The content you post on social media can be a powerful tool for converting your brand into a trustworthy name and converting followers into fans.
This kind of following only comes from having a solid social media content strategy in place to engage the right audience with the right posts. It’s not enough for your brand to show up on a variety of social media platforms and post social media content that has no context or meaning behind it.
Your brand’s success on social media depends on your goals, your ability to create content for social media that aligns with your goals, and the distribution of your content on the right platforms.
Producing highly effective and engaging social media content takes time, and it can be challenging for many businesses as it’s competitive, time-consuming and requires a lot of trial and error. Ensuring you have a social media content strategy in place is key. Not only does the right type of content keep your social media accounts fresh and exciting, but it also helps to keep your followers engaged and loyal, turning likes into leads.
In this post, we are going to take a look at the different types of social media content that you should be using to take your digital marketing to the next level.
User-generated content for social media(UGC)
User-Generated Content (UGC) is original, brand-specific content created by someone who is not an official part of your business.
It can come in many forms such as images, videos, and reviews, and it is considered the bread and butter of social media marketing.
It’s one of the most effective forms of social media content because it can showcase the real connection your business has with its customers, and it helps your audience to see a more authentic side of your business.
Sharing an image that one of your customers has taken (without being paid or asked to do so) is the perfect way to portray your offering.
In fact, a recent study showed that over 50% of consumers were much more likely to buy a product after seeing a recommendation from a user than it being marketed by the company.
A great example of a brand using UGC is Dune London. The footwear brand from London used Instagram images in one of their recent e-mail campaigns and reported 55% more click-throughs than previous marketing e-mails, resulting in a 28% higher conversion rate. (source)
Good quality images can help to boost your online engagement, make your brand appeal to new customers, and make customers stop and look at your post.
Most businesses find that their most successful posts include images, and a recent study showed that on Twitter, tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than those without.
They are much more engaging than text-heavy posts such as articles and reviews and the great thing about them is that you no longer need loads of fancy equipment to capture a good image.
In fact, the cheapest and easiest way to add images to your post is to take a picture with a smartphone. Smartphone cameras are now advanced enough to take hi-res images, and there are a variety of apps available to help you quickly edit them, and more.
You want to ensure that your images are of high quality and are relevant to the message you are trying to convey. If you add random images to your social posts for the sake of it, you will notice a poor return on that social post.
If you can’t take a great quality image, don’t worry. You don’t have to be a photographer to use a stock photo for your social media campaigns. Websites such as Unsplash and Pexels offer images for free – just make sure they’re relevant to your social media post.
According to a recent study, over half of marketers claim that video is the most compelling content for achieving social media marketing goals. A huge amount of brands have said that video has been instrumental in driving more sales, increasing website traffic and making their consumers feel more connected to them.
If your goals are to connect and engage with your target audience then social posts that focus on video are incredibly valuable. Instagram posts that feature videos achieve twice the amount of engagement than photo posts and Tweets with videos achieve 10x more engagement than those with plain text or images.
A strong video campaign can help you to attract audiences from multiple social channels and demographics. You want to ensure that your video content is varied and is relevant to your social media marketing strategy.
Determining the type of video content that works best for your brand is an important step in your social media strategy. Not all videos will have the same appeal with your social media followers so it’s important to get the ones right for your brand.
Below are a few types of videos and their benefits:
Live streaming on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube live is a great way to reach and connect with your audience. Regular short video updates are a great way to update your audience with new product information whilst longer video updates are great for getting to know your followers.
Tutorials are some of the most shared pieces of content across the various social channels and can help to increase brand awareness for new customers. More often than not, tutorials are much more casual than most other videos and can help to show consumers how to best use your product or make the most out of your service.
Behind the scenes
Behind the scenes videos give an insight into your company operations and employees. They help to humanise your brand and give consumers an insight into the day-to-day goings on of your company.
In social media marketing, these videos look like customer highlights and help to create social proof for your brand. Videos that showcase how a customer uses your product or service and their satisfaction with it operate on a connection level: ideally, a potential customer will see themselves in that video and be persuaded to purchase.
As important as it is for businesses to create visually appealing content, they also shouldn’t lose sight of the power of written content. Over 30% of marketers say that text-heavy posts generate the most user engagement.
Consumers love information, and over half of consumers follow brands on social media to learn about new products and services as well as company news. This is why text posts are so important.
Compelling written posts need the same attention and consistency that other social media content gets. If you do half the job, your company will look sloppy.
Even worse, it can completely undermine everything you have set out to achieve within your social media strategy.
Developing a distinctive brand tone and voice that aligns with the rest of your content is key to ensuring your written content stands out from the crowd and drives what your consumers want and need.
Running a social media competition is a great way to get people talking about your brand. Not only can you increase your brand awareness, but it can generate more leads and build up your brand’s social media presence pretty quickly.
