Written by Brent Csutoras –
Social media has become a significant part of most people’s daily routines.
According to a recent study from Pew Research Center, almost half of Americans use Facebook multiple times a day, and 70% access it at least once a day.
Social media platforms provide us with a variety of ways to interact with each other, share information, and connect with brands. And because of this, it’s become essential for businesses to prioritize their social media strategy.
But that is easier said than done.
As most social media marketers and business owners know, it’s not always easy to create engaging content consistently, especially if you need to post daily to stay relevant and reach your target market.
Additionally, there are over 3.8 billion users across various social networks. And the number of mobile device owners continues to increase at a rapid rate.
This means businesses can access millions of potential customers actively engaged on these sites with the right strategy.
So, here are some tips to help you create engaging content that will reach your target audience:
1. Less Text, More Video
Ever stop scrolling on social media to read a massive wall of text? Probably not, even if you like the account that it’s from.
But if you do, I’m sure you usually lose interest and continue scrolling. Or you’re probably thinking, “Get to the point already.”
The message of this story needs to be clear and straightforward. If you’re marketing your brand on social media, make it a rule to add an image or video to everything you post.
Get creative for your brand. This way, you hit the key points to make a post trend. Post photos or videos that speak to your audience and watch those likes and comments rise.
2. Get Your Own Photos Taken
If you’re using stock photos in your social media posts, it’s time to stop. But why? They are so easy to find and look nice, right?
Well, stock photos don’t perform as well as authentic images. And as a result, they’re bad for SEO.
To prove this, Marketing Experiments tested an actual photo of their client against their top-performing stock photo.
The result? Visitors who saw the actual photo were 35% more likely to sign up. And a recent study stated that 62% of consumers said that high-quality product images were crucial to their purchasing decision.
Here are three tips for unique social media images:
- Hire a local photographer to take photos that match your editorial calendar.
- If you’re starting out, you can take your pictures with a high-specs smartphone and some simple props.
- Make sure your images match the text around them. Photos should summarize concepts and drive home points, not simply to break up the text.
3. Repurpose Your Evergreen Content
Did you know that people remember visual information 65% longer than text?
To take advantage of this, repurpose your best pieces of evergreen content into infographics, charts, graphs, and social media images.
When creating graphics, remember these tips:
- Showcase your content’s main points.
- Pull quotes from your content or reword your main points to make them sharable.
- Use tools and templates from platforms like Canva and Piktochart to create quality graphics.
4. Share Customer Testimonials & Reviews
Imagine this: You’re about to buy a new product but want to learn more about it first.
When searching for information, who do you trust? A salesperson selling the product or an honest review from a customer?
Well, 78% of consumers say they trust online reviews, and 67.7% say it impacts their purchasing decisions – honest and descriptive reviews matter to businesses.
In fact, 72% of consumers won’t purchase a product until they read a review about it first.
If this says anything to you as a marketer, reviews from happy customers are powerful magnets at your disposal.
Highlighting reviews from satisfied customers about your products, services, or customer service is a great way to show that people love and trust your brand.
And while you’ve probably already posted them on your website and blog, make sure not to leave social media out.
Pick your best testimonials and reviews, design them into readable bites, and craft catchy captions to go with them.
5. Search For The Latest Visual Trends
So, you want to post tons of visuals on social media. But first, you need to know which visuals work and which don’t.
Dig up visual trends on social media platforms and Google search to find out.
You can also look at your social media analytics and insights to see what’s performed well over the last couple of months.
- Visit Pinterest’s Most Repinned Page. This page shows you the pins users love.
- Search using the most popular hashtags on Instagram. For instance, #love is one of the most popular hashtags on Instagram, with over 2 billion posts. So, go through the posts with this hashtag and note the ones with high engagement.
- Check your competitor’s hashtags and search online for hashtags for your industry to see which ones perform well.
- Do a Google search for popular image trends. You can browse top-ranking sites to learn about image trends, like the ones in this guide from Canva.
- View your insights on Facebook and Instagram to see how your most recent posts performed to help adjust your upcoming social media strategy.
6. Host Competitions
A surefire and fast way to grow your audience and gain tons of engagement is through running social media competitions.
