Principles for blogging or any other social media posts

Photo of a 1952 "Town Crier Championship" contestant reading from a decree while a nearby English police officer covers his ears.
Hastings” by Flickr User Leonard Bentley — licensed as Attribution-ShareAlike

The post is about using Instagram stories but it applies to social media posting in general, and blogging in particular. It’s the full text of an excellent article about posting strategy, from Reddit user Remarkable_Celery709. It was posted in the u/smallbusiness subreddit on Reddit. I almost never quote other people’s complete work, but I’m posting it here because it may violate the subreddit’s rule about only posting questions. Oh, I’m also posting the whole thing because it’s also very well written.

Remember, the author is talking about Instagram but it’s equally helpful for any sort of public posting from posting to your own blog to posting on Instagram, Facebook, or even TikTok.

Title: For those who wanna use Instagram stories to promote your business…

In this post, we’ll discuss how to boost engagement in your Instagram stories without divulging your private life, without sticking to the same topics, and without spending all your time on Instagram. These are three common challenges people face with their stories.

Respecting Your Privacy: Many of you may not want to share your personal life on your stories, and that’s perfectly fine. Your privacy matters.

Lack of Story Ideas: Figuring out what to talk about in your stories can be a struggle.

Time Constraints: Spending too much time on Instagram stories without tangible results can feel like a waste of time.

If you relate to any of these problems, you’re in the right place. I’ll share some practical methods to create successful stories without wasting your time.

Do Stories Need Planning?

Contrary to the belief that stories are quick and easy content, they do require some level of planning. While they don’t need extensive visual editing, a little structure is essential. We’ll use the MPR framework.

M – My Objective

Before creating a story, ask yourself: What is my objective for this story? It’s crucial because stories without a clear purpose won’t engage your audience. I, for instance, only post stories with a specific goal in mind. Some examples of objectives include increasing DM messages, generating content ideas, promoting a product or service, redirecting people to an external channel, or understanding your audience’s needs.

P – People’s Objective

The “P” stands for the objective of your audience. Once you know your objective, you need to provide something in return to engage your audience. For instance, if your objective is to find new content ideas, design stories with open-ended questions related to a specific topic. Offer something in return to capture their attention.

For example, if you want to understand people’s content needs, start by discussing common mistakes in stories and ask for their challenges and questions. Providing a glimpse of your expertise in your content encourages people to respond, especially if you schedule your content.

R – Relationship

The “R” refers to the relationship aspect. It’s about making your stories relatable to your audience. To create a strong connection, share an anecdote, a practical example, or a visual representation that resonates with your viewers.

For example, you might share how you recently had a drop in story views and then go on to analyze what went wrong. This relates to your audience because they can identify with similar situations. After providing an in-depth explanation, you can conclude with a call to action, such as asking your audience about their story-related challenges and needs.

In summary, a successful story combines a relational element, a clear personal objective, and an incentive for your audience. It captures people’s interest and leads to meaningful engagement.

MPR In Reverse for Personal Stories

This method can be applied in the reverse order as well, for impromptu stories. For instance, if you unexpectedly meet someone important while walking your dog, rather than simply sharing the story, think about the value it can provide to your audience and yourself.

Consider what results your audience can gain from this story. For you, it might be directing them to a related video, a free training session, or any other action that benefits you.

So, by applying the MPR framework, even unplanned stories can provide value to your followers and you.

Reddit user Remarkable_Celery709, posted in u/smallbusiness

Good stuff.

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David Innes,

I've been building and maintaining websites since 1997 and building and supporting similar hypertext-driven software since 1987. I've done maintenance, support, and maintenance for physical and digital systems since 1981. And no, I still haven't seen it all but by now I usually know where to look. More about David Innes...