The basic science of writing good social media postings

PHAN TRUONG AN Published on December 24, 2021

Maintaining simplicity in social media posts
We appear to spend our lives looking for ways to make life simpler for ourselves. The practice of 'life hacking' has become a national pastime. But why do so many marketers make their communications more difficult to engage with, rather than easier?

The answer may be much simpler than you believe. It is for this reason that studies have shown that companies with easily pronounced names beat those with names that are more difficult to recognize and recall. For the same reason, messages are written in standard typefaces such as Arial always engage at a higher level than those written in brush scripts.

People, it turns out, prefer things that are simple to think about over things that are tough to think about!

In the words of Steve Jobs, "simple might be more difficult than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking pure in order to make it simple." But it will be worth it in the end because once there, you will be able to move mountains.”

The science of 'Cognitive Fluency,' for brands 'Cognitive Fluency' is how we feel about learning new things. It is the subjective perception of how easy or difficult it is to complete a mental task, and every time we need to weigh information, our 'cognitive fluency' influences our decisions. From major investment decisions to how we respond to the next social media message that has just appeared on our timeline.

And, if you think about it, your social media posts are the ideal forum for showcasing your brand's cognitive fluency. You are not required to design anything or construct anything. You have a versatile combination of words and images at your disposal to simplify your message and guarantee that it is ‘cognitively fluent' enough to capture your audience's attention during that critical 7-8 second window.

The seven-second test
So, here's a quick test. Imagine you're holding a text highlighter after you've completed composing your next social media post. Take that highlighter and go over all of the key messages that are competing for your audience's attention. They may include features such as the following:

The title of your profile
And your post could look like this:

  • Your profile title
  • Message/ Keyword 1
  • Hashtag
  • Message/ Keyword 2
  • Shortened link
  • Keyword 3
  • Hashtag
  • Image
  • Call to action

Every aspect of your post's anatomy should be screaming for attention. So, to pass the '7-second test,' use basic and familiar language at all times.

Use familiar terminology if you're going to use hashtags. Your keywords should be well-known and completely relevant to the remainder of the post's content. Use tools like Hashtagify or Audiense to determine which hashtags will be most effective for your target audience.


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