In this ever-evolving social media landscape with so many ways to connect with your audience, the difference between failure and success comes down to one thing: content.
Content. Is. King. Those businesses that generate engaging, high-quality content for their social media audience always see the best results from their marketing efforts. But how exactly do you create engaging social media content, and what are the best kinds to use for your business?
Here are the six best types of social media content that will engage your customers and keep them coming back for more.
In a world overflowing with information and only a limited time to capture someone's attention, infographics offer a perfect balance of visual and informational elements all rolled into one.
The best infographics use clean design elements that convey a message in a quick, yet easy-to-read style. The layout must be easy to follow and the information easy to understand.
Many businesses use infographics because they are easily shareable. A good infographic shared across multiple platforms increases your audience exposure; it can also provide quality information about your business, or establish your business as an authority.
2. User-Generated Content
User-generated content—any content like text, videos, or images that are created by customers, rather than a business—is one of the most effective ways to engage with your customers. This type of earned media is among the most trusted by customers and one of the easiest to incorporate into your social media strategy.
You've already got a social media presence, and hopefully, you already have followers. Now it's time to go out and see what those followers are doing. Once you find something that catches your attention, share it on your page—but don’t forget to credit or tag the source.
View this post on Instagram
A little sip of sunshine.🌞 Artwork by @sketchy.syd.42 #HeyLetsGo
A post shared by Hydro Flask (@hydroflask) on Jan 29, 2020 at 6:43pm PST
When you repost customer content, it reveals two things about your business:
- You are interested in your customers
- You value your customers’ content so much you think it deserves to be seen by others
When a customer feels like the business genuinely cares, it strengthens the existing relationship.
Livestreaming with Facebook or Instagram offers an excellent opportunity for you to engage with your audience directly. Because it is informal and unscripted, the customer feels like they are getting an intimate experience and connecting with your brand on a more personal level.
Before you start that first stream though, make sure you promote it days if not weeks in advance. Your customers are busy, too. Giving them plenty of notice will allow them to block out the necessary time to attend.
When livestreaming, including these several key elements will increase your audience's engagement level.
- Ask your audience questions. This is always a good icebreaker, and it engages your customers early in the process.
- Offer contests with prizes. Award the winner with something from your business. Offer a discount code to everyone else.
- Deliver breaking news. Let customers know the industry scoop. They want to be in the know, and it adds to your credibility and establishes you as an industry expert.
Once you finish with your livestream, always make sure to post a link to it on your other social media platforms so those who were unable to watch it live can view it later.
In this digital age where reviews and ratings are critical to success, positive testimonials from customers can prove to be one of the most useful types of social media content you can share.
Testimonials provide you with an opportunity to engage with your existing customers, collect their feedback, and then use that feedback to show prospects why others believe in your business.
While businesses tend to use written testimonials, you should consider integrating audio and video testimonials into your social media lineup. Although these can take more time to produce, the payoff can be higher because of the shareability factor. Customers are much more inclined to share a post with video or audio than a standard text post.
A great quote, especially an inspirational one, can connect with your customers at just the right time in their lives and leave an impression.
Through the quotes you choose, you can reveal a more personal side to your customers that they might not otherwise see. And when customers feel like you're genuinely allowing them a look inside, they naturally feel more engaged.
This #InternationalWomensDay, join @vowforgirls in taking a stand against child marriage and fighting for every girl's right to choose. Let's #vowforgirls. #IWD2020 pic.twitter.com/CtGAbVjoEe
— The Knot (@theknot) March 8, 2020
While inspirational quotes will connect with your target audience, don't get stuck in a rut using the same style of quotes. Try some variety. Humorous quotes tend to strike a chord as well. You have to remember many folks use social media as an escape. Give them something to laugh about, and they'll remember that—and in many cases, they'll share it with others.
Contests provide a great opportunity to generate a quick spike in traffic to whatever social media platform you choose to use. Why? People never turn down a chance to win free stuff.
When using contests, there are several simple guidelines you should follow:
- Use them sparingly. Running contests too often reduces their effectiveness. Once or twice a month is optimal.
- Add some variety. Similar to frequency, if you run the same style of contest, your customers will quickly lose interest. Try changing things up by running a caption contest one month and a "most likes" contest the next.
- Offer prizes from your business. This is a great way to promote your latest product or service. Offering a single prize is fine, but including a "consolation" prize like a time-sensitive discount code to the rest of your audience not only ensures everyone is happy, it also gives those customers a reason to return to your business.
Generating high-quality, engaging social media content can be a challenge, but doesn't have to be. If you incorporate these six types of social media content into your marketing strategy, your customers will respond.
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Your customers believe in your business. They want to interact with you. Now it's time to give them an opportunity to show you just how much they value your business. And when you provide them with engaging content, they'll want to spread the word about your brand to their circle of friends, family, and followers.
This article was written by Compose.ly writer Emma Lunsford.