Here are three that work:
- Like, comment, and share to join. Users like your post and share it with friends to enter your competition.
- Tag a friend. The more friends your audience tags, the more entries they get.
- User-generated content. Users create posts according to a theme you set and tag your business to join.
Remember, always stick to the contest rules set by each social media platform. Since each platform has different rules, review them first before spending time crafting your competition.
Here are some to be aware of:
Competition Rules On Instagram And Facebook
- You are responsible for the lawful operations of your contests (eligibility requirements, official rules, and regulations around prizes).
- You shouldn’t ask users to inaccurately tag photos (for example, don’t ask users to tag photos if they don’t appear in them).
- It would help if you acknowledged that Instagram or Facebook does not sponsor your contest.
Competition Rules On Twitter
- Don’t encourage users to create multiple accounts (for example, users may create multiple accounts to receive multiple entries to your contest).
- Don’t ask users to post the same tweet repeatedly (avoid “whoever retweets this post most wins”).
- Stay away from content that jeopardizes users’ safety, such as content containing violence, abuse, terrorism, hateful conduct, and adult content.
- Avoid spam, and don’t post other people’s private information.
Check out this guide for the complete list of Twitter’s contest rules.
Competition Rules On Snapchat
- Don’t use Snapchat’s trademarks and logos.
- Don’t encourage illegal, illicit, or spammy behavior.
For more rules on what you should and shouldn’t do in Snapchat contests, check out Snapchat’s guide.
7. Tag Influencers & Bloggers You’ve Quoted In Your Message
Using quotes from influencers in your blog is a great way to spark engagement. But don’t stop there.
Make sure to give the influencers you quoted credit by mentioning them on social media:
- Tag them on social media with a link to your content.
- Create an attractive graphic and tag the influencer in a social message.
They’ll surely appreciate it! Plus, it’s a great way to gain the attention of their followers.
8. Add Social Media Buttons To Your Email Newsletters
Think social media and email are competing for marketing channels? Think again.
Social media and email work hand-in-hand. Adding social media buttons to your email newsletters is a great way to use them together.
This works because readers merely scan emails, and buttons stand out from the text in an attractive, eye-catching way.
So, before you send off those email newsletters, add social media buttons below so readers can check out what you’re doing on their favorite platforms.
9. Use The Right Hashtags
Hashtags can be tricky to get right. But when marketers use them wisely, hashtags can put your content in front of a much wider audience.
For example, hashtags on Instagram make your post appear on that hashtag’s page. Like these posts with the hashtag #tbt.
But remember, hashtags don’t work equally on all social platforms. For example, they gain massive engagement on Instagram but don’t do much for Facebook posts.
Follow this guide on how many hashtags to use on each social platform:
- Twitter: one to two
- Facebook: one to three
- Instagram: five to 30
- Pinterest: two to five
10. Spark It Up With Stories & Reels
Should you take the time to post stories or reels on Instagram and Facebook? The short answer is yes.
The longer one: Reels provide the opportunity to generate 67% more engagements than videos.
And with the rise of TikTok at over 1 billion monthly active users, people are engaging with these short-form videos more consistently.
Plus, stories and reels can be fun and inspiring. So it’s crucial to move with the trends and incorporate these interactive opportunities.
11. Add Puzzles, Quizzes & Riddles To Connect With Users
Is this you? You’re panicking with 100 projects for work and 200 assignments from your night college professor.
But instead of hammering into them immediately, you take a quiz to find out what kind of cheese you are. (Yup, that’s me, too. Just kidding. I don’t have 100 projects for work.)
The fact is, quizzes are irresistible. So, if you want to enjoy that extra engagement, plan a fun, challenging, unique quiz or riddle, and post it on social.
12. Engage With Industry News
One way to connect with your audience is to show how you care about the same things they do. The secret is to respond quickly to current events your audience cares about.
In addition, thought leadership content can help with SEO and build authority for your brand.
So, whether it’s industry news that you have an opinion on or want to share some insight you are confident about for your brand, use it in your social media strategy.
You can also share content from blogs you’ve created about industry news and share it across social media, which can help bring traffic back to your website.
As you can see, social media marketing is a powerful tool for driving results. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
With creativity and effort, you can create engaging content that will drive traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.
Featured Image: Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock