Gone are the days when we could simply create a single piece of content and share it across all platforms, expecting similar levels of engagement. With each social media platform becoming more distinct and unique, the need for tailored content has never been more crucial. If you find yourself struggling to set your social media apart, follow these five simple steps based on the webinar by Patricia Lincoln, Marketing Manager at Learning Resources.
1. Pick the right social media platform for your business
Not all social media platforms are created equal, and this has become more evident in the past few years. Depending on your brand voice and target audience, certain social media platforms may be more beneficial than others. For example, we all know that TikTok caters to a younger, unpolished audience that flourishes on video content and emulating trending videos. Meanwhile, Instagram has been a consistent and versatile business staple that allows for photos, videos and live content, and LinkedIn caters to strictly a professional audience. Oftentimes, Pinterest is classified as a search engine, yet it can be a powerful tool for stores to leverage elevated content and aesthetics to pull in consumers. Then we have Facebook —many claim it’s on its way out, but it can still be leveraged to share reels from Instagram and stay updated on industry news. If your brand is attempting to break into new audiences and increase sales, Instagram or Pinterest are the platforms you should focus on. If your brand wishes to expand to a younger audience or create more organic content, TikTok may be more favorable. Be warned, however, that TikTok has a steeper learning curve as it is the biggest outlier in regard to traditional social media platforms.
2. Crafting an Effective Content Strategy
Once you have settled on the platforms you plan on using, the next step is making and executing a tailored content strategy. There are three general types of content: educational, entertaining, and empathetic. Educational content can vary from giving information on the industry, tips and tricks relevant to your brand or industry, or even offering different ways to use your product. The idea is that you are offering a free value to your audience that keeps them coming back for more. Empathetic content can be broader, but oftentimes it's best to focus on solving a problem or pain point your target audience is experiencing. Entertaining content doesn’t necessarily have to be silly TikTok dances — it can be funny anecdotes about the industry or just authentic content that showcases your personality. While we have become even more embroiled in the digital landscape, we still seek connection behind the screens, and this unfiltered experience of brands and products creates audience loyalty and trust.
For the content strategy itself, you need to think of your content as an extension of your brand.What is the added value or impact of your content for your audience? With so many different platforms fighting for our attention these days, you have three seconds to really hook your audience. Try an attention-grabbing intro, beautiful graphics, or a really clean, well-branded page that incites curiosity.
3. Understanding Algorithms and Engagement
As we’ve all seen, social media platforms are quickly evolving, and it can seem like a full-time job just trying to keep up. For example, Instagram’s algorithm now works by showing you content similar to what you’ve already interacted with on the platform. For example, it may take signals from Reels you’ve liked, commented, or saved. In addition, you’ll be shown creators that you may not necessarily follow (yet) but you have interacted with . So what does this mean for your brand? To gain a considerable following, you’ll need to interact with the community, such as similar products, creators, or influential players in the industry. While the new algorithm may seem confusing, the emphasis on the explore page can make it easier to get your content in front of a new audience and have a greater chance to go viral.
Regardless of which platform you decide to use for your business, consistency is a pillar of good social media marketing. Without consistency, it's very difficult to garner a loyal following, as people expect content regularly. However, that doesn’t mean you need to post 7 times a week to remain relevant. Part of the consistency of social media content creation is sustainably creating content, and as a business owner, it can be very easy to burn out.The content you are creating needs to be relevant, on-brand, and genuine to attract an audience. It is better to consistently post well-done content that is intentional and useful to your audience fewer times a week, than to push sub-par videos every day. Your audience can tell when you are genuine and creating content that truly resonates with you and your brand.
5. Be authentic, not perfect.
Finally, the most important aspect of content creation is focusing on who is listening and how we reach them. Authenticity and being genuine is what drived followers to subscribe. Your content must be natural and meaningful to the audience, not perfectly scripted. It can be very easy to get lost in the echo chambers of perfectionism when comparing yourself to other content creators or chasing the newest trend. Still, ultimately your content will be an extension of your brand. It’s not that you shouldn’t jump on trends, but it’s important to be selective and choose those that will serve your brand and purpose well. Curated content that is authentic and on-brand will never go out of style.
As we navigate the diverse and ever-changing landscapes of social media, it is crucial to adapt, experiment, and refine your marketing and content strategies. By following these guidelines, you can unlock the full potential of your social media presence, connect with your followers on a deeper level, and make a lasting impression. Embrace the opportunities that each platform offers, be intentional with your content, and watch your brand thrive in the world of social media.