Making Effective Posts to Social Networks
News organizations also need to do more than just post links to stories on Facebook or services likeTwitter.
Instead the postings need to be more informal and conversational, provide commentary or analysis on the news and invite people to participate, such as asking them to answer a question or provide suggestions for stories or story angles to pursue.
Adding a quality photo to a posting also signficantly increases reader responses, such as likes or comments. According to Liz Heron, who manages the team of social media editors at the Wall Street Journal:
Whenever possible, use images to tell a story. We often put photos and charts directly into tweets, and almost everything we post on Facebook has an image....Really putting a priority on being able to tell a story in a visual way has been one of the biggest shifts for us and the most important shifts in terms of growing our community.
Source: Five social media tips from The Wall Street Journal - Journalism.co.uk, 2/4/2014
Stories that evoke emotions are more popular than straight news articles.
Based on studies of the kind of content people are most likely to share with others, stories that are fun or cute or made people happy are most effective, followed by stories that evoke anger or disgust. Least effective would be stories that provoke little emotion.
See this FastCompany article, These Scientists Studied Why Internet Stories Go Viral. You Won't Believe What They Found, and this New Yorker story, The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, And Maybe Infuriate, You.
Postings need to be regular, but not overwhelming. So perhaps 5 - 10 posts a day.
There's no optimum length, and both short or long posts can engage people depending on the subject matter. That said, in general 4-5 line posts seem to work best.