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One of the most disheartening experiences in social media is regularly posting updates, and nobody likes, comments, or responds.

This is even more disheartening when you want to build an online audience for your business and its services. You need to get attention before you can generate clients.

So how do you create social media posts that get a response?

It goes back to a few basics of marketing, and then a few aspects of human psychology.

First, the basic marketing:

a) Understand your Customers. This is the same advice you hear over and over, and yet, it also seems to be the easiest advice to discount. I was thinking about this other day, related to friendship. When I am friends with someone, I spend time thinking about that person. I know their likes and dislikes. I can usually guess, correctly, how they would respond in various situations, and there are ideas or concepts which just remind me of them- which I know they would immediately “get”. I realized that this same kind of process happens with my best and most long-term clients, too. I know what they like, and dislike. I can guess, accurately, how they will respond. I know about their specific challenges and know what kinds of solutions they are likely to respond best to. My new goal is to know this about every one of my best clients, because business is becoming increasingly personal.

b) Know your MWR. MWR stands for “most wanted response”- what do you want the viewer to do after experiencing your social media post? Do you want them to comment? Do you want them to share? Do you want them to laugh and move on? What? Try to focus on just one type of response per post, so you have an easy way to track if your post is working.

c) Ask for what you want. If you know your MWR, you can be clear and direct in asking for it. This one step, by itself, should improve your response rates. Just remember to give good value first!

Next the basic psychology:

a) Value drives response. Make your posts as valuable as you can. Focus on ideas and information that educates, inspires, informs, or entertains. When people find value in what you share, theyare more inclined to like, comment, share. Any content that will save the viewer time, improve their results, or offers any kind of “life-hack” has a high potential to generate response.

b) Make it emotional. Without overwhelming people with sadness or grief, try to make your viewers feel something. Emotions are processed differently in the brain, and can lead to increased attention to your content and to sharing it.

c) Remember to interact. Social media is about being social- that means replying to comments, respectfully dialoguing, and showing common courtesy.

One great aspect about social media is that it enables you to easily and quickly test out various types of content and approaches in order to see what gets the best response.

When you find a few things that are landing well with your community, see how you can continue to provide value in that way, of that kind, in order to keep the responses and engagement flowing.

Combining basic marketing and basic psychology can help you create social media posts that move your business forward.