Social media marketing can be a minefield, especially if you are trying to tap into your target audience across multiple different platforms. If you are like most brands, you are using social media to:
- Grow brand awareness
- Engage with your audience
- Build a loyal fanbase
Implementing the right content strategy is key to achieving these goals and growing your business. To begin with, you need to pick two or three social networks to focus on – networks which fit best with your target audience and customer journey. Wasting time and effort by putting your brand in front of the wrong people in the wrong place is not something any business can afford to do. In the same breath, nor is putting the wrong content in front of the right people in the right place.
Here’s a quick guide to posting the best content across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – three of the most popular platforms in 2019.
1 ) Facebook
Facebook ads are used by a whopping 93% of social media advertisers, and it’s not hard to see why. The network has 2.45 billion monthly active users to connect you with and numerous format options to ensure your ads fit with your content type, target audience and business goals.
Your messaging can use images, video, carousels, product collections, slideshows or “instant experience” with a focus on generating leads, increasing engagement, promoting offers, gaining likes and followers, driving website traffic or obtaining event responses. And a simple, user-friendly tool allows you to create a custom audience based on location, interests, behaviour, connections and demographics (age, gender, job title and more).
Perhaps one of the most attractive features of Facebook ads for marketers – besides the sheer number of people your brand can reach – is that you can choose from setting a daily budget or an overall campaign budget which only gets charged for the number of clicks or number of impressions your ads receive. Coupled with a strong insights tool, this allows you to easily test out different content formats, audiences and calls to action and see which works best for your business.
It’s important to remember that Facebook is still a social platform, not a billboard space, and to create ads which speak to your audience with valuable content and storytelling rather than at them with marketing jargon.
Video is the favourite content for Facebook, with video posts achieving nearly double the amount of engagement as the average image post.
Your videos can be about anything relevant to your business – an introduction to a new product, behind-the-scenes footage, how-to tutorials, blog post summaries, your brand vision. The most important practice when posting video content is making the first three seconds grab your audience’s attention and show them the value in staying tuned. Facebook users are being hit with an endless amount of content on their feeds, so captivating them right from the start is crucial to sustaining their interest.
As well as increasing online engagement with your business, posting videos on Facebook is a great way to increase your reach, raise brand awareness and attracting more fans of your business. Videos are highly shareable content, which can quickly spread and introduce your brand to the connections of your followers, people interested in your niche and other industry leaders. Remember to optimise brand visibility in your videos with a logo or business name.
Instagram is all about attracting people to your brand visually. While this has typically meant only using the highest quality photography and videography on the platform, the trend is starting to sway the other way. Instagram users have seen enough posed, staged, award-winning media from brands and they are starting to crave more genuine, real-life content.
User-generated content satisfies this demand for authenticity, and much more. It shows people your products in action, allows them to imagine themselves in the same scenario and converts your audience into customers. It builds trust in your business at the same time – rather than simply hearing from you that your brand is awesome, they are also hearing it from their peers who have experienced your brand. And finally, it demonstrates that you are a community-driven brand who values your customers and wants to give their content a shout out.
Before you post any content that is not yours, remember to ask permission first. They will almost always be delighted for the recognition and say yes. It’s also protocol to tag the user and give them credit in your caption.
For the same reasons as above, Instagram is a great space to give your followers behind-the-scenes content of your business. Users want to see the reality behind your branding, and will feel rewarded for being let inside.
Giving your Instagram audience exclusive footage also builds trust and loyalty. Post sneak peeks of an upcoming launch, preparations for an event, products in-the-making, stories of your staff members – even Friday afternoon antics in the office. Showing people the human side of your business demonstrates transparency and openness, and will help your brand to connect with people on a deeper level.
Be sure to use Instagram Stories for behind-the-scenes content as well as posting on your feed – its whole purpose, after all, is to broadcast snapshots of your day and give followers a real-time glimpse into what you do.
While Twitter is a social media network, it can also be called a news channel. Studies show that Twitter is used by most people to keep up with the news. The short lifespan, limited word count and real-time nature of tweets makes it an ideal space for users to stay updated with worldwide events as they are happening.
For your brand’s content strategy, Twitter should be where you help people interested in your niche stay up to date with what is happening in both your business and the world around it. Use the platform to be informative with event updates or Christmas opening times, educational with your opinion on breaking news articles related to your industry, and entertaining with competitions around new product launches.
Being an active voice on Twitter when it comes to relevant business news is an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise, be a thought leader and encourage people to follow your account to get the latest scoop.
Twitter is where people flock to when anything is happening that warrants discussion. While this can be global breaking news – which might not always be worth getting involved in – it can also be fun holidays #Halloween, lifestyle trends #MondayMotivation, foodie events #WorldCakeDay, celebrations of human rights #InternationalWomensDay and more.
Hashtags make it easy for users to browse through tweets relating to these hot topics and join in conversations. Creating a campaign around them or tweeting related content (and including the hashtag, of course) allows your brand to be relevant, engaging and reach new audiences organically.
The most effective practice when it comes to joining in these trends is to plan in advance the ones that you can – if you are a clothing business, for example, you should probably know when New York Fashion Week #nyfw is and what you want to say about it – but also prepare to have fun spontaneous reactions to trends that crop up out of nowhere. If you wake up one morning and everyone around the world is talking about #mysuperpower, jump on board and use it to introduce new people to your business.