Competitions and social media giveaways are promotional tactics that you should definitely consider employing in your social media content strategy but you have to be careful to avoid giving away a prize that will attract entries and follows from users that wouldn’t typically engage with your brand on your social channels otherwise.
For competitions to work and for your brand to see results, it has to be done right. It’s always worth outlining in your social media strategy what it is you want to achieve from running a giveaway on your social media platform.
The great thing about competitions is that you don’t need to run them every week to reap the rewards. Competitions that run every couple of months are a great way to increase follower count and user engagement up to 70% faster than accounts that don’t.
Be sure to read each social media platforms terms and conditions for running competitions before you start.
Stories are images and short videos that last 24 hours before disappearing for good. They’re available on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.
Keep users updated about events, offers, or other announcements—or give them a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your business. The possibilities are truly endless!
Disadvantages: The fear of missing out can be a powerful motivator, but their short life expectancy also means that some users might not engage with them.
How to produce: The option to produce an image or video story is in each social media network’s app. High-quality production is not needed, making them easy for any business to create.
Best platforms: Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat have popularized this content type and remain the best options.
Infographics are another key piece of content that you should have on your social media content calendar – as long as it’s relevant to your brand.
While the word “infographic” can make people think of boring graphs and pie charts, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the message you are trying to convey and the platform they’re going on.
You can use tools like Canva to help you create amazing infographic templates with your own brand colours and information.
Another great piece of content to include in your social media marketing strategy are quotes. Sharing quotes on social media is great for getting engagement from your audience, especially if the quote is motivational or relevant to your brand.
You could share quotes that influential people from your brand have said during big events, or share quotes from influential people within your industry.
This is a great example of quotes being used effectively to lure-in engagement from followers. Gary has done a great job of giving a short story in his visual quote, which prompts users to click and find out a more in-depth story on his post, with the longest explanation on his YouTube channel.
GIFS and Memes
If you haven’t been using GIFS and memes as part of your social media strategy across your social media posts – where have you been?!
GIFS and Memes are a fun way to keep your audience entertained and can deliver a message more effectively to more people online. They are easy on the eye, easily shareable, mobile-friendly, and most importantly can be used across a variety of platforms.
Using GIFS and memes on social media should evoke feelings in your audience and should make them want to act on that feeling. Research suggests that making your followers laugh and feel happy that it influences them more.
Testimonials and Reviews
Sharing customer testimonials and reviews on social media is a great way to build brand credibility with your followers while increasing the likelihood that they will choose to buy your product or services over another similar business.
It provides your brand with a form of social proof that you own a successful business and research shows that 72% of customers say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more.
There are a few great ways you can incorporate testimonials and reviews:
Share customer testimonials on your social platforms
You could include an entire review in your social post but we suggest including the most important section that you want to highlight – you can always include the rest of the review in a comment or additional image.
Share customer testimonials in your stories
Just like sharing to your social media feed, you can take a similar approach with stories and add to your highlights. Take the most important section of the review you are wanting to highlight to your target customer.
Skincare brand Summer Fridays have created an Instagram story to highlight a positive review that someone has left them. This type of social content is easily digestible and helps highlight products and authenticate the brand to new customers.
Although the best social engagement often comes from more light-hearted posts, that doesn’t mean that you should shy away from adding product posts to your social media strategy – far from it.
Sharing your products regularly is something your brand should be doing if they want to increase awareness and drive traffic to your website whilst increasing sales.
Be careful about how you promote your products and take the time out to build a robust content strategy that allows you to do this in the most effective way.
The last thing social media users want is to stumble upon a bunch of product posts on a white background – boring!
Instead of posting any old image of your product, take the time out to really think about your content creation. What is the message you want to send to your followers? What do you want to achieve by posting this on your social network? Who do you want to connect with?
Collaborations with Influencers
Influencer marketing is a form of collaboration that is great for many businesses with smaller marketing budgets.
It involves businesses sending their products or offering their services to an influencer in the hopes that the influencer will share that product with their following.
This can yield a good rate of engagement and research has shown that social media users commonly purchase products based on the fact that it has been shown to them by an influencer.
Although it’s not for every brand, it should be considered for your social media content strategy.
Which social media content ideas will you add to your social strategy?
The toughest part of running a social media campaign is coming up with fresh new ideas. Industry trends are continually changing, making the content creation process difficult at times.
Effectively planning a social media content strategy is an ongoing process, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. If your brand is tired of posting the same old boring social media content time and time again, why not add some of our ideas to your content calendar?
Our Content Ideas page is full of great content for social media for every business type.
For some great tools to help you create all this awesome content, check out this great blog: 12 Must-have Tools Every Social Media Content Creator Needs to Drive Engagement in 2022