It’s no question social media is an essential part of your brand’s marketing success. As of 2018, 3.03 billion people use some type of social media channel – that’s almost half of the world’s population! As social media’s popularity continues to increase each year, it’s projected that a new user joins a social platform every 15 seconds. In an effort to tap into this wide audience of potential customers, it’s no surprise social marketing efforts continue to increase. In 2016, an estimated $40 billion was spent on social media advertising.
How Do You Create Engaging Content?
With so many competing voices online, it’s easy to participate in a digital shouting match with the assumption that the louder you are the more visible you’ll be. But the problem with in-your-face social marketing strategies is that consumers can easily see through a disingenuous advertisement or post and as a result be turned off completely by your brand’s message. Your company shouldn’t exist to add to the noise. It should exist to solve the problems of your customers.
The 80/20 content rule is a valuable guide when planning social posts. Only 20% of your posts should be focused on promoting your brand in the form of persuasive call-to-actions. The other 80% should be shareable content that is focused on engaging in conversations, building trust, and creating relationships with your audience. Social media is the heart of your business. If you can show consumers the why behind your business, the relationship can extend to far more meaningful interactions that benefit both brand and consumer. If your goal is to improve lives with your product, demonstrate that with the content you create.
Produce Original Content
In the form of video, blogs, photo, GIFs, etc., show your brand’s story in the content you distribute. Keep things original and true to your brand’s voice. An established brand style guide is crucial in maintaining a consistent tone with your message across all platforms. Be personal when publishing your own content—include pictures of employees and company culture to give viewers a look at the backend of your brand.
Ebooks and blogs are valuable sources to add to your social media strategy. Repurpose your popular content into video or infographics and distribute them across the appropriate social channels. Keep in mind that each platform functions differently and therefore the content should be tailored to the channel you post on:
- Facebook: Video, video, video. Facebook has made a big push in its algorithm to promote user-generated video. Curated content also does well on this platform so spend time sifting through a variety of sources and sharing valuable industry-related information. Keep your content consistent and on-brand and steer clear from click-baity captions. You’re safe to post one to two times each day on Facebook.
- Twitter: News, GIFs, and blog posts in the form of short quips and small bites of information are best for this platform. While other social platforms consider too many posts each day a little spammy and excessive, Twitter’s algorithm encourages a scheduling consistency of multiple tweets a day. In other words, don’t be afraid of overposting. Some social reports say you should post three to five tweets per day on Twitter.
- Instagram: Quotes, testimonials, high-quality images, video stories, day-to-day moments all work really well for Instagram. You can categorize your content with the addition of Instagram Highlights. For example, a behind-the-scenes highlight gives your audience a peek into the culture behind the company while product highlights make browsing easier for customers. Get creative!
- LinkedIn: Company news, blog posts, and industry related content should be shared on this platform. If your business is focused on B2B connections, utilize LinkedIn as much as you can. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is a networking site, so use its tools to your advantage as you form the right content.
- Pinterest: Infographics and photo guides are great for Pinterest! If your brand is image-centric, this is a great platform to utilize. Create categories for your pins for navigation purposes and to achieve a clean look. Optimize your board and pin descriptions with summaries that encourage user engagement.
Establish clear goals for each post and consider its shareability as you develop your social content calendar. Why would people share on their personal pages? What action do you want your audience to perform? Content created without defined goals in mind only adds to the noise. Remember, quality over quantity.
Understanding your audience and the type of content they want requires trial and error, but also in-depth research. Surveys, questionnaires, and even word of mouth conversations can help you decipher what type of content will resonate best with your audience. Cater your strategy to match their needs. Meet them where they are and then direct the conversation, otherwise, you won’t reach your desired audience.
Brand Advocates & Influencers
With the assistance of case studies and testimonials, you can encourage customers to advocate for you. Brand advocacy plays an important role in your overall social media strategy. Before buying a product or trying a service, consumers like to conduct research by reading reviews from real people with real experience. In our digital age, the power of old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing is still crucial to a brand’s appeal.
Be purposeful in your brand advocacy approach. Buying posts from an Instagramer with thousands of followers won’t achieve the success you are looking for. Keep in mind that a massive audience reach isn’t necessarily what your brand needs. Find advocates who believe in your brand because they have a connection with you. Any type of content they distribute will come from a much more genuine angle your audience will pick up on.
Find advocates that are experts in their sphere of influence and whose opinions are trusted and valued. The amount of followers alone has little effect on the validity of an influencer. Find advocates who can effectively communicate their message and have shareable interests along with a wide reach.
Keep in mind that your employees are your very best advocates! Establish an employee advocacy program with goals and benefits to encourage social engagement. Most consumers view a company’s employees as credible sources of information. Help them understand their role as a champion of the brand by making time to train your employees regarding best practices.
Whether you’re a brand new business or well-established with years of experience, you should always be looking for ways to revamp your social media strategy. Social platforms are constantly changing and so are user habits. Spend extra time staying up to date on algorithm changes and new trends. If you see the importance of a strong social media strategy for your brand, but don’t have the time to monitor it yourself, consider outsourcing to Big Leap! We’ll work with you to develop a strategy that fits your brand’s voice and your marketing needs.