Everybody knows the power of social media, especially in business. It plays an integral role in growing brand awareness and increasing web traffic, and it’s a canvas for marketing teams to promote their products and services in creative ways.
But having a presence on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram isn’t just about what it can do for your company. In many ways, it’s also about what these platforms can do for your customers. Social media lets you communicate with your target market to develop relationships and turn them into loyal customers.
Think about this: Facebook alone has 2.45 billion active monthly users. That means, on one single social media platform alone you already have access to billions of potential new customers.
The Digital 2020 July Global Statshot report by Hootsuite and We Are Social reveals more than half of the world’s total population uses social media, using multiple platforms.
In Australia alone, there are more than 22 million internet users which is nearly 90% of the population.
But what are they doing online?
Well, a quarter (24%) of them use social media to follow brands. These are individuals who participate in customer activities such as giveaways and exclusive discounts. They enjoy discovering new businesses and checking out what they offer.
So, they’re shaping the market you should be targeting, and the best way to engage them is with compelling social media content.
In short, you must captivate your market with your story – a powerful, memorable, and relatable message that’s shareable.
With a simple share, you multiply the exposure of a post. And people love sharing as much as they do liking, reacting, even retweeting. If it resonates with them, they’ll respond.
It’s because as social beings, we love being part of a community. We like exchanging ideas with our friends and discovering new things or experiences with them
On social media, we have the opportunity to interact with our networks even if we aren’t together. All the images, videos, blogs we share are conversation starters. As we upload them to our profiles or feeds, we elicit reactions from one another, and in doing so, we maintain our relationships.
That’s the power of a single piece of content. Imagine then how many people you could reach in the digital space by posting consistently over the course of one year?
In this article, we’ll show you how to create engaging social media content for your brand, so you can consistently communicate with your market.
How to create engaging social media content
There are many social media platforms available, but you don’t necessarily need a presence on each one. Many small businesses don’t have the resources to generate content for multiple platforms and neither do they have the team to manage them.
When you work on social media content creation, you have to make sure your customers see the value in what you offer. To successfully achieve this, you need to have a strategy in place.
As a start, build a customer avatar that describes your ideal client. Their lifestyle, interests, the environment they live and work in. Take time to understand their social media behaviour:
- Which apps or websites do they use the most?
- When do they use them, is it during their breaks at work, on their morning commute, or before they sleep at night?
- What kind of posts do they like, share, and comment on the most?
By having this information, you’ll know what kind of content you need to create and where you should be publishing it.
And each type of post should have a definite goal:
- Are you making something to generate more leads?
- Are you creating an announcement to highlight a new service?
Answering these questions will mean you avoid investing too much time and effort into something that doesn’t benefit your company.
Finally, it pays to learn from watching what your competitors are doing. While it’s great to know the secret to the success of their campaigns, it doesn’t mean you should follow in their footsteps. Take note of what they’re doing right and what they may be missing that’s leaving their customers with unanswered questions.
Repurpose other forms of content for social platforms
Let’s say you’ve published a new blog on your website that you want to share on social. You take a short snippet of it for Facebook and provide a link to the full article. On Instagram, links on posts cannot be opened. So, how do you share it on that platform to make sure people get enough interest to visit your website?
You repurpose it, so it suits the way people use Instagram.
With the example above, one way to optimise the blog article for Instagram is to create a short video that discusses its main points.
You can create it with animations coupled with a voiceover. Or it could be of you, the business owner, discussing it to viewers. At the end of it, direct them to the original source of content with a strong call to action.
When you repurpose content, your followers won’t be seeing the same thing from you on every app they open. It’s an effective way to keep them interested, and it addresses the specific ways people communicate on different platforms.
Make everything you put on social media a two-way conversation. Involve your followers by asking questions or leaving comments. Let them answer you and welcome their insights. On Twitter, for example, users can quote retweets, adding their own thoughts to a certain idea from someone else.
A hard sell approach will only shun them away. You’re more convincing by taking an informed approach, where you educate and exchange ideas with other individuals.
Use video to promote your message
Videos play a large role in customer experience, and it’s proven to positively impact buyer decisions. That’s why more brands are developing video content to communicate large amounts of information in entertaining ways that doesn’t bore their audience.
It doesn’t even take high-end equipment and a large production team behind you to put out an effective video. When you have your strategy in place, you can produce cost-effective videos that convey your message clearly.
On social media, there’s a variety of video types that you can use for your brand. It may be difficult to determine what you should start with, but we’ve listed five valuable options to consider:
Stories (Facebook and Instagram)
Stories were pioneered by Snapchat, but its novelty has since been enhanced by Facebook and Instagram. When Facebook My Day and Instagram Stories were launched, it quickly became a core part of how companies develop their content.
