely something to consider – Finding your own voice. With others' words, authenticity is absent, and it is hard to connect.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts! :)

      ~Keri

  5. mike says:

    Nice article… I think one of the important take a ways is that you have to communicate a little differently in each platform. SM isn't a one-size fits all communication platform which you highlighted nicely. Thanks Keri

    • Keri Jaehnig says:

      Mike,

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

      One of the biggest challenges has been getting small business owners to realize what you've pointed out – Each platform is different, which requires a different style of communication. And, that there is no "one size fits all" approach.

      Always nice to meet people that agree!

      Thanks for your kind words,

      ~Keri

  6. Hi Keri,

    Great post with some very important tips! Thanks so much for including me in your article too!

    I think the use of hashtags is very important, otherwise people (who are very interested in what you have to say), may never come across your tweet.

    Thanks for sharing Keri!

    • Keri Jaehnig says:

      Annemarie,

      My pleasure to feature you – Your information is always stellar, and I would hope to highlight your professional approach.

      Hashtags – Yes, quite important. You use them well. Over-use can work in reverse, though. Depending on the tweet, only one or two would I recommend. Curious what others think. :)

      Thanks for your comment,

      ~Keri

  7. Good reminder about #hashtags. I know that I underuse these and I would have better results and engagement if I put a big post-it note on my screen to do so.

    • Keri Jaehnig says:

      Denise,

      Hashtags do help put you in touch with new people. Sometimes I forget, but when I use them I find a big difference. However, over-use can be detrimental, so finding a good balance is key.

      I've always got post-it notes all around. I'm smiling that you mentioned it…

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts,

      ~Keri

  8. Lots of great points here Keri. There are so many tips and tricks and I think at times the average person can easily get overwhelmed. I think the best thing to remember is always just be yourself. I know for me, I get the most engagement when I'm just being me. Social is just that. Thanks for a great article as usual. Love all the examples you used and I will for sure check out the Content Calendar you included. Thanks much! :)

    • Keri says:

      Jocelyn,

      You are exactly correct that the average person could get overwhelmed at first. Amazing that 140 characters can keep us all spinning so, eh? :)

      Also nailed it in recommending that we all "just be ourselves." It's social. And we are indeed talking about social media.

      Thank you for adding value to the conversation!

      ~Keri

  9. Karla Campos says:

    Great article Keri, I especially like the samples you give of Twitter status updates and the use of hashtags : )

    • Keri Jaehnig says:

      Karla,

      Thanks very much for your kind words.

      I'd be curious what other social media professionals would list as examples of Twitter tweets and their recommendation of numbers of "acceptable" hashtags per post.

      Always appreciate your thoughts, :)

      ~Keri