Optimize Your Social Media Content
Content sharing strategies to optimize your online presence
There’s no doubt that social media is connecting us like never before. Something we like to stress to our clients is that social media is more than just a platform for socialization. The world of social media has opened up an entirely new realm of business possibilities for companies in all industries.
However, when it comes to developing a business-focused social media strategy, professionalism and relevance need to be the guiding principles. Not all content is shareable and not all content is suitable for all social media platforms.
Some businesses adopt the idea that all of their social media platforms should have an automatically unified message base – but that’s not the case. It makes sense to post entirely different things to different social channels. In fact, it’s a great way to get to know your audience on boost engagement on each platform.
Content Decisions: Deciding What to Post & Where to Post It
So, the question becomes how should businesses determine what content should be posted where? You must remember that each social media platform has a unique audience. Furthermore, each of your social media audiences has different expectations for what they want to see. Followers expect certain content on Facebook and certain other content on Instagram, LinkedIn and so on. These preconceived expectations have a direct impact on how a company’s social media posts will perform.
We’re going to break down the specifics for each platform, but to get started here’s a basic overview of what kind of content you should be posting to the leading social channels:
Videos and company-curated content
High-resolution photos, quotes, and engaging Stories
News, blog posts, and creative GIFs
Job postings, company news, and professional content
Infographics and step-by-step photo guides
Blog posts designed with SEO in mind
Now that you have a general idea, let’s get into the more specific types of content you can share on each platform. When it comes to a content sharing strategy, social media can be the perfect way to connect with your clients and prospects – so long as you take advantage of each platform efficiently.
For businesses, the goal of Facebook content sharing should be two-fold: it should build a company’s brand and should create space for engaging with target audiences. On the Facebook platform, the two best ways to pursue these goals is through sharing pre-recorded videos, going Live and sharing blogs and other company-curated content.
· Videos & Live Videos
Pre-recorded and Live videos are gaining a reputation as the best kind of content to promote engagement and transmit brand messages. Generally, video posts generate the highest reach compared to other types of content posts. When it comes down to it, social media audiences want audio-visuals. Video, especially when it’s very Live or recent, is a very engaging way to promote audience interaction.
In fact, Buzzsumo recently analyzed roughly 68 million Facebook profiles, and they found similar results. Of all the types of content that were shared, videos had a higher average engagement rate than that for basic images or external links. Videos just have a way of making users want to click play. Live videos especially catch the eye of audience members who can tune in and feel as though they’re right at the center of the action during company events or promotions.
However, it’s also great to create pre-recorded videos on topics that your audience will be interested in learning about. When it comes to creating company videos, the best kinds are educational and easy to absorb. Check out a couple of examples below:
- How-To Guides
If there are tasks that clients are always asking you for help with or inquiries that you’d like to answer for your audience, it’s a great idea to make brief, easy-to-follow, how-to videos. These are very popular on social media for everything from recipes to construction projects. Offering video snippets that help your audience get things done easier will provide huge engagement potential and also positions your company as a trusted expert.
- Blog Post Summaries
Another great idea to is to take some of the content you’ve been pumping into blogs and making brief and engaging video versions to help transmit the content and messaging to users who may not read the blog.
Blogs are a great way to offer more detailed industry or company information, but the reality is, videos have a tendency to catch the eye of audience members more effectively. So, transforming your critical blog content into more digestible video clips will help ensure your company messaging never falls on deaf ears.
IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure to upload your videos to Facebook directly. Videos uploaded directly offer better engagement potential than shared links to YouTube or other video hosting platforms.
Blog Posts and Curated Content
The next best kind of content for Facebook is company blog posts and curated content. Blog posts offer a way to provide ‘digital workshops’ to your audience. Hone in on industry trends and topics that are making waves. The more time you spend getting to know what your audience is interested in, the better your blog posts will do.
Along with in-house blog content, you can also use Facebook as a platform to share other relevant, curated content from trusted third-party pages and websites. However, be sure to triple check that what you share is professional, relevant, sourced, and secure. The last thing any professional company wants is to share illegitimate, offensive or irrelevant info from a questionable source. As a rule of thumb, always give curated content posts a second glance before sending it out into your digital universe.
IMPORTANT TIP: Facebook has a built-in feature to help companies find, curate, and share high-quality, reliable content. Check out a tutorial on how to use the Pages to Watch feature here.
The ultimate goal is to provide a stream of relevant content that your audience cares about and wants to read. When it comes down to it, blog content that is both educational and entertaining is the content that does best on Facebook. Get creative and get intuitive – if you see audience members discussing a topic on your social media platform, create and share content about it. It’s all about letting your audience control the conversation.
