The days of social media existing simply as platforms to stay in touch with friends and family are far behind us. Over the past decade, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, and more have evolved to fill in niche gaps in the needs of brands and businesses the world over. Not only are these platforms a fantastic way to generate advertising and marketing campaigns for companies, but can also act as a means to communicate more effectively with their target audience of customers through the content they produce and share on them.
Most marketers and social media professionals will unilaterally declare that, in today’s world of hyper-digitized connectivity, content is king. However, not all content is created equal. Simply creating and sharing content with your audience for the sake of raking in likes, shares, and followers isn’t enough. Rather, the content your brand shares with its audience needs to be interactive. It needs to engage your audience and work to create a forum of discussion that serves your brand as much as it does your customers. Without this key trait remaining consistent in your content, your followers and competitors will take notice.
Content may be King, but engagement is its Queen
Content should be at the forefront of your brand’s social media strategy. After all, the content you create and share on social media serves as your means to create a winning first impression amongst new followers and lasting impressions upon those who already follow you. Your content on social media is the core as to how your brand connects and communicates with new customers as well as existing loyal ones, but creating, posting, and sharing content that adds no value to those customers — or serves no particular goal for your brand or business — is little more than an expensive waste of time.
So, when you are working to improve the engagement of your followers and customers on social media, what kinds of content work best?
To put it simply, the types of content that tend to generate the highest and most consistent rates of engagement on your social media posts are the ones that get your community — your followers, customers, and potential consumers — talking. This means that your content needs to not only be high-quality but also create an avenue of engagement from your social media audience. This creates a stronger digital presence for your brand, allowing more people to begin building their own personalized experience and relationship with it online, which, in turn, translates into heightened loyalty and sales for your business.
For example, if you post a piece of content that asks your followers a question, both the question asked and its answer should be pertinent to the problems those followers have as consumers which they turn to your brand or business to help solve for them. That question will then prompt those followers and customers to engage with your post, as well as one another, to answer the question you posed to them. Similarly, if you post a piece of content with helpful tips or tricks to address the problems your customers have, that content needs to add value to them by clearly and concisely answering their questions or solving their problems.
Remember that the goal isn’t merely to post content for content’s sake. Instead, the goal of any quality content you post on social media should be to foster deeper engagement from your audience to interact with your brand.
The value of different content mediums to different audiences
When it comes to creating high-quality content that engages your audience, it’s crucial to understand that different demographics of customers find value from different mediums of content shared by the brands and companies they follow on social media.
For instance, some 54% of marketers state that video content is the most valuable format for achieving their social media growth and engagement goals, followed by photo images (53%), content posts consisting of mostly text (30%), and live videos (25%). This tells us that video content tends to be more valuable overall to not only brands and businesses looking to generate higher engagement rates from their communities of followers and customers, but also to those communities themselves.
The caveat here is that value is subjective. What might be valuable to one brand or its target audience may not be to another. If your brand is relatively unestablished or plans to launch a new product, image-based content can prove more valuable by showing your followers and target audience what it looks like and what they could expect to receive from you in the future. Additionally, high-quality text-based posts are one of the best ways to help consumers learn more about your brand and the products or services it offers as they help answer their questions more quickly and efficiently, and are one of the easiest routes to improve your brand’s search engine optimization (SEO) ranking from online search results. Whatever mediums you ultimately choose to create your content with (be it videos, photos, text, or otherwise) the goal remains the same: higher engagement from and with your target audience.
Content posts that contain opinions about topics (and particularly controversial issues) in your brand’s niche typically generate the most engagement by capturing the attention of those scrolling through their social media feeds. Followers of your brand’s social media accounts are more likely to share these posts to their stories if they agree with your opinion, and are also much more likely to interact with that content through likes and comments—all of which drive your brand’s engagement on social media.
Just as no two brands or businesses are exactly the same, neither are the social media platforms or the strategies they use on them to share high-quality content with their followers. Experimenting with different types of content and strategies across different platforms will likewise help you and your brand become more creative in the ways you interact and engage with your audience on social media.
In order to save yourself time and money when trying to have your brand stand out from the virtual crowd, each piece of content you share should be posted with the goal of enhancing your customers’ experience by granting them value through engagement. Find out what types of content work best for your audience of followers across the social media platforms you use to connect with them and deliver it in meaningful and impactful ways.
WRITTEN BYJay Feldman