What started as a method for people to interact with family and friends has turned into an incredibly powerful marketing tool for small businesses. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow small businesses to increase their reach, improve brand awareness, and market to highly specific audience segments.
And, when you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see why. In 2021, there were around 295 million social network users in the US alone. To put that into perspective, that’s nearly three-fourths of the total US population.
With the incredible number of people using social media, there is no doubt that a large segment of your customers is active on these platforms. The key then is to reach these customers with meaningful content that encourages them to engage with your business and continue to turn to you for service needs to build a loyal customer base.
For many small businesses, it’s not a matter of whether or not they should be active on social media; it’s a matter of knowing how to create social media posts that will produce results effectively. This guide is for you if you’ve been stuck staring at your screen, uncertain of what to post. We’ll take a look at four key social media post templates, complete with examples of putting these templates into action for small businesses.
Before diving into how to craft your social media posts, it is essential to ensure that your business has set up and optimized your social media channels. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for at least a Facebook and Instagram account.
Make sure that you add your business logo to each account and provide accurate, up-to-date information about your business. Setting the foundation is critical before you begin to post. This will help ensure that customers know who you are and that your company has a reputable presence online.
To learn more about setting up your accounts, do a bit further reading: 10 Ways to Make Your Social Media Presence Stand Out.
Back in the late 1800s, an American marketer named St. Elmo Lewis created a model called AIDA. Lewis used this model to explain how personal selling works. However, the AIDA model was widely adopted by marketers and sales teams alike over the years.
Today, AIDA remains a critical model for understanding the customer journey, and it makes an excellent starting point for designing social media posts.
So what is the AIDA model? AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. To break this down further, let’s look at each of these steps in the customer journey and how you can apply this to your social media strategy.
- Attention: Think of attention as similar to the idea of creating awareness. In the overarching realm of business, this means getting the attention of your target audience and making them aware of your business, product, or service. When it comes to social media posts, this means creating copy or utilizing a graphic or video that will grab the attention of someone scrolling through their feed.
- Interest: Once you have captured your audience’s attention, it’s time to pique their interest. Why should they care about what you are posting? Is there something particularly relevant to them? This is where your copy will need to take a powerful approach to connect with your audience’s interests.
- Desire: The proverbial “What’s in it for me?” is answered in the next portion of AIDA. Desire quickly highlights what your audience will get out of your post. In the busy world we live in, this is one of the most critical components to nail. People have limited time and want to spend it wisely.
- Action: Finally, any post should include a call to action. This could be as simple as providing a link where they can read more about the topic, or it could involve asking your audience to sign up, schedule a service, etc. Make sure the action is clear and easy to do.
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Another popular tool utilized by marketers is the BAB model. BAB stands for Before, After, Bridge. This template is often used when creating blog posts or videos, as it makes a compelling storyline for readers or viewers to follow.
Breaking it down further, BAB should lead your social media post in the following way:
- Before: This portion of your copy is about connecting with your audience in their current space. Your post’s “Before” segment will often describe an existing problem or concern. This is where your audience should go, “That’s exactly how I feel!”
- After: Quickly following a description of where your audience is currently, you’ll paint a picture of what their world could look like after their problem is solved or their concern answered. Your “After” should leave your audience going, “Yes, please! I want to get there.”
- Bridge: Finally, you’ll create a bridge to bring your “Before” and “After” together. Your “Bridge” should give your audience an idea of how they can get from “Before” to “After.” This is the meat of your post, the solution your audience has been waiting for. Your “Bridge” should be easy to understand and simple to act on.
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Another classic model utilized by marketers and copywriters is the PAS template. PAS stands for Problem, Agitate, Solve. In many ways, it is similar to the BAB method. You connect with your audience about a problem they face, and you ultimately lead them to a solution.
To break it down further, let’s look at each element of the PAS template.
- Problem: First, you’re going to address your audience’s problem quickly. You can do this through a quick question or statement. The goal is for your audience to feel like you understand their problem and help them think, “Ok, I’m not alone!”
- Agitate: Now that you’ve pointed out your audience’s issue, you’ll want to emphasize the negative consequences of this problem going unsolved. This is where you want your business’s empathy for their issue to shine through, and you want to create a sense of urgency.
- Solve: Finally, you’ll close your post with how your customers can solve this problem. Often, this will be a quick teaser for the solution, with a link to further reading on your business blog, or it could be as straightforward as having a customer schedule a service.
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Finally, rounding out the above templates are the 4 U’s. This model is less of a standard template than the above and, instead, offers a foundational framework for any post you make. The 4 U’s are utilized by copywriters as a guideline for creating powerful content. Each component of the 4 U’s helps keep your copy on track and helps you avoid repetitive or vague posts.
You can use the 4 U’s to inspire a post, or you can even use it in conjunction with the above templates to evaluate your content.
Let’s take a look at the 4 U’s:
- Useful: When you present information to your customers, ensure that the content is useful. This is similar to answering the question, “what’s in it for me?” This is where many businesses on social media go wrong. They post content for the sake of posting content without evaluating whether or not the content is useful for their audience.
- Urgent: In every post, you should convey a sense of urgency. Why should a customer take action now? Why not wait until tomorrow?
- Unique: Customers today are constantly flooded with ads and posts. To capture your audience’s attention, you need to create content that is unique and fresh.
- Ultra-specific: Posts should have ultra-specific language that makes it clear what is being offered. This might be accomplished by including numbers, dates, or other hyper-specific information.
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The above templates are the perfect place to start when you are creating content for your social media channels. However, don’t stop there. You can use AIDA, BAB, PAS, and the 4 U’s for any copy you create. Test these templates when creating videos, blogs, podcasts, ads, emails, newsletters, and more. The principles found in each of these templates are foundational to creating content that connects with your audience and provides you with real results.
Each template can also help inform your campaign goals. For example, if you’re using AIDA in conjunction with a new video you created, your goal might be to increase the number of views you receive and to measure how long viewers stay engaged. This can be extremely beneficial in helping you create measurable goals for your social media content, rather than simply increasing the number of posts you add in a week without any insights into whether or not they were effective.
Social media can become a powerful tool when your business uses these platforms to engage with customers. You can use social media to increase your reach and curate a loyal customer base through targeted ad campaigns, consistent posting, and audience engagement.
At J&L Marketing, we are here to help. We’ll be happy to work with you to set and reach social media marketing goals. We have years of experience helping small businesses create effective campaign strategies across channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. Reach out today for a consultation or to request more information about how we can help.