As noted, Instagram content is all about image-sharing, words of wisdom and steady streams of engaging Stories. As one of the leading platforms for social media influencers, Instagram offers immense potential when it comes to engagement power. When it comes down to it, it’s all about developing a consistent theme with all the content you post.
- High-Res Photos
Instagram has gained a reputation as the spot where users post only their best, most visually-appealing photos and videos. Instagram is the platform where individuals AND companies express themselves most creatively to the world. As such, Instagram can be an exceptionally powerful tool for presenting, honing and maintaining your brand personality.
Here are a few types of high-quality photos you should post to Instagram:
- Product Photos
If your company sells physical products, be sure to post creative, high-quality photos of your product in a variety of relatable settings. Create well-thought-out, professional images that will help your Instagram audience relate to your brand and your products. Creatively show your audience how your products and services will change their life for the better. For inspiration, check out some of the best brands on Instagram here.
Another great type of content to post on Instagram is behind-the-scenes sneak peeks. This could include profiles and photos of company team members or photos from company events, daily company tasks or the creation of a product. Allowing your audience to take an inside look helps you personalize your brand and consumers are made to feel like part of your team.
- User-Generated Content
Another leading content strategy for sharing on Instagram is all about using a user-generated content (UGC) model. User-generated content can be anything from sharing consumer photos & product and company reviews to hosting photo or video contests among your audience.
A user-generated content strategy is all about taking the best consumer experience content and using it on your own social media profile to present an authentic consumer perspective. Companies have seen massive success by implementing UGC strategies, check out some of the most successful campaigns here.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When selecting user-generated content to share, be sure to only choose the most professional and visually appealing images that will adequately represent your brand. Additionally, be sure to ask for proper permission from users before sharing their content to your company’s profile.
Another great form of content to share on Instagram is motivational and inspirational quotes. This is one of the most popular types of Instagram content. In fact, there are almost 50 million (and counting!) posts with tagged with #quotes on Instagram. Quotes provide a great way to connect and resonate with your audience.
There are countless places online to acquire stock quote images but if you want to get really creative you can create your own graphics using a variety of free online tools. This allows you to match quotes with images and create relevant, motivational and inspiring posts to share with your audience.
IMPORTANT TIP: Seek out quotes that best support your brand mission and use your own images where possible. Also, in order to make the most out of quote content, be sure not to go overboard.
Stories is the space on Instagram where your company can be a little more flexible and spontaneous. Stories appear at the top of user Instagram feeds and disappear automatically in 24-hours. It offers a way for your Instagram account to come alive so you can continually check in with your audience. Stories allows users to share videos, images, and links that can be creatively customized and presented.
There are countless ways to optimize Instagram Stories for marketing – here are a few of the leading examples:
- Storytelling – share a funny or inspiring story in a series of videos.
- Share how-to tutorials – again, it’s all about giving users the inside look.
- Promote a blog post – provide quick access to your latest company content.
- Share a list – create relevant lists that can be creatively shared in sequence.
- Announce limited time offers and promotions – who doesn’t love a deal?!
- Offer giveaways and discount coupons – seriously, everyone loves a deal.
- Share research and statistics – post relevant data to engage your audience.
- Share quotes and inspiration – just like on your profile, always seek to inspire!
- Introduce an Instagram takeover guest – recruit big names to host your profile.
- Share announcements, news, and updates – keep your audience in the know.
IMPORTANT TIP: While sharing your Instagram stories, be sure to keep them strategically in line with your overall Instagram marketing strategy. A great way to develop a consistent and creative approach to Instagram stories is to rely on templates. You can create your own company-branded templates or explore online, pre-designed options.
Twitter is a great place for your company to build a steady stream of communication with your online audience. Twitter offers brief, instantaneous updates for your users and is a central hub where online trends are tracked and content is easily shared via ‘retweet’. By strategically sharing news, company content and entertaining GIFs that resonate with your audience, your company could become the latest trending topic.
News is the most common reason people use Twitter. The Twitter platform offers a constantly up-to-date and easy way to absorb headlines and news in an increasingly fast-paced media environment. Twitter users rely on the platform to stay in tune with what’s happening in their own lives and all over the world. This makes Twitter a great platform for sharing news relevant to your audience, including industry news, company news, and news about new products or services.
IMPORTANT TIP: There are a lot of incredible tools available for keeping up with industry news. Resources like Feedly can help you keep up with industry-wide social media conversations to make sure the content your sharing is relevant, up-to-date and on trend.
Blog Posts & Curated Content
Much like Facebook, Twitter offers a great platform for sharing links to your blog posts and other high-quality curated content. Because Twitter is such an instantaneous platform, where users post multiple times a day, Twitter is a great place to share multiple posts a day – linking to blogs, videos or interesting and engaging content that your team has curated.
