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There’s a formula to creating the perfect Facebook post. It’s tried, it’s tested, it’s known to work as well as bread, peanut butter, and jelly—and is just as simple to follow. It’s not a secret, yet many people making the cross-over from personal social accounts where they blurt out thoughts and feelings willy-nilly, to professionally orientated blogs or businesses pages, are unaware that a simple formula for success even exists.

Lee Van Katwyk

This formula has been around for a long time. It actually predates Facebook by over a hundred years. If you’ve ever written an essay or composed a professional email, chances are you’ve already used this formula: intro, body, and conclusion. Since the days when Mr. Zuckerberg hacked Harvard’s database to create Facebook, this time-tested literary device has been evolving into its modern-day application for bite-sized social media.

Have a killer intro, or “lede.”

A perfect post is concise and snappy. So for the body of your post—the main text—cut out any of the unnecessary fluff, trim your sentences down to their absolute bare necessities, and keep your post on point. Two sentences per paragraph, a maximum of four paragraphs per post. Separate those with a whole blank white line. This will make it easier for the reader to scan down to the end where the most important part of the message awaits.

Conclude with a call to action.

In journalism jargon, the “lede” (pronounced “lead” but spelled differently to prevent confusion with another print term) is the introductory paragraph that leads the reader into the article. Usually embedded in the very first paragraph, the lede gives a brief, tantalizing idea of what’s to come. Your Facebook post must employ this same initial technique in an uber-streamlined format.

Let’s say you’re creating a Facebook post that will attach a link to your latest travel blog post where you tell the story of “this one time you surfed with dolphins in Australia.” A great lede would be “When surfing in Australia the last thing I wanted to see were numerous dorsal fins circling my board!” With this tidbit, the reader is sure to be tantalized into reading more.

Another way to think of the social media lede is as a headline. It’s one simple sentence at the top of your post that immediately snags the reader’s interest.

Keep the body lean.

Back in the old days, the conclusion was where you rounded off your writing and brought the reader back through those most important points, to really hit your message home. In this age of social media, the conclusion has been rebranded as a call to action. You’ve snagged a reader’s attention, you’ve kept them interested to the end of your post, and they now trust you and your writing. So take that hard-earned trust and spend it on what you need. For example with the dolphin post: “Want to know how I evaded the jaws of death? Check out my latest blog post and if you enjoy it please ‘like’ it.” There you’ve given two calls to action in one. You’ve driven traffic to your blog and increased engagement on your social account.

In conclusion, remember to give your post a short, sharp, eye-catching headline. Cut the useless fat from your post—keep your sentences trim and you’ll keep your readers attention. Finally, finish with a call to action like “Want to learn more about crafting the perfect post? Join Great Escape Publishing’s Social Media Made Easy program, right here.”