Upon its inception nearly 20 years ago, social media was simply a way to connect with friends and family in the digital world. Today, it has become a way of life. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have transformed the way we connect with others, source information, consume news, and engage with brands. This is why effective social media content has become a vital component to the digital marketing strategy of nearly all businesses.
What Makes Social Media Marketing Special?
The ease of interaction on social media sets it apart from traditional marketing platforms. We can comment on a Facebook post, directly message brands on Instagram, even create TikTok duets with business accounts. Needless to say, interactive social media posts tend to be the most popular among users.
Furthermore, with just a few mouse clicks, users can share social media posts with their digital network. This means that on top of the high level of access and interactivity, the reach of social ad campaigns can be pretty darn impressive. And finally, social media provides the opportunity for marketers to easily target specific audiences for their ads. This can make these ads much more cost-efficient than traditional advertising avenues.
Social Media Platforms
Honestly, there are more social media platforms out there than can be counted, but there are a handful which seem to be the most mainstream.
Facebook features user-generated content in the form of photos, videos, and personal information. Anyone over 12 can sign up for a free Facebook account and use the platform’s features to share with family and friends.
YouTube is an online video sharing platform. YouTube users create and post content in the form of video, only. YouTube features “likes” and has a basic comments section for each video, but most of the users’ attention is intended to be focused on the video itself.
WhatsApp is a little different than other social media platforms, but it is among the most popular. This cross-platform instant messenger service allows users to send text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images and other documents.
Instagram is a social networking site for sharing both photos and video. This app allows users to upload content that can be edited with pre-programmed filters and organized by hashtags as well as geo-tagging.
TikTok began as a video platform for creating short lip sync and comedy videos. Since then, the genre of content shared on TikTok has expanded, but the type of content has not – it’s still used to create and share short-form, usually lighthearted, video content.
Reddit is a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion platform organized into communities (called subreddits) that cover any variety of topics. User-generated content is either voted up or down by members of the community. The more “upvotes” a post receives, the higher that post will appear on the designated page.
Pinterest is an image sharing platform that allows users to save and search for information using online images. Saved images are organized into virtual pinboards, and users can follow others’ boards for ideas and inspiration.
Twitter is a microblogging site. Users posts and interact with messages called “tweets,” which are limited in length to 280 characters. Posts can be liked or retweeted by other users on the platform.
LinkedIn is an employment oriented social platform intended for professional networking and career development. Users create profiles and connect to each other similar to the ways in which they would connect on Facebook. LinkedIn also allows employers to post job openings and users to search and apply for jobs directly through the platform.
Types of Social Media Content
There are several content types for social media sharing, and several ways to leverage each platform within a content-first strategy. Here are the four most common ways to market to customers (both current and future) on social media:
Video is probably the most valuable content on social media because it captures audience attention easily. Plus, you can be concise enough in video to retain that attention. It makes sense then, that video is the most popular way to engage with users, today. There are dozens of methods for integrating video into a social media marketing strategy. (Don’t worry. We’ll give some suggestions in the next section.)
Best platforms for video: TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram
A picture is worth a thousand words, and strong visual content is a must for nearly all social media platforms. Afterall, what is easier to view than an image? While other types of content have grown in popularity recently, images remain one of the most valuable types of social content, today.
Best platforms for images: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook.
Obviously visual content reigns supreme, but never underestimate the power of words. While images and videos grab attention, text-based posts allow businesses to provide detailed information to users. Once you learn which information is most sought by your users and begin providing it, your social media content strategy will be stronger than ever.
Best platforms for text-based content: Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook
Stories include short-form clips that automatically run in sequence and are usually only visible for 24 hours. Since stories can come in the form of video, image, or text, you may be wondering why they get their own category here. It’s because they are unique, incredibly valuable, and slightly underrated given how much users love to engage with them.
In addition to the availability of novel backgrounds, music, effects, and animations, social media stories are often more informal than typical social media marketing content. Users tend to enjoy stories so much because they feel like they are hanging out with a good friend rather than the target of a marketing campaign.
Best platforms for stories: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
Social Media Content Creation Categories
Once you understand how to create content for social media, it’s time to have some fun! Here are the most popular types of social media posts used for marketing purposes. Consider integrating a few (or all!) of these content categories for social media into your strategy:
- Behind the scenes posts
- Testimonials or reviews
- Holiday recognition
- Series of any kind
- How Tos
- Milestone posts
- Trending topics or post types
Hungry for Help with Your Social Media Content?
The backbone of any strong social content strategy is always a well-built, user-friendly website that customers will return to again and again. The combination of Hungry Media’s unique approach to website creation and our team of highly skilled designers and developers is what allows us to produce top-notch websites that provide everything businesses need to be successful in the digital world.
Our content strategists are also available after initial setup to help build your brand through content creation. Whether you want to understand how to create compelling social media content, craft long-form blogs, design infographics or anything in between – we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to learn how we can help you take your business to the next level. We can’t wait to meet you!
contributed by Melissa Lucas, senior staff writer