Today businesses find that social media campaigns produce substantial positive outcome. Along with the increasing popularity of social networking on mobile devices, the impact can be even more significant. According to a research from HubSpot, 92% of all marketers said that their social media campaigns have generated increased exposure for their businesses, while 72% of marketers are using social channels to build loyal customers.
Social media can improve various aspects of businesses in several different ways. Taking advantage of using social networks can increase brand awareness and inbound traffic; improve brand loyalty and customer insight; generate higher brand authority and conversion rates, and more.
Each social media platform is unique, and each attracts different levels of audience. But the challenge is how to create appropriate content on each channel to achieve positive results, which will in turn will improve the key aspects of the business, especially increased exposure, lead generation and development of loyal customers. So brands need to adjust marketing messages and align it with each social network. And it all starts with creating social media content that will attract users to share and interact with, not just creating Likes or follows.
Here are the 5 tips of how to create engaging social content to increase the engagement levels of social media users.
Avoid publishing the exact same content across different platforms at the same time, just because there is a tool to do so. It may be convenient, easy and time saving, but it is not a good way to achieve optimum results.
All social networks are not exactly the same, though they may have some similar features that qualify them as a social network. Each platform has distinct features that make it unique from others. Twitter and Sina Weibo only allow 140 English and Chinese characters per post respectively. While Instagram and Pinterest are famous for displaying high quality photos.
A video post that gets a significant number of Interactions on Facebook may fail to have the same impact on a more business-oriented platform like LinkedIn. Also an eye catching Instagram photos may seem odd on Google+.
So instead of uploading the same postings on different social media channels, tailor and align the message to the features of each channel. Take advantage of the core features of each social platform, such as a picture demo showing how to use a product can be posted on Pinterest, and then some short tips of using the product can be shared on Twitter.
Following are examples of how Kiehl’s and De Beers taking advantage of different social platforms to promote the same product and share relevant information.
Kiehls uploaded a nice picture of a new eye care product on Instagram. While they posted tips on using the cream on Twitter, with a direct link to the brand’s website for immediate online purchase.
Instead of publishing all pictures related to wedding day ideas on Facebook, De Beers directed their followers to their Pinterest account.
Make content timely. Timely and relevant content will increase levels of Engagement. So it is important to stay on top of current events and/or news in order to take advantage of them when possible and appropriate. Using themed postings for occasions, such as Christmas, Chinese New Year or Valentine’s Day, is a good example of making content timely.
Also, do not leave any communication gaps for the social networking audience. Choose a precise period to publish content on each social platform. Be consistent in the times of day to upload postings, how often to post, how many to post, and how to engage with the audience. The more consistent the brands are with their followers, the more they will engage with the brands, and the more loyal they will become. This is one way for brands to establish a good social relationship with their target audience.
For instance, an analysis from Klarity showed that SK-II obtained better Interaction levels with their followers than La Mer on Sina Weibo from January to May 2015. This was because compared to La Mer, SK-II regularly published more Daily Posts including product information and beauty tips, and gave away limited edition products and free samples from time to time. Also followers of the Japanese top skincare brand responded to more Weibo Posts in a shorter time interval than followers of the U.S. top skincare brand.
Consider the basic features of each social network as an opportunity to deliver more creative content to your audience. Do not limit the social content to texts only. Diversify the type of content with a mixture of text, photos, videos, links to articles with graphics, third party links, relevant news stories, statistics, and tips to get your audience to click and comment. While keep the content message simple, interesting, inspiring and entertaining.
Many studies have shown that visuals increase Interactions on every social platform. Photos are liked two times more than text updates, and videos are shared 12 times more than links and text updates. So including a visual such as an image, graphic, video or picture will significantly increase engagement levels. This is especially important for social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Weibo, where images will catch the eye of social users who are browsing through their news feeds.
Adidas, for example, uploaded a total of 272 Wallposts on Facebook between June 2014 and June 2015. Around 94% of these 272 Wallposts were photos and videos, and the post which grabbed about 30% of the total 12-month Interactions was a video. This video brought out a message about athletes’ attitudes toward sport, and the message matched Adidas’s top athlete brand image and position.
Millions of postings pop up on social media every day. So besides uploading different types of eye-catching posts, create content that social media users can benefit from viewing, downloading, or sharing with their friends or followers.
If the content evolves around a contest with a reward, it is a material benefit for audience. Or publish an instruction for download on how to perform a specific task, then it is an educational benefit. Other examples that will add value to the posts include posting tips, quotes, advice, asking questions, announcing promotional events, etc. Find out what social users will benefit from, and then make content that will live up to their expectations. This is a good approach to create engagement and amplify the brand reach. Also this can increase the opportunity to convert audience to customers, meaning higher conversion rates.
Each of the following postings on Facebook shows that different content messages can benefit social users, which in turn lead them to take the next action.
Amazon uploaded a contest with a reward that attracted Facebook users to share their comments, which could be useful for future analysis.
While De Beers, one of the top experts in the jewelry industry, shared the tips of finding the perfect engagement ring.
The U.S. bookstore, Barnes & Noble, published a quote from a famous novel to inspire its audience to comment and to share thoughts.
Be real. Respond to questions and comments on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Sina Weibo, Pinterest, and any other social platform, in real time if possible. Do not keep your audience waiting for the response and end up assuming the account is managed by a software.
Social media users appreciate real conversations. An instant reaction or witty response can inspire your audience to engage with your brand regularly, as well as decrease negative sentiment by quickly following up the complaints posted as comments.
For example Starbucks responded to most compliments in a timely manner. And the coffee brand would follow up each complaint in detail so that they would continue improving their services and live up to their customer expectations.
A recent study from eMarketer has showed that 49% of internet users in Australia are logging into social media sites or mobile apps at least once a day, representing a constant increase from 2011’s 30%. And another research from JustSystems has pointed out that most smartphone users in Japan who have seen Facebook ads have interacted with them, and visiting websites is the most common action taken after viewing video ads or liking Facebook pages. So start creating engaging content today with the tips listed above to attract and then interact with these social media users, as well as the existing followers.