Half of Instagram’s monthly users are using Stories. That’s 500 million people posting one billion Stories every day. Its reach is incredible, and so are its results. About 62% of Instagram users say they become more interested in a brand after seeing it while viewing Stories.
It’s a trendy type of video, because whatever users post can only be viewed within 24 hours. After which, it disappears.
It’s a great feature that users add to throughout the day, and it’s all kept in one place. The possibilities are endless in terms of what you can post. The fact that it doesn’t disrupt the feed – which is typically more carefully curated – is exactly what makes it so fun to use. You can add text, GIFs, stickers, polls, even Q&As. It can be as playful as you want it to be, and though rough around the edges, people love it for its authenticity.
The IGTV platform on Instagram is specifically designed for sharing and watching long-form videos. It uses the same portrait format of Stories, but allows videos up to 60 minutes long.
Popular for product demos, customer reviews, or launches, IGTV is a great help for brands to do more extensive content. The best part is that IGTV has its own feed on your profile so users can come back to it whenever they’d like.
Youtube remains the largest video database online. But because there’s so much you can find on Youtube, many businesses often don’t know how to maximise it.
Since it doesn’t limit the length of videos you can post, Youtube is great for instructional content and product reviews. This targets customers who are researching specific products or services and would like to find testimonials and other information that can help them make a decision.
Live video (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram)
Live streaming represents a chance to create your own show that will grow and spread interest for your brand. There’s a wide range of things you can do with a live video. You can have a Q&A, interview a special guest, have a product demo, or an influencer takeover.
What makes live video so effective is its sustainability. When you have a concept that takes off, you can build on it, letting your followers know to keep an eye out for the next time you go live. It’s a great way to keep engaged with your market while having a conversation with them.
Content gives you a presence on social media, but consistency maintains it.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn have algorithms that look for and favour regular posting. This means they prefer accounts that have frequent updates. And they reward that by showing them more in people’s news feeds or timelines.
Part of how to succeed with social media content is choosing a posting schedule and sticking to it, giving those who follow you something to look forward to.
When posting on multiple networks, you can use a social media management tool to help you schedule and line up posts. It’s nearly impossible to go live on different platforms all at the same time. Instead, these tools allow you to do other tasks, because you can trust that your posts will publish on schedule. Some free social media management tools are Hootsuite, Buffer, SproutSocial, and ZohoSocial.
Let’s say you know you want to put out content three times a week. You then need to come up with a variety of posts to make sure your market has something new to see each day.
Sometimes, you don’t need to think too hard about it: look at what you already have and maximise it.
For example, you can use your Mondays to share a series of images that summarise top-performing articles on your blog. These graphics can be repurposed for e-mails to your subscribers, giving them something new and insightful to read as they start off the work week.
How about a midweek motivational quote published on Wednesdays to give your followers that extra nudge to keep going? Or on Thursdays, jump on the #throwbackthursday bandwagon and showcase how you helped a client achieve a great result.
Variety is great, because when reviewing analytics, you can see which post types are more effective in achieving your goals. When you rely on doing the same thing over and over, you limit your audience to what they can see and how much they can learn about your brand.
Interact with your audience
Once you’ve developed a system for regularly rolling out content on social, you can now focus on managing your community.
Community management is often interchanged with social media management, but they go hand-in-hand especially as your follower count increases. It’s about interacting with your audience and seizing opportunities to further your relationship with them.
You do this by humanising your brand, or being authentic and genuine online. They may not see who it is managing the page, but they should see a personality in the brand. Give your audience opportunities to engage with you on your posts, and when they do, don’t leave them hanging. Instead, comment back or respond as you deem fit and don’t forget to thank them.
Tagging plays a big role in expanding your post reach. When you tag people who are relevant to your post (i.e. someone whom you’re quoting or whose ideas you’re using) you tap into their network as well. On Facebook, a tag makes your post appear on that person or brand’s profile, which lets their followers or friends see you. It’s a simple step when publishing something new on a social media platform, but it has a big effect in finding new customers.
A great example of brand community management is JetBlue Airways. Check out how they address their clients, and made sure that they let their customers know they’re heard.
Social media is a part of our daily lives, and the things we see each day have the power to influence our decisions. Businesses can use this market behaviour to increase their reach and generate new leads. The key to succeeding is to create meaningful content that resonates with your customers.
Everything begins with knowing their behaviours online and presenting them with the right mix of posts that interest them. Then, you should establish consistency while learning to manage the community you’re building.
When you successfully integrate these into your strategy, you’ll have what it takes to build a memorable brand.