Each social platform has its quirks and secret tips for better performance. But the heart of what makes great content stays constant — regardless of platform.

Implementing a few, small tweaks when you're creating content and writing copy for your brand's social media makes a big difference.

Before you post your next tweet or status update, take a second to evaluate your content. Run through this five-step check. It only takes a few minutes, and before long, these tactics will become second-nature.

1. Shorten the text

Occasionally, you'll want to focus on longer narratives on social posts, but those are outliers. For the most part, you want short, concise copy.

A good rule of thumb is to write a social post then reduce it by 10 percent. If you're looking for more guidance, check out the below list. You'll find exactly how long the best posts are on each social platform.

Best character and word count for social posts based on data and statistics from Buffer:

  • Facebook — 40 characters. You'll see 86 percent more engagement than longer posts.
  • Twitter — 71-100 characters. Tweets under 100 characters have 17 percent more engagement. Bring on the retweets and hearts.
  • Email subject lines — 28-39 characters. Emails with subject lines of this length have an average open rate of 12 percent and a click-through rate of 4 percent.
  • LinkedIn — 25 words. More shares on your content will follow.

2. Simplify the message

Whether you're marketing to businesses or consumers, your message is always better when it's simple. Forget the jargon and long, meandering sentences. If you can't get your point across immediately, you lose your audience.

Before posting content, pop it into the Hemingway Editor or any product that provides a readability level. Aim for a readability level between grade four and grade six. If that seems low to you, rest assured: 67 percent of Facebook posts are written at or below a fifth-grade reading level, according to TrackMaven research.

3. Share an image

63 percent of social media posts are images, according to Content Marketing Institute. This progression to visual stories benefits your brand.

Readers engage more with images. Facebook posts with images generate more than two times the engagement compared to text-only posts, found BuzzSomo. Plus, as our attention span continues to shrink, pictures quickly tell our story. Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than words, and we remember 80 percent of what we see, found University of Pittsburgh research.

That's power.

Before you share your next piece of social content, find or create a picture that tells the story visually. Here's your guide to creating better, more effective images for your social media marketing.

4. Strengthen your brand voice

Read your post as if you're reading it for the first time. Would your average follower be able to tell this is your content and not another brand's? Could they differentiate it from your competitor's social posts?

Your content should be able to stand on its own and truly communicate who your company is. Think about it this way: If a follower were to grab coffee with your brand, could they describe your brand in three words before meeting you?

If not, revisit the essentials of your brand voice and create a strategic, clear persona.

5. Spell-check — it's that important

Final check! Before hitting post, run your content through a spelling and grammar check.

If you're creating professional content, it's worth investing in professional editing software. Or, try a free option, like Grammarly. A specific editing program will catch errors and make suggestions that your average spell-check misses.