Elements of Engaging Social Media Posts: A Complete Social Media Checklist

Have you ever considered how easy it is to post on social media? It is literally as easy as ABC. All you have to do is hit a share button. A single click and you are on your way. The ease may get you carried away, but you should remember that not every post will get a lot of attention. Better results will take some more effort. Creating engaging social media posts requires serious attention to detail and a lot of time.

I will show from personal experience the relationship between time and engagement with this graph.

engaging social media posts

A bitter truth is that most of the world’s social media posts get almost no traction, and it is just a minute percentage of posts getting great engagement. Hence, time is a linear variable while engagement or result is exponential. So at some point, it will take just a little extra effort to get large results.

With that point established, here are some key points you will be wise to spend the time on if you are to make high performing posts. Guess what? Even the biggest online content writing services pay attention to these.

Engaging social media posts: Headlines

A common terminology associated with posts is click-through rate. It is not uncommon to see social media posts that are just headlines. This is why it is important to craft them to maximize the click-through rate.

Here are points you must consider for a great headline:

  • Make a specific promise
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  • Tap into the power of numbers
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  • Use well thought out questions
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  • Create an urgency
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  • Play on emotions and curiosity
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If you are still wondering the importance of great headlines, then you must consider this:

On average, humans see about 1,300 headlines per day. Out of this number, they dismiss about 99.7% of them.

Buzzsumo recently did an analysis of 100 million headlines. One key point I took from this survey was that on Facebook, the top shared posts were just 15 words long on an average. You will want to keep that in mind when writing your next headline.

Engaging social media posts: Hashtags

The first point I will like to share is a mistake I have seen most people make. Hashtags should never be an expression of a complete thought or sentence.

Example? #ThisIsNotAGoodUseOfHashTags

Hashtags are topics or keywords that are clickable on their own. They are effective in increasing post visibility. Good examples are:

#contentwriting #seotips #bloggingtips etc.

proper use of hash tags

The principle with hashtags is quite simple. When someone clicks a post’s hashtag, they see all the other posts with the same hashtags.

Will it not be great if they see yours?

That is the one reason why you may not want to use weird abstract hashtags or full thoughts and sentences like I earlier pointed out.

There is a catch. Imagine if someone clicks your hashtag instead of the link on your post! You should use hashtags when you are sure your content is more click-worthy than other content that shares the same hashtag.

An exception is Instagram posts. They do not contain links. This means hashtags will not compete with links on posts. This could be the factor behind heavily hashtagged posts on Instagram.

Engaging social media posts: Emojis & special characters

If you need your posts to literally stand out, then you must start using special characters and emojis. They serve to increase visual prominence.

Here are a few of my favorite special characters:

→ (An arrow) Ever thought of turning a user’s attention to a link? Use an arrow.
☞ (The pointing finger) This probably even works better than the arrow.
★ (The star) This is a great character if you need to grab attention.

This is not a conclusive list. You should try out special characters to increase engagement with your posts.

With social networks that support emojis. the only word of caution is not to overdo it. The nature of your audience determines your tone and this should also determine your use of emojis.


The power of images can never be overemphasized. Ever heard that pictures speak a thousand words? This is especially true with regard to creating engaging social media posts.

For websites that are properly programmed, you will not need to scout or create new images while making a post. The feature images of the article automatically become part of the post as soon as you paste the link.

ads: engaging social media posts

There may be an image more suited for the social media post. If you feel that way, you should add this image manually.

As a general rule, I will advise you to use images that will stand out. Images with faces generally will stand out or in the case of the example above, I find a stop sign on a palm very attention-grabbing.

The baseline is to think of what your post should revolve around and create an image that makes a reader pause for a second.

I have also found adding images containing the headline generally will get more reaction.

If you are to take visuals a step further, consider making a video. This will even get more engagement than a picture. This video should contain a powerful summary of what the article is about and it should not be lengthy.

You may want to refer to this DIY video making tutorial.

“There is something about video marketing that helps it stay apart from the other online marketing tactics. When done correctly, all you need is one video marketing campaign to build up highly targeted traffic for a really long time.” – Carey Lowe

Engaging social media posts: Mentions

This is going to be my concluding point. It is a powerful trick that could be seen as gratitude, promotion and networking all at the same time. Tagging as it is often called is a social media basics you probably have done a number of times.

On different social media networks, you have slightly different ways of mentioning.

FacebookEnter @, start typing the name and select from the list
+Rebecca Southampton
InstagramEnter their account name or let the app tag them within the photo
@Rebecca Southampton
LinkedInEnter @ or +, start typing the name and select from the list
@Rebecca Southampton
TwitterEnter the account name@zikora21

Whom do you mention?

If you had help creating an article that you want to share, it is nice to mention all those that assisted. This is a subtle way of saying thank you, and also a way of making them know it is live.

If you had quoted or mentioned anyone in the article, they deserve a mention.

Finally, if you know anyone that will just love your article, they also deserve a mention.

Using mentions is one of the best forms of collaborative marketing. It means they know and they have the opportunity of making their networks to know as well.


You do not need to be a professional marketer to use these tips. Even in little circles, you will find them to be a more effective way of getting info around your networks.

There are probably a few things I did not speak about. These are just my go-to when it comes to creating engaging social media posts. Please leave in the comments tactics that have worked well for you.

If you enjoyed the guide on key elements of engaging social media posts, here are a few other resources you will enjoy as well:

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