With 3.8 billion users, social media platforms put you in front of a huge audience.
But does your audience love your content?
Because it’s one thing to be seen by them.
It’s another to get their wholehearted support.
Plus, social media platforms were created for connections, not selling.
To gain your audience’s attention, you need to compete against posts from their friends, DMs from their family, and tons of cute cat photos.
Need help making yourself heard above the noise and truly engage with social media users?
Here are 12 tips to use content to drive real results on social media.
Ever stop scrolling on social media to read a huge wall of text?
You know, something like this.
I bet you haven’t. (Unless it was posted by your ex.☺)
But when brands post like this?
That’s right, you shoot straight past them.
The message of this story is clear: if you’re marketing your brand on social, make it a rule to add an image to everything you post.
Get creative for your brand.
Post photos that speak to your audience and watch those likes and comments rise.
Like this post, which garnered five million likes, 62,000 comments, and 231,000 shares.
If you’re using stock photos in your social media posts, it’s time to stop right now.
Stock photos simply don’t perform as well as real photos.
To prove this, Marketing Experiments tested a real photo of their client against their top-performing stock photo.
Visitors who saw the real photo were 35% more likely to sign up.
Here are three tips for amazing social media images:
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.
Here’s an example of a social media infographic…
You’re about to buy a new product, but you want to learn more about it first.
When searching for information, who do you trust?
…or an honest review from a customer?
If you picked the first option, you’re in a small pool of just 3% of buyers.
The rest of us are scouring online review sites to learn the truth about a product. In fact, the average buyer reads seven reviews before making a purchase from a new brand.
If this says anything to you as a marketer, it’s that reviews from happy customers are powerful magnets at your disposal.
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.
Like this one from Courtney-Foster Donahue.
You want to post tons of visuals on social media, but first, you need to know which visuals work and which don’t.
To find out, dig up visual trends on social media platforms and Google search.
A surefire and fast way to grow your audience and gain tons of engagement is through running social media contests.
Here are three that work:
Here’s a mouthwatering example from Hallmark. (Who doesn’t want to win a bunch of beautiful birthday cards?
Plus, the mechanics are super simple.)
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 contest.
Here are some to be aware of:
Go here for the full list of Instagram’s contest rules, and here for a full list of Facebook’s rules.
Check out this guide for the complete list of Twitter’s contest rules.
For more rules on what you should and shouldn’t do in Snapchat contests, check out Snapchat’s guide.
Using quotes from influencers in your blog is a great way to spark engagement.
Make sure to give the influencers you quoted credit by mentioning them on social media.
They’ll surely appreciate it! Plus, it’s a great way to gain the attention of their followers.
Think social media and email are competing marketing channels?
One great way to use them together is to add social media buttons to your email newsletters.
This works because readers merely scan emails, and buttons stand out from 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.
Here’s an example from HubSpot.
When used wisely, hashtags can put you 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 huge engagement on Instagram but don’t do much on Facebook.
Follow this guide on how many hashtags to use on each social platform:
Should you take the time to post stories on Instagram and Facebook?
The longer one: with over 500 million people saying they use Instagram Stories every day and 62% of consumers saying they discovered a new brand through stories, you just don’t want to miss it.
Plus, stories can be fun and inspiring.
Check out this one from Gucci Equilibrium.
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 right away…
…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.
Like this one.
One way to connect with your audience is to show how you care about the same things they do.
Like what Taco Bell did here.
The secret is to respond quickly to current events your audience cares about.
Like Oreo did when the lights went out during the Super Bowl.
Yes, standing out on social is hard.
It’s not easy to make yourself heard as a brand on platforms mainly created for connection.
Once you learn how to connect to your audience in a real, human, engaging way, you’ll watch your brand soar in no time.
These tips for creating engaging social media content are a great way to start.
All screenshots taken by the author, August 2020