Social media platforms provide for some huge opportunities to build traffic, find your customers and build brand awareness.
But you can only realize those opportunities if you take your social media content seriously.
You can invest time in building a following and spend money on getting your updates noticed, but unless you have great content, you won’t achieve much.
Social media followers are overwhelmed with content: Their feeds are full of links, messages and images. How do you stand out?
Surprise your social media audience by using different content assets and diversifying your social media content on a regular basis.
1. Upload native videos
Social media platforms love when you host videos with them, that is instead of uploading your video to YouTube and sharing the link in an update, upload that video directly to the social media platform.
There are certain limitations and requirements that vary from platform to platform, so keep these in mind:
|Facebook Feed||Instagram Feed|
|Ratio||16:9 to 9:16||1.91:1 to 4:5||1:2.39 – 2.39:1||1:2.4 or 2.4:1|
|Max length||240 minutes||1-120 seconds||2 minutes 20 seconds max||3 seconds – 10 minutes|
Videoleap allows you to put together videos that can be reused in multiple formats so that one and the same video can work on all platforms.
The app also allows you to mix multiple video clips together, add video effects, add captions and transitions, etc. It has a free version (which is what I am using) and it’s available for both Android and iOS.
If you are looking for a desktop solution, there are a few options allowing you to create watermark-free videos for free.
2. Upload your videos as Stories
Instagram Stories have become one of the most popular types of social media content.
It also helps that it is the only update on Instagram where you can add clickable links and thus generate real clicks from Instagram.
Stories have become so popular because they provide ephemeral content, i.e. content that will be removed after 24 hours. Stories can be anything from cool pictures to funny images, so experiment with different formats, for example:
- Post insider pictures and videos of you and/or your team working
- Re-publish great customer reviews and testimonials as stories (and if possible tag those customers who shared that review)
Related Reading: How To Get More Views On Your Instagram Stories.
3. Schedule entertaining updates for holidays and special days
Weekends and holidays are days when most brands tend to keep silent. This is your chance to get noticed. Plus, you don’t really need to be there posting anything: You can schedule these updates over a week day.
In fact, a control freak in me recommends scheduling these updates months ahead. It is a good idea to use a slower season (like summer for most businesses) to fill up your social media editorial calendar as far as one year ahead. This way you will make sure there’s something going live even when you are busy or spending time with your family.
Wave Video offers a free social calendar for you to use and even some content ideas for each day. With it, you can celebrate smaller and professional holidays and take advantage of seasonal hashtags like #nationalcatday and #startupsunday:
Most social platforms have started offering some sort of scheduling, yet it is better to use a scheduling platform in order to schedule simultaneously to multiple platforms.
Agorapulse is a great option as it also comes with more great features like social listening and social inbox keeping all your social media marketing under one roof:
The platform supports Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Twitter and lets you use native uploading for videos to get better results for your video content.
4. Quote (and tag) an influencer
Social media tagging is a great way to get the attention of a niche influencer, but only if you do it right and don’t overdo it.
An occasional quote featuring an influencer will almost always win a few powerful likes and even shares. Using visual quotes is preferable because you can upload that quote to Instagram. Just don’t forget to tag your influencer!
|You can tag…||Anyone who is a public figure (a page) or who is your friend||Anyone||Anyone||Anyone|
|You can tag using a third-party app…||No: You can only tag natively (i.e. when posting from Facebook itself)||Yes||No: You can only tag natively (i.e. when posting from Linkedin itself)||Yes|
|To tag, type…||@ and then start typing a name to select that person from the drop-down||@ and then immediately type their Instagram username (no space after @)||@ and then start typing a name to select that person from the drop-down||@ and then immediately type their Twitter username (no space after @)|
What makes tagging so powerful is that any of the above platforms will send some kind of a notification to the person you tag making that update almost impossible to miss. By default (i.e. unless that user hasn’t configured their settings):
- On Facebook, they will receive a Facebook notification
- On Instagram, they will receive an Instagram notification
- On Linkedin, they will receive a Linkedin notification and an email
- On Twitter, they will receive a Twitter notification
If you tag that person in a photo on Instagram, that picture will appear (and most likely remain) in the “Tagged” tab.
5. Take advantage of polls
Polling is a great way to engage your audience as well as get to know it better. Most social media platforms allow you to create native polls that don’t require your followers to login anywhere and let them participate right from their feed:
Polls are quite limited on Twitter but it makes perfect sense because Twitter has historically been about brevity and simplicity. You can ask a question and allow followers to choose from up to four options.
Facebook allows users to add native polls in groups. You can add as many questions as you want, allow people to choose multiple questions and even add their own options. With so many cool options, this could be a cool collaborative update for your followers to contribute to.
You can also schedule polls to go live on a set date in case you want time one to go live on a holiday or over the weekend.
On personal and business pages, you can host a Q&A which is a good idea to get your audience better acquainted with you and your brand:
On LinkedIn you can create a simple poll containing up to four options and set for how long you want the poll to remain active.
Niche question research and trend tracking can give you some interesting ideas on engaging polls to run. Text Optimizer offers a cool question research feature allowing you to find interesting questions to discuss with your audience:
Don’t forget the fundamentals
While the above tips will give you some ideas to play and experiment, don’t forget important social media sharing fundamentals:
- The good old 80/20 rule still applies – You want at least 80% of updates about something else and only 20% (or less) of content about you or your products. This is how you can build a really engaged audience which will like and trust you enough to click your links and even buy from you.
- Don’t overschedule, you need to be there – Above I mentioned scheduling updates as far as one year above but those scheduled updates will mostly be about holidays and weekends when you may not be around to publish anything. Nothing replaces manual shares and just being there: Because you need to engage with your audience, reply to comments, encourage more updates, tag people, etc.
- Get your whole team to brainstorm on new ideas – Don’t only rely on yourself or your social team for creating diverse content. Ask your whole team to come up with new formats and unique angles. The concept of unified communications will help you create a collaborative routine to make this happen.
- Native content always wins – As mentioned above, social media platforms love it when you create native content instead of linking to third-party content. So when you can afford the time, login there to create native polls, upload native videos, host Q&A, and even go live.
Using different types of content is a great idea on all of your marketing channels, including your own site, your social media channels and email marketing.
Diversifying your social media updates has more benefits apart from increasing your engagements and traffic. It allows you to uncover more promotional opportunities, brainstorm more content ideas for your site, collect more engagement data to use for ad targeting and better understand your target audience.
But above all, it helps you take pleasure in working on your social media profiles which is the most important part!