A guide to successful social posts

Why do some post do better than others? Why do some accounts do better than others? It's a question everyone in marketing asks every single day. And there is no straight and fast answer.

But there are general guidelines to help you have more engaging posts and build your online brand, which I will share with you today.


All photography creates an emotion, and that can be a good or a bad thing.

Hopefully, if you choose your photography correctly, the photos you choose will give your followers the feelings you want them to have.

Unfortunately, poor photography gives followers bad feelings, so make sure the photography you choose is on-brand and emotionally engaging in a positive way.

When choosing photos for your social media accounts, try and stay away from the following:

1. Photos with text (save it for the caption)

2. Photos showing hate, abuse or distress (obviously)

3. Photos with too many items in them (confusing)

4. Product photos only (boring)


Captions aren't as easy to write as one may think. You want to write a caption that relates to the photo and ignites the emotional feeling the viewer got from the photo..

When you're writing your captions, you want to think about who your ultimate customer is and how they would like to feel.

Which of these photo/captions are your drawn to?



Can you think about which one drew you in to read the caption? Did you even read the caption on the first photo?


Timing is a funny thing, and it takes time to know time. Different age groups use social media at different times of day. As you get to know your target market, you will understand when that group of people is online. If you are looking to attract people like yourself, then pay attention to when you check your social accounts. It's probably a good place to start.

Maybe you check your Instagram accounts every day when you wake up, or you check them right before dinner, or you check them at the end of the day. Or perhaps you look at Facebook at night to find some reading material, and you look at Twitter in the morning to get the latest news. Social accounts all have different best times of day based on the type of person you are trying to attract.

You can also consider what type of post you are scheduling and base the post time on the content. Perhaps you're talking about relaxing on Friday night, well you should post that Friday night. Or maybe you want people to open your website and read an article, you probably want them to do that when they're relaxing at home at the end of the day, or first thing in the morning. They might read some articles before they get busy for the day. I know I do! These are all things that you can consider when choosing your posting times. Want to organize your social media? Check out my post on using a social media planner.

Other Considerations

Using other people's photos...

Purchasing photos usually means you do not need to mention the photographer (although it would be nice!). By purchasing the photo from the photographer, you are now the owner of the photo. However, check with the photographer as they may have given you a deal to get more exposure, or their contract might stipulate you must mention them.


Re-posting other people’s posts is generally OK, but sometimes it's not. Using videos that have the music you don't on the rights to, or photography that you haven't asked the photographer can cause big problems and you may get bills in the mail or they can request that your account got shut down and you don't want either. Although in North America it is difficult to prove when a photo is stolen, there are strict guidelines in Europe which could be adopted in North America soon to protect artists and their work.

The general rule is, if you are unsure, check with the original poster.

What I like to consider OK to re-post, our post where the person has tagged you, or hashtagged you. This brings us into the conversation of branded hashtags. You may have hashtags you'd like to use or you think that your perfect customer would use. Perhaps you are selling purses and you would like to use the hashtag #purseaddict. This hashtag is used by many people and is a great hashtag for your company, but it is not specific to your brand. You should consider having a branded hashtag.

Branded Hashtags

Big companies and big brands usually have several branded hashtags. But as a small brand or a one-person show, you most likely will want to have only one or two branded hashtags. These are the hashtags that you will share in your profile on Instagram and attach to your captions.

When you put your branded hashtag in your profile, customers will know what to use to tag you. We will talk about this more when learning how to use social media for your brand later. But for now, choose a branded hash tag that makes sense. If your business Is called The Purse Store, then your branded hashtag should be: #thepursestore. When someone purchases from you and wants to share the experience on social media, they will know to use the branded hashtag.

Next time, meet me back here to learn more about engaging with your customers on social media!

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Elizabeth McCowan

servicing equestrian brands in North America since 2010