Also, when sharing blog posts, it’s often a good idea to get creative and add some of the following multimedia attachments to make the Tweet as engaging as possible for users:
- Link (with the link preview)
- Photo or infographic
IMPORTANT TIP: Don’t be afraid to experiment with videos. As mentioned, videos are a strategic way to engage your audience and keep them coming back for more. However, Twitter does have some limitations on video sharing. The maximum length of a Twitter video is two minutes and 20 seconds. You can find full details on Twitter video limitations here.
Twitter is basically the first social media platform where GIFs became a trend. Now, GIFs are popular and shareable content across all social media platforms, but Twitter is still the best place to share them. Creating GIFs for blog posts, company events or product launches and sharing them on your Twitter following is a great way to express your brand character.
IMPORTANT TIP: There are plenty of tools that allow businesses to quickly create shareable social media GIFs. To learn how to check out this online tutorial
LinkedIn has an understandable reputation as the ‘professional version’ of Facebook. LinkedIn is all about professional networking and staying up to date on industry news and business-focused topics. By sharing strategic and professional content on LinkedIn, you can create a professional online hub for your company.
Jobs and Career Information
Because LinkedIn is a professional networking platform, the most suitable content for LinkedIn is job openings and career opportunities. Your company’s LinkedIn profile serves as a great recruitment channel. Potential new hires can learn more about your company which will help you attract high-quality, informed and suitable prospects.
Here’s some specific information that should be posted to LinkedIn:
- A brief description of your company culture and mission
- Snippets of employee experience and feedback
- Employee achievements and acknowledgments
- Open job listings and professional opportunities
This one is pretty straightforward. In addition to posting company information and job opportunities, LinkedIn is also a great place to share company news and announcements. Whether your company has just celebrated an important milestone, hired a new big name or hosted a charitable event, LinkedIn offers a great platform to professionally share exciting company news with industry colleagues and potential new hires.
Sometimes, there may not be a steady stream of company news to keep your LinkedIn profile padded with engaging and relevant content. So, another great kind of content to share on LinkedIn is content that professionals in your target audience would find helpful and relevant. From webinars to whitepapers to industry studies and trends, sharing professionally relevant content is a great way to keep your audience paying attention.
Much like Instagram, Pinterest is all about the visuals. Pinterest is comprised of a large community of users who share eye-catching photos, projects, designs, and how-to manuals. So, for companies incorporating Pinterest into their social media strategy, engaging images are the best content to share in order to catch the eye of your target audience.
As mentioned, Pinterest is like Instagram in that the majority of content shared is visual. However, unlike Instagram, images on Pinterest have a large, vertical layout. Images shared on the Pinterest feed display at a width of 236 pixels and a maximum height of 800 pixels. This size is great for sharing hi-res, vertical photos or detailed infographics on relevant topics.
Because of the size and layout factors, the best aspect ratio for Pinterest images is 2:3, with a minimum width of 600 pixels, such as 600 pixels wide by 900 pixels tall or 800 pixels wide by 1,200 pixels tall. You can find out all the details on sizing and pixels here.
Step-by-Step Photo Guides
The trend on Pinterest is all about DIY guides, crafts, home decor, food and drinks, and design. Since users are constantly mining the Pinterest feed for their next creative endeavor, it’s a great idea to share vertical images with how-to instructions on how to make or do something well. Create a step-by-step process and combine these steps with eye-catching, high-quality visuals to encourage clicks and shares from your audience.
While Google+ is often overshadowed by more popular and widely-used platforms, there are many strategic reasons for businesses to deploy Google+ as part of an overall marketing strategy. What is especially helpful about using Google+ for marketing is the SEO value. All content posted to your company Google+ profile gets indexed immediately and shows up in Google search results.
That’s why sharing blog posts and other SEO-rich content to your Google+ profile can be a huge part of your overall marketing strategy. While you won’t see as much engagement on Google+ as compared to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s a great place to share blog-content that is jam-packed with keywords and searchable content. This will help your company secure a comfortable Google rankings spot and in turn, you’ll be more accessible to clients and prospects.
Combine and Conquer: Using A Multi-Platform Social Media Approach to Optimize Your Online Presence
When it comes down to it, social media platforms allow your business to create and maintain an online persona that can interact directly with your target audience. Using a variety of different platforms will not only help you better reach your target but will also help you create a consistent and well-rounded brand personality.
Furthermore, as we’ve outlined in this guide, making sure you’re sharing the right content in a strategic way for each platform, will help optimize your brand messaging and boost engagement. In an increasingly online-based business environment, the consumer is king. Creating a dynamic combination of platforms for your consumers to learn about your company and engage directly with your brand is the key to continued success in the digital landscape.