A Winning 5-Step Marketing Recipe for Social Media Posts

March 3, 2020 Social Influence no comments

What are the ingredients to an award-winning series of ? social media posts?

How do you make every one of your Facebook updates, Instagram photo, Tweet, LinkedIn post, or YouTube video work harder?

With social media algorithms favouring posts that trigger social proof (ie likes, comments, shares and clicks) early in the game, it is no longer just quantity but quality which matters.

After studying hundreds and thousands of Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn posts, and reading tonnes of books, I have developed a five-step framework that you can use.

This framework incorporates what I’ve learned about social media algorithms, the behaviours of online audiences, as well as the marketing goals of your business.

To make this simple, I’ve incorporated a mnemonic device to make it easy for you to recall. As the COOK behind this recipe, I’ve used the ‘..OOK’ ending in each of these steps:

  1. Look: How to make your post stand out in the newsfeed
  2. Hook: How to attract your audience to find out more
  3. Shook: How to create an emotionally resonant and viral content
  4. Took: What takeaways can you offer, and how can you trigger action
  5. Book: How to move your audiences to become your paying customers

Let’s dive in with the first category.

LOOK ?⁠—Generating Attention

We are swamped by online content on our social media news feeds. From funny cat, dog and baby videos, to the latest political scandal – there are lots of juicy content to keep us entertained.

To stand out from the clutter, you’ll need to make your content literally POP ?.

Here are some ways to do so…

  1. Trigger curiosity with a lead-in sentence that captures attention, eg “How a 49-year old civil servant transforms himself into a digital entrepreneur.”
  2. Use emojis ? to attract visual interest
  3. Address your audience’s pain points in the first sentence, eg “Wish to eliminate middle-aged spread once and for all?”
  4. Produce a 60-second video – make sure your first 3 seconds grabs their attention!
  5. Use bright and contrasting colours that stand out on the newsfeed

Example of “Look”

The best example of Look probably comes from Facebook video influencer NAS Daily. Every one of his videos are visually eye-popping, with bold subtitles in white and yellow, and large exaggerated movements. Even his video thumbnails will grab your attention.

Like this recent example here…

HOOK ?⁠—Sustaining Interest

What is the bait that you offer to your readers, viewers or listeners? Why should they like, comment, share or click on your post?

Your hook will often determine the click through rate (CTR) of your social media posts. This is measured by the number of clicks your post generates, divided by your total number of impressions.

Here are some good examples of hooks….

  • Offer a downloadable guide book, template, or checklist ✅
  • Provide a coupon code that can be redeemed for first-time customers
  • Give a FREE tutorial or mini-course
  • Share a useful tip or technique in a short video

Example of Hook

Here’s an example of a good hook in a social media post or ad, courtesy of Pizza Hut. This is actually a short video with the text animated on the bright red image with mouth-watering pizzas.

SHOOK ?⁠—Triggering Emotion and Sharing

The real power of social media lies in its ability to ignite social sharing. And the best way to do so is to follow the principles of crafting Contagious Content.

Here are some ways for you to do so:

  1. Tell a Story: Make sure that your story has the elements of good storytelling – believable characters, conflicts and challenges, a climax, as well as a satisfactory resolution and ending.
  2. High Arousal Emotions: The best social stories often involve high arousal emotions like amusement, anger, anxiety, awe and excitement.
  3. Hot Topics: Trending newsworthy topics generate more shares than outdated ones. (see Newsjacking)
  4. Customer Centric: Focus on your customer (instead of your company), and use your social platforms to spread positive tales revolving around your customer

Example of Shook

This video by NTUC Income probably best typifies the emotionally stirring stories that gets people sharing. Have a look at it, and let me know what you think about it.

TOOK ??⁠—Getting Right Action

Are there any takeaways that you can offer to your readers, viewers and listeners? What is the ACTION that you’d like them to take?

Here, your main focus should be centred on your Call To Action (CTA).

Make it easy and straightforward for them to register their interest, download your freebie, or share your content. Use bright coloured buttons and easily visible text, or emojis and symbols to highlight your CTAs.

You can also use bullet points or numbered lists to provide step-by-step instructions.

Example of Took

Here’s an example of how you can incorporate a CTA in a social media post courtesy of Oberlo. The instructions and offer from the post is quite clearly communicated, and I like how it uses icons and text overlays to steer the audience to the right actions.

BOOK⁠ ?—Nurture Leads

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to have a way to turn interested onlookers into paying customers who eventually ‘book’ your product or service.

In thinking about BOOK, consider the sequence of content that you wish to post on all your online channels.

How do your social media posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube lead to nurturing and cultivating your audiences to become leads, prospects and eventually customers?

Here’s a good way to think about them, using a content marketing funnel as an example. Notice that each step of your content should be sequenced in order of greater value.

In considering each content step, your goal is to nudge your audiences towards greater commitment and value. This is seen in your marketing funnel as shown below:


So there you have it, my five-step framework for social media content:

  1. LOOK: Attracting attention to stand out in the newsfeed
  2. HOOK: Sustaining interest with a value proposition
  3. SHOOK: Triggering emotional resonance and virality
  4. TOOK: Eliciting the right actions by your readers/ viewers/ listeners
  5. BOOK: Putting in place a sequence of content in your funnel that nudges visitors to fans, fans to leads, leads to prospects, and prospects to customers

These 5-steps apply regardless of your trade: B2C, B2B, Consulting, or Training. Heck, you can even use them to apply for jobs!

Let me know if this has been useful for you. And yes, I’ll be incorporating some of these points in an upcoming training programme focused on online copywriting – watch out for it!

Need Help with Your Social Media Marketing?

With over 5 years of experience working with over 62 clients on their social media and digital marketing needs, while equipping over 2,800 trainees in social media marketing skills, Cooler Insights has the knowledge, experience and expertise to help you win in the online world.

Drop us an an email with your particulars⁠—we’ll be happy to arrange for a free 30-minute consultation session.

Or you can fill in your particulars in the contact form here.

By Walter
Founder of Cooler Insights, I am a geek marketer with almost 24 years of senior management experience in marketing, public relations and strategic planning. Since becoming an entrepreneur 5 years ago, my team and I have helped 58 companies and over 2,200 trainees in digital marketing, focusing on content, social media and brand storytelling.

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