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

Elements of Engaging Social Media Posts

Have you ever considered how easy it is to post on social media? All you have to do is click the share or post button. With a single click, 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

The 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 get great engagement. Hence, time is linear, while engagement or result is exponential. So, at some point, it will take a little extra effort to get more significant results.

With that established, here are some key points to create high-performing posts, and even the biggest online content writing services pay attention to these.

Engaging social media posts: Headlines

A common term associated with posts is the 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 some 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 about the importance of great headlines, then you must consider this:

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

Buzzsumo recently analyzed 100 million headlines. This survey showed that the most shared posts on Facebook had specific headlines that revealed enough details to the reader.

Engaging social media posts: Hashtags

I want to share 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 behind hashtags is quite simple. For example, 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?

As I pointed out earlier, that is one reason why you may not want to use weird abstract hashtags or complete sentences.

Imagine if someone clicked your hashtag instead of the link in your post! It will help if you 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 in 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 stand out, 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) Have you 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.

I have not made an exhaustive 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 – “pictures speak a thousand words.” This is especially true about creating engaging social media posts.

For properly programmed websites, you will not need to scout or create new images while making a post. Instead, 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 a social media post; you should add this image manually if you feel that way.

Generally, I will advise you to use images that stand out. Photos with faces generally 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 readers pause for a second.

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

If you 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 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 long time.” – Carey Lowe

Engaging social media posts: Mentions

Mentions are a potent trick that could be seen as gratitude, promotion, and networking simultaneously. As it is often called, “tagging” is a social media basic you have probably adopted severally.

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 you want to share, it is nice to mention all those who assisted. This is a subtle way of saying thank you and making them aware that it is live.

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

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

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


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

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

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

Learn how to write perfect blog posts HERE
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Afam Onyimadu
Afam is an astute wordsmith with deep backgrounds in SEO, copywriting, editing, and digital marketing. He is an avid consumer of information across multiple niches but has a specialty for content marketing and technology. Asides writing, he is a music enthusiast and an animal lover. He enjoys the company of family and friends and indulges in chess, scrabble and a few card games.