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The Ultimate Cheat-Sheet for Writing Killer Social Media Posts

With the holidays comes many reject gifts, like automatic pet petters or tablet arm holders. But the Generation Web elves have a holiday gift for you I think you’re going to like. If anything, it beats getting a fruit cake.

No need to tear frantically at imaginary wrapping paper. Just scroll down and you’ll see that we’ve created the ultimate cheat sheet for writing killer, engagement-driving social media posts. We saw to it that there are more tips than you can shake a candy cane at, so I think this gift might be a keeper.

If you love it as much as I think you will, you can download it below. There’s no sign-up required and no catch. It’s just Generation Web’s gift to you. Period.

Enjoy! Happy Holidays!

Download Your Cheat-Sheet ›

Types of Value-Adding Posts:

Not sure what to post on your social media pages? Here’s a solid list of ideas that will help keep your editorial calendar full and engagement high.

  • A question you want answered to better understand and serve your audience
  • Company/product update
  • Press release
  • Blog post
  • National day, week, or month that pertains to the products or services you offer. We use this site: http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com
  • Compelling quote from an industry leader
  • A funny industry-related meme
  • Fan or customer recognition/praise
  • Behind-the-scenes images of your company
  • Exclusive offer
  • Interesting stat or fact
  • Intriguing or cutting-edge industry information/trend
  • Helpful pro tip
  • Upcoming event you’re hosting or participating in
  • Infographic
  • Video

Value Identification

Before you write a post, you need to ask yourself the following question:

Why does this matter to my audience

If you don’t know the answer, it will be hard to write a post people get fired up about.

So it always pays to take the time to identify the things that might motivate your audience to read or care about the content you’re putting out.

For instance, does it contain information that might help your audience save money? Does it provide information that might give them a leg-up over their competitors? Or will they learn something valuable that they didn’t know before?

Make the benefits of checking out your content clear.

For example:

“Want to learn how to double your business growth? This video is a must-watch!”


“This infographic covers everything you need to know to improve your golf game.”

Calls to Action (CTA)

People have short attention spans and require direction when online. If you want them to do something, you have to make it abundantly clear. Here are examples of some good CTAs:

Watch this video for……

Sign up for our exclusive….

Check out this infographic we put together for you on…..

Read our latest blog post for awesome tips on…..

Share this inspiring quote with colleagues and employees.

Leave a comment.

Please retweet this. (Or if you don’t have enough characters use: Retweet this. Also note that studies show that using RT – acronym for retweet – is less effective.

Click “like.” (For maximum impact, only use this one sparingly. Same goes for above.)

Conversation Starters

Starting a conversation is a surefire way to get comments on your posts. Here are some examples of phrases that help spur a dialogue:

Tell us,……?

How do you……..?

Fill in the blank: The thing I love most about…….. is ______.

What’s your fave….?

Which do you prefer? ______ or ______ ?

……What do you think?

In your opinion, what’s the best…..?

What’s your biggest question about _______? Our experts will be happy to answer it.


Staying Social – Rather Than Salesy

A surefire way to kill engagement (and organic Facebook reach) is to come off as overly promotional. No one is on social media to be sold to, so you have to make them feel like you’re not doing that… even though you are.

That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your latest product or put out a special offer. It just means that like any social interaction, you have to be tactful in how you go about it.

Ask yourself the following questions to ensure you’re staying social:

  • Does this post sound as though it’s solely serving to promote a product or service? If yes, then edit / rewrite the post.


  • Does this post do one of the following? If not, then edit / rewrite the post.
    • Tell a compelling story, evoke emotion, or offer a human interest point


    • Engage in conversation (by asking a thoughtful question)


    • Provide something that can’t be found elsewhere (not on your website or provided by a competitor)


    • Offer service (tips, helpful information)


    • Contain humor

Posting Length Best Practices

  • Keep Facebook and LinkedIn posts as short as possible. According to studies, the ideal length is 40 – 80 characters.
  • Try to make tweets 100 characters or less, including hashtags and the shortened url, as much as possible. Here is a sample shortened link to plug in so you can double check the length of your tweet (if you’re wondering, it just goes to our website): http://bit.ly/12mI0Wp

Tweet Shorteners

w/ = with

& = and

4 = for

love = <3

u = you

ur = your

gr8 = great

@ = at

Tweet Shortening Tips:

  • Drop any unnecessary words.
  • Don’t spell out numbers.
  • Use contractions as much as possible, e.g. would not becomes wouldn’t.

But be sure not to cram too many substitutes in one tweet. It doesn’t look good and may be confusing to read.

Download Your Cheat-Sheet ›

Still have questions on how to write social media posts well? Please click here to contact me.

2 Responses to “The Ultimate Cheat-Sheet for Writing Killer Social Media Posts”

  1. TomC

    Awesome info. Useful for my team. As usual, thanks for sharing!!


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