When it comes to marketing platforms, social media is about as fluid as it gets.
New trends surface and fizzle in a matter of days, and catching on too late can make your brand seem desperate and out-of-touch. But relying too much on trending topics and failing to adequately strategize your social media can make you appear rudderless and unreliable.
And even if you have a million followers and the most powerful analytics tools in the world, it won’t do a lick of good if you’re not posting the right content.
So what should your brand post on social media?
Seventy-four percent of marketers said more than 70% of their content contained visuals in 2019, according to data from Venngage — a 10.5% jump from 2018. In other words, if you’re not regularly publishing graphics as part of your social posts, it’s time to step it up — fast.
Luckily, thanks to tools like Venngage, Canva, and Snappa (not to mention powerful smartphone cameras and a whole host of free or inexpensive photo editing apps), it’s never been easier to create stunning, professional-quality imagery.
Take Mailchimp, for example. The brand consistently publishes beautiful, thematic images that look amazing on their Instagram grid view and individually. And Mailchimp’s visuals aren’t only interesting enough to stop your scroll — they also help convey meaningful messages.
A well-stated fact or impressive stat can tell a whole story — or at least whet your audience’s appetite enough that they’ll click through to your site for more information. And social media is the perfect channel for bite-sized data, especially when you share it through mini infographics.
Also, since Instagram allows you to post up to 10 images in one post, you’re not limited to just one tiny bit of info. Check out this Instagram post by Hootsuite, for example. Here, the brand uses five images to share survey data and a few simple tips — and you can consume the entire post in under 30 seconds (When you post on social media, your message should be as concise as possible).
You probably have a lot to say about your brand and all the many features and benefits your offering provides your customers. But this information is much more powerful when it comes from existing clients in their own words. Why? Because buyers are more likely to trust fellow buyers (and they know you’re a little biased).
This Twitter post by Xero is an excellent example of a persuasive and succinct testimonial. But it’s the quote’s authenticity that drives audiences to engage. By giving followers a tiny taste of the customer’s experience using the software, the brand’s post also helps drive traffic to the blog with a full client Q&A — which turns into a conversion opportunity.
Just remember testimonials are like cayenne pepper. A sprinkle here and there adds a little zest to your feed, but too much is overkill and will eventually drive people away. If your feed only conveys messages about your brand and offerings, you’re doing it wrong — and that leads me to the next content type you should consider.
Have you ever stumbled upon an exciting report, intriguing presentation, thought-provoking article, or excellent visual content you knew your audience would love? Share it!There’s a common misconception that sharing other brands’ content is counterproductive but, so long as it's relevant, it can help diversify your feed. Plus, leveraging curated content will help keep your feed rich and full without creating quite as much original content.
For example, at-home digital lab testing company Everlywell shared this advice from a well-known doctor on Facebook and even used the opportunity to (softly) recommend one of its products.
When you re-share content, just be sure you tag the original creator. Also, always ask permission before reposting other brands’ visual content.
For decades, most brands refrained from taking any stance that could be considered divisive — often to avoid any risk of becoming embroiled in a PR nightmare, or losing business from customers who disagreed.
But times have changed.
According to a report by Sprout Social, a whopping 66% of consumers say they want brands to take a public stance on social and political issues. And amid nationwide protests over police brutality this summer, we saw many brands do just that.
Take IBM’s Instagram post shortly after the death of George Floyd, for example. The tech giant also followed up its post by formally announcing its withdrawal from the controversial facial recognition market (which has long been fraught with concerns over racial profiling).
Remember, your audience will hold you to whatever you post on social media, so it’s essential you reflect any social or political statement in your company’s actions and culture. Otherwise, it may be perceived as an attempt to capitalize on a movement (which I think we can all agree is a pretty sleazy thing to do).
Posting on social media is both an art and a science — it requires equal parts creativity and analysis. When you publish new and different content types, it’s critical you measure your success to identify which types of posts resonate most with your audience. And, as with any other kind of content, quality and consistency are essential to your success.
It's important to also keep in mind that video content is key when posting on social media. According to Forbes, nearly 45% of individuals watch more than an hour of video content on Facebook or YouTube every week.
There’s no doubt social media platforms have become increasingly crowded, and it has never been more challenging for brands to stand out. But, by using these five types of content, you can capture your audience’s limited attention and grow your engagement.