Social media channels have unmatched potential to help your brand reach and engage your community in an incredibly cost-effective way.
Although individual channels rise and fall in popularity—in some cases because of new ownership—social media has remained one of the most effective ways to reach massive audiences, especially given that the average person spends an average 91 minutes on social daily, potentially spanning seven different social networks each month.
The issue with many brand social strategies, though, is that the focus is often on promoting a product or plugging your brand messaging. There are certainly ways to get those messages across on social, but it can’t be your entire strategy.
To help you break through the noise on social media, regardless of which channel(s) you choose, we’ve gathered the below tips for driving content marketing success on social media.
Thank you to our friends Shruti Deshpande, a B2B marketer with a passion for personified storytelling, and Caroline “Cazi” James, a principal at technology public relations agency Aircover Communications for lending their expert insights!
How To Start a Brand Social Media Strategy
When starting a brand social media strategy, it’s common for marketers to create an account on every channel in an attempt to reach as many people as possible. But it isn’t that simple—plus, that’s a guaranteed way to exhaust your team and resources.
Choose just one or two primary social media channels to invest in. These should be the channels that your brand communities are already active on and engaging with each other, or your competitors.
As you learn the ropes of social and test new content formats on your primary channels, you should also conduct social listening across channels to uncover additional insights and learn how you can best evolve your strategy.
8 Tips For Content Marketing Success on Social Media
Building an engaged community on social media is no easy feat. You’ll need to stay consistent with your posting cadence and adapt your approach based on how your community responds to your content.
To help you overcome the common challenges of managing a brand social media account, here are plenty of tips that we’ve learned through years of managing brand social accounts.
Follow the 80/20 Rule When Sharing Content
Your social media channels should not be a constant promotion of how great your brand is or why your technology or service is an ideal choice. Talking only about yourself will deter followers. Instead, follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of your social media posts should aim to provide value to your community—educate them, help them overcome their challenges, and share resources from third parties—with just 20% that directly promote your company.
“It brings huge value to your community when you listen to their pain points and provide solutions to alleviate them,” Shruti says. “This goes a long way in engaging and nurturing your audience.”
Curate Content From Reputable Third Parties and Thought Leaders
To reinforce the above tip: Providing genuine value to your communities requires you to share third-party content. Create lists of thought leaders, news outlets, and industry organizations that you can monitor and curate content from to meet the needs of your community that you’re not yet able to address.
Respond to the Social Media Outlet You’re On
“Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn—they are all different mediums essentially doing the same thing: creating a platform for people to reach and communicate with one another,” Cazi says. “However, there are nuances around each and varying purposes for why they exist.”
She recommends you tailor your channel content based on the following insights:
- “Facebook was created as a social community platform where it was commonplace to post baby and dog pics.” Use the channel to engage with your community on more personal matters, including team milestones and culture-related content.
- “LinkedIn postures itself as a ‘professional’ site, therefore the majority of posts relate to one’s working life and their industry. However, the pandemic has opened up a pathway for more personal content on LinkedIn.” LinkedIn is a great place for company news and celebrating award wins or achievements.
- “Twitter is very conversational—quick banter, views around what’s trending in the news, etc.” Use Twitter to engage in industry conversations and interact with your followers.
Shruti reinforces the importance of finding the right channel for your brand. She says, “small businesses often spread themselves too thin by wanting to be present on most social media channels, some of which do not even bring any engagement. Prioritize your channels, focus on your messaging, and nurture your audience.”
Create Visuals to Stop the Scroll
Social media feeds are packed with content, and you need a reason for your audience to stop and read your posts. Create high-quality images or graphics that visualize a concept relevant to the content you are sharing. Or, you can create videos that discuss a topic and preview some of the learnings from the content.
Share Unique Content Across Channels
Cazi warns that “while it is tempting for companies to save time and resources by just posting the same image and announcement across all mediums—and many do—this approach does not show much innovation, care, consideration or loyalty to their followers and will unlikely achieve the devoted following it could.”
Shruti adds that “each social media channel has its own purpose—so stop mass posting. Tailor your content to suit the audience on each channel. Less is more, and quality over quantity will get better long-term results.”
Be Proactive in Building Followers
Social media is meant to be a two-way conversation. Be conscious of how you approach key audiences and build relationships through your brand channels.
“Twitter is an excellent platform to find and engage with journalists. What’s a better method to remind a reporter about you or your company brand than following them on Twitter and regularly engaging in a thoughtful and proactive way in their social media posts?” Cazi says. “When that reporter next needs a source for a story in the field you’re in, you might just be one of the first people and company brands they think of.”
Cazi reinforces that LinkedIn can be valuable for sales teams, too. “Sales teams and recruiters use LinkedIn like their (old) Rolodex. Connect, connect, connect. Go to the people rather than wait for the people to come to you. The task is time-consuming, often tedious and mundane work, but once it’s done—a strong community is established and your list of followers is gold!“
When reaching out, though, be sure to provide value to your community members. “While it is important to reach out first rather than waiting, it is equally important to be sensitive enough to not DM every contact with ‘buy my stuff’ kind of messages,” Shruti says. “Be professional and share value-adding content before reaching out into any DMs.”
Switch it Up
Experiment with different post types to see what works best with your community. Cazi says that you could “one day post an infographic, another introduce new employees to the company with an image of them in their home offices wearing company swag—even the pet dog wearing a company branded cap—another a quick video with the CEO talking about the company’s latest philanthropic endeavor, [and another day] a few lines of commentary from a reputable industry spokesperson opining on a relevant topic. Variety is the spice of life, and if you can craft and deliver content in varying forms, it’s likely going to be more interesting to the eye and increase the likelihood of followers being more invested in your content.”
Learn from your competitors
“Often, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, and it could help to observe and learn from your competitors,” Shruti says. “There could be ready lessons to be learnt without making the same mistakes that others have made.” Just be sure to not copy your competitor’s social strategy—how they engage their community may not work with yours!
Audit Your Social Media to Identify New Opportunities
Running a successful social media strategy requires a deep understanding of your community and its needs. By effectively sharing a mix of content—owned and third party—that directly appeals to their needs, you can build and nurture meaningful relationships through social media.
It is often difficult to know how to improve your strategy without conducting a social media audit to understand what’s working and how you can better connect with your followers.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can improve your social media strategy—or if you’d like an expert resource to conduct a social audit to improve your strategy—reach out to us today.