05/14/2014 03:44 pm ET Updated Jul 14, 2014

3 Steps to the Perfect Social Media Post

The formula to a well-liked social media post is a tricky one. Aside from a few outlying factors (time of day, trending topics, frequency of posts), content is universally king and plays the biggest role in the popularity of a Facebook status or an Instagram picture. While brands and personal accounts tend to vary in terms of what works most effectively, the following tips ring true for every social media post:

  1. Stunning imagery is key. People respond to beautiful, attention-grabbing photos more than words, especially on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where attention spans are short and the number of posts to sift through can be staggering.
  2. Write with an honest, engaging, and relatable voice. On social, no one wants to feel like they're being sold to or manipulated. People, either consciously or subconsciously, look for authenticity in their interactions, even with brands. If you can craft a tone of voice and language that gets your brand message across while still sounding like a trusted friend, you've done your job well.
  3. Pick a topic or theme that strikes a universal chord. I think the reason Melissa Coker's video for Wren became such a viral sensation is because it was a completely original concept, a bit risky, and it resonated emotionally with all audiences regardless of who the person was. Everyone has (or wants to!) kiss a stranger at some point in their lives, and watching funny, quirky, intimate moments between people in that video hit a nerve with audiences, while simultaneously exposing them to Wren in the most subtle way imaginable. Think about what you instinctively want to see -- is it something scripted and salesy? Or would you be more interested in universal topics like love, relationships, unguarded moments, friendships, intimacy, confessionals, and the like? Equinox just released a short, super simple video of a woman doing morning yoga in her home and it has over 7.5 million views in just a couple of weeks. There's nothing sensational or spectacular about it, but it's very beautiful and intimately shot, and shows a physical grace and fitness that most everyone strives for. Content that is authentic and touches upon a common human concern tends to be very powerful.
Looking to engage your existing followers and gain new ones? These steps help our clients do just that. What works best for you on social media? Tell us in the comments.