What Content Should I Create for Social Media?
Read our guide to content marketing for social media, including tips on which type of content you can post to individual platforms, and why.
Social media and content marketing should go hand in hand. Your social media channels are an ideal way of sharing your content with potentially large audiences, getting a better level of interaction, and fostering customer loyalty- and most of the time, you can do this for free.
Most businesses have cottoned on to the importance of social. However, understanding its importance and effectively leveraging each platform in the appropriate way are two very different things. Sometimes, the idea of posting new and fresh content on a regular basis can be daunting, and it’s not uncommon to see brands using social media management tools and apps that replicate one post across multiple channels, in an effort to save time and maximise resources. This is missing a trick, as it is far better to craft unique content designed for each platform. But what should you post, and to where?
What social content do I post, and where?
The type of social media content you post to each platform depends on a few things, like target audience, your content marketing strategy objectives and your brand guidelines, too. Before all of that, it also helps to have a good understanding of each social media site’s strengths and weaknesses before you start loading your timelines with posts.
Twitter, for example, is a great place for holding conversations with like-minded people, businesses and clients, due to its simple layout and emphasis on short, digestible tweets. Facebook on the other hand is more about creating a community, and your business can not only create a page for itself but also groups, which encourage brand loyalty and customer interaction. Instagram is a fantastic place to showcase any product lines you have and for artists and creatives in particular, is a great way of building a following, particularly with the ‘story’ feature that allows for fun, easy sharing of other people’s content if you so choose. Linkedin is obviously a far more square proposition, with business articles and success stories commonly shared in a much more serious, professional manner.
It’s important to remember that each channel has a lot of fun native features you can use to engage with people too, specific to that platform. This should also influence your social media content plans.
Below is our quick list of ideas for the types of content you can create, and where to share them:
Livestreams and Q&As
Streaming live from a location or event is a brilliant way of creating immediacy and hype around any occasion you are hosting, attending or sponsoring. Showing people who can’t attend what they are missing out on helps create a sense of urgency around your events, which should mean that any future things you have planned have a better attendance rate. Best of all, you can do it simply and easily with a smartphone, for free, so there is no excuse for not having fun with the feature, a version of which exists on most platforms.
But livestreaming isn’t just for when you are out and about. A business expert, consultant or specialist can ‘go live’ at any time, even when they are in the office. This can make a real impact on your existing or potential customers by hosting live events like Q&A sessions (question and answer sessions), troubleshooting livestreams, interviews, sneak peaks at something in development or your creative process, and much more. The beauty of a live stream is that, particularly on Facebook, comments and reactions that people make on your stream come in real-time, which means you can also respond to them in real-time. This is the next best thing to having a face-to-face with your audience, and creates a sense of intimacy and connection with them that they will appreciate.
Video – the time is now
Closely related to live streaming is video content, pre-recorded or otherwise. Explainer videos or ‘stings’ that you post to your website or youtube channel can also be shared across other social media platforms, which these days, are far more accommodating of video files and uploads. The benefit of doing this is that you can add hashtags to the video content, which makes them more likely to be viewed by the right sorts of audiences when they browse video content. Additionally, content is far more shareable on social, so the chances of it gathering momentum and reaching more eyes is much higher than if you simply embed a video on the homepage of your website. Motion graphics are the sort of thing that preview very well on Twitter, and ‘live’ marketing- different to going live, as we discussed above- where you create video with live human beings and voice actors, shot on location,
Surveys and polls – ask people what they think
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are really good for instant, snapshot polls that can give you a feel for what your customers think about a certain topic or subject matter on a fairly instant basis. Instagram has a lovely story feature which allows you to create a story card within seconds, and embed a ‘Yes/No’ quick answer poll into it. It lasts for 24 hours, and you can decorate it with colour, stickers and gifs if you’re that way inclined, or just keep it simple. Twitter’s poll feature can run for one day or several, and you can promote it for a larger sample size. Facebook’s poll feature allows you to add gifs to each poll option, which can be a fun way of livening up a dry subject matter and visually prompting a response. You can also see who exactly out of your followers responds in each direction, which might make a difference to how you respond to any disgruntled customers you have who perhaps answer negatively.
User-generated content – get your customers involved
Put simply, this is content that your customers create that you can then share on your own platforms. If your clients like what you do, they often post about it to their own social media accounts, and for a brand looking to build credibility, this is gold. For example, women’s clothing manufacturer Silk Fred regularly post images their customers have shared of them wearing their outfits and dresses- see the embedded post below:
Another bunch of lovely customer photos, can you spot yourself in the mix?
This is a brilliant idea, for several reasons. It shows their clothes being worn and enjoyed outside of the realm of a catalogue or professional photo-shoot, and this in itself makes the brand seem attainable and realistic. The woman wearing the dresses are diverse, and this makes the brand inclusive and appealing to multiple demographics. Lastly, it’s fun. The content shows people enjoying Silk Fred’s product line and there is an overwhelmingly positive feel about these kinds of posts that enamors new and existing customers to the brand alike.
Blog posts and in-depth articles
Written an in-depth, illustrated, useful user guide to something? An insightful article examining a particular topic? An analysis of a trend, or the results of survey data? Great, and now you’ve posted it, don’t forget to SHARE IT. If your article features wisdom from another company or individual, find their social media handle and TAG THEM IN IT, so they can re-share. If you think a certain group or hashtag following would be interested, stick that hashtag in the share box- but don’t overdo it. Remember, it’s not just about hitting the ‘share’ button. To get people to engage with your post on social, there should be a preview box available, ideally with a succinct description pulled from your site on what the article is about, and the featured image clearly displayed too. Users are far more likely to click on a post that effectively previews material than one which simply posts a link with no context. Remember to keep commenting turned on under the post if you want to provoke a conversation around the content you’ve written, and monitor it closely so you can be a part of that conversation.
Still out of ideas? Coschedule have a great list of things you can create here, if you need more inspiration. Or, you could chat to a social media content expert like us! We’re always happy to talk, and have a range of social media solutions available for your business – just give us a call on (0)117 230 778.