Are You Using the Wrong Content for Your Social Channels?

Being a great social marketer is sort of like being a great DJ. You need to have excellent taste and a catalogue of great content people will love, but you also need to understand your audience.

For instance, you wouldn’t spin classical music at the club on Saturday night, and you wouldn’t blast “Turn Down for What” at someone’s 50th wedding anniversary reception. This isn’t to say there aren’t club-goers with a deep, abiding love for Vivaldi, but it’s probably not what they’re looking to hear when they’re three drinks in and scanning the room for a dance partner.

By the same token, Instagram users scrolling through their friends’ vacation photos aren’t likely to respond well to an infographic full of career advice, and LinkedIn users probably won’t be satisfied if you only give them a series of beautiful photographs to look at. Each platform has its own unique set of users, and in order for your content strategy to be successful, you’ll need to create different sets of assets to cater to these distinctive audiences.

With that mind, here are some tips for creating the best social content for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.


Facebook

The world’s largest social network recently released its list of the best campaigns brands ran on the platform this past year, and nine of the top 12 all had one thing in common: video.

This isn’t a coincidence. Due to the rollout of auto play video, and a tweak to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, American users saw 94% more video on the platform in 2014 than they did the year before. Here’s an even better reason to make video a big part of your Facebook mix: a recent analysis reported in eMarketer found that promoted video posts on the social network got an engagement rate of 3.35 percent, while no other content format topped 1 percent.

However, if you want your campaign to have any kind of scale, you’ll probably have to pay for it. In April, the social analytics firm Locowise found that the average page post reached just 2.6 percent of the page’s Facebook fans.


LinkedIn

Posting on LinkedIn is all about providing your target audience with useful information to help them advance in their careers. This means you’ll want to be posting industry-specific news and research people can use to learn about their field, as well as valuable career advice they can share with their colleagues. You’ll also want to keep things relatively brief—you’re speaking to busy professionals, after all.

A nice thing about posting on LinkedIn is that you don’t need to always be sharing content you have created yourself. In fact, LinkedIn senior manager of global content marketing Jason A. Miller recommends posting five pieces of relevant content created by someone else for every piece of content that heavily features your brand.

“You’ll authentically engage in conversations, build awareness, and interact with LinkedIn members without giving the impression that you’re a self-centered know-it-all,” Miller writes in The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn. “It’s all part of moving to the new marketing mindset of ‘always be helping’ instead of the outdated ‘always be selling.'”


Instagram

The intimate nature of Instagram makes it a perfect place for your brand to connect with people on an emotional level. Whereas LinkedIn encourages you to share content from elsewhere, Instagram suggests that brands “post photos that users can’t see anywhere else – behind the scenes photos or sneak peeks of what’s to come.”

For instance, if your brand hosts or sponsors an event, you can use your Instagram account to share exclusive, candid photos that make your followers feel as if they were there in person.

While consumer brands can use the platform to showcase the different ways people are using their products, B2B marketers should instead focus on giving prospective customers a glimpse of their company’s distinctive internal culture.

“Show your human side, make your audience laugh, and they’ll love you for it,” Mention content and PR manager Brittany Berger writes at Business 2 Community.


Twitter

Since everyone’s Twitter feed is constantly updating in real time, it can be very easy for your brand’s content to get lost in the shuffle. In this sense, merely getting someone to look at what you’ve posted is half the battle.

One good way to make your content stand out from the crowd is to embed photos in it. According to a Twitter study, these kinds of posts were retweeted 35 percent more frequently than the average tweet.

Another attention-grabbing tactic is to be funny. Unlike a more professional environment like LinkedIn, most Twitter users employ a more fun, informal, and playful tone. As a result, an analysis by Crazy Egg co-founder Neil Patel found that humorous photos performed particularly well on the social network.


Of course, you’ll have to do a little bit of your own research to find the right mix of content for your social channels that will make your individual brand a hit on each platform.

Indeed, just as any good DJ always keeps an eye on the dance floor to see which selections are getting people moving, you’ll need to monitor your social analytics to learn which content is resonating best with your audience. Once you’ve tested your results and discovered your secret sauce, you’ll be life of the social media party—wherever it’s taking place.

About the Author

Aaron Taube

Aaron Taube is a freelance writer and reporter based in New York City. Prior to striking out on his own, he worked as a staff writer at Business Insider, where he covered the digital advertising industry and workplace issues; he was also a researcher/reporter hybrid at Law360, a news service for corporate attorneys.

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