Social media doesn’t seem like it’s the lucrative marketing channel it once was. Networks are showing more ads than ever, engagement is hovering below 0.1% and organic social visibility is steadily declining.
User bases, however, continue to grow and customers are using social media to interact with brands. Most importantly, social media is impacting purchasing decisions.
What insight can we gather from this?
Social media reach may be peaking, but customers still rely on these platforms to find information and connect with brands.
This tells you that it’s necessary to figure out how to reach your customers in a crowded landscape that is working against you. You have to make social media work for you in a different way than it has in the past.
A way to do this starts with the content you’re publishing.
How can you give your audience content that is interesting, unique and attention-grabbing while adhering to the character limits?
As a user, a huge frustration is clicking on an enticing link that has disappointing content. People will become more reluctant to click on links if the information rarely feels worthwhile.
If users have a proper understanding of what kind of content they can expect before clicking, it would be very helpful.
This can be accomplished through imagery, videos, formatting, expanded updates and more.
Go Beyond a Headline
It’s easy enough to copy the title of a post and throw it on an update. The problem is it’s rather boring. Most of the time it doesn’t work and people are not encouraged to click on your content.
Instead of sharing a headline, try using the following.
It can be a quote that appears in the content of a sentence that got your attention.
- Challenges & Solutions
If your content is solving a problem, lead with that. Let your audience know what the challenge is and how the content you’re providing will help solve it.
- Key Takeaways
Great in longer-form content, including a takeaway calls out important points for a reader to pay attention to and pretty much guarantees that everyone will walk away with something – even the laziest readers.
This is a great way to support an idea or make a point. They also tend to draw attention. Do you have an intriguing stat within your content? Use it in your social update.
This may seem obvious, but images are vital to social media success. It’s common knowledge that users remember images more than words and colors catch the eye in a way that black and white cannot.
Often the problem is not a lack of imagery, but lazy image selection. Grabbing a stock image or the image featured in the blog is not helpful.
Here are a few ideas to use images in a way that add context to your social media updates.
- Tell a story
Images offer you the opportunity to tell stories that you otherwise may not be able to tell. A scribbled picture made for a mom on mother’s day is a compelling story. No words can capture the feeling an ad like that could bring. Use images to go beyond the norm and tell the story you want people to see and feel.
- Use your words
Use stats, takeaways and quotes from your updates and turn them into images. It’s a wonderfully clever way to grab users’ attention while providing additional information to an update.
- Add a voice
Why not talk directly to users and give them a preview of what they’re going to get? Posting a video to recap a conference, for example, is exciting. It tells users about the conference and any takeaways they should know. It can be done for any content form and can be done on your phone. They don’t have to be complex and you can even have subtitles done for free.
- Add motion
Use a GIF! They are fun, immensely popular, attention-grabbing and easy to create. Tools like Giphy and ezGif are simple to use and free of charge.
Social media may have become more difficult to navigate and stand out, but that doesn’t mean it has lost its value. As you plan the next round of updates, think about how you can incorporate some of the tactics above to drive engagement and add context to your content.
You don’t have to do everything mentioned on the lists but consider testing different elements to find what sparks your audience. You never know what you’ll discover or just how creative your updates can be.