Shakespeare’s 3 Tips for Social Posts

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Shakespeare’s 3 Tips for Social Posts

I saw Shakespeare tweeting on a mobile phone yesterday. That’s not unusual since I live in a town with a Shakespeare festival. But he stoked my imagination. What if Shakespeare came back as a social media guru? Even he would have to adapt to the varied and changing social media platforms. Smart phones shrink Facebook posts. Tweets must bounce echoes before a quick death. And the LinkedIn audience wants authentic and transferrable business insights. Optimal post lengths are not in words but characters. Putting out the 1613 Globe Theatre fire with ale sounds easier. For advice on how to write quality content within optimal character counts I channel the Bard. Here’s what he reminds us:

I – On Facebook “Brevity is the soul of wit”

Facebook offers businesses three ways to contact its 1.15 billion mobile monthly Facebook customers: pages, ads, and groups. Shakespeare says persuade in scant characters.

Use the five most persuasive words in the English language to your advantage.

  • You. Ask questions to encourage engagement.
  • Because. Highlight and humanize your company culture with visuals; we do what we do because of our people and values.
  • Free. Instantly. New. Advertising is especially beneficial for B2B companies. You may wish to purchase ads; you may also create posts that promote events or ad campaigns by using these attention-grabbing words.

Bard’s Best Tips: Use characters to engage and persuade.

II – Twitter, “The spirit of the time shall teach me speed”

Twitter increases brand awareness and connects B2B and B2C communities. But speed kills, for a tweet’s median life-span is anywhere from 18 to 24 minutes. Therefore, a tweeter must be agile in terms of relevancy and strategic in how to engage the audience.

  • Twitter has 140-character limit. Ideals depend upon retweets, links, and/or media:
    • Ideal tweet without link: 100 characters
    • Ideal tweet with link: 120 characters. Keep in mind, a link takes up 23 characters, add 1 space = that leaves ideal tweet copy at 116 characters.
  • Ideal tweets use images/GIFs/videos: Including these takes up 24 characters (leaving 116 for link and characters). Tweets with photos get 313% more engagement.
  • Ideal number of hashtags to use1
  • Ideal hashtag length: 18 or 3 characters.
  • Two apps help writers choose word-related and geographically-relevant hashtags: and trendsmap.

Bard’s Best Tips: Remember that questions engage the very clients we wish to know better. “I will be a fool in question, hoping to be the wiser by your answer.” (All’s Well that Ends Well act 2, sc. 2)

III – LinkedIn, “to thine own self be true”

LinkedIn is a B2B marketing platform and one on which you want to showcase your expertise and brand. When you consider that 80% of B2B marketing leads come from LinkedIn, it is clear that you will want to produce quality written content for this platform.

Start in Discussion Groups. Discussion groups accounted for 96% of LinkedIn posts and 86.30% of conversions. If you are just getting started in discussion groups, you may wish to read Kristin Kovner’s “12 best practices for using LinkedIn groups as a marketing tool”.

Optimal Character Lengths: Paul Shapiro at Ohdork identifies what works best for long-form LinkedIn posts.

  • A title with 40-49 characters. Most successful posts use “How to…” titles.
  • 1900-2000 words in post.
  • Posts divided into five subheadings.
  • 8 Images are optimal with one at top of the post.

Bard’s Best Tips: Write with authenticity and clarity. Give concrete advice from your field of expertise. Keep abreast of your industry’s current issues, and address timely problems striking a neutral tone. And remember, “no legacy is so rich as honesty.”

Cynthia Powell
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A copywriter by day, a novelist when the sun skips town. With a MA in history, she convinced teens for twenty-seven years that political science mattered. How? Client focus and engaging materials. She now applies that formula to marketing with creative, memorable, and audience-focused copy.