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Posted October 26, 2020

How to create engaging social media content.

With over 3.5 billion global social media users, the value of creating strong, shareable social media content has never been greater. While social media offers a staggering audience of potential customers, it also comes with constant competition from other businesses trying to spread brand and product awareness. As a result, standing out is as tricky as it is rewarding.

We have created our fair share of successful, shareable social assets for our clients over the years. In this guide, we discuss some of our top tips, helping you navigate the vast and crowded waters of social media.

Recognising the value
Before you set off on your social media journey, it’s important to understand exactly how much value social media marketing can bring to your brand:

  • 3.5 billion global social media users.
  • 90% of consumers are likely to buy from a brand they follow on social.
  • 54% of users research products through social media.

Building a brand
It isn’t as simple as just signing up to Facebook – anyone could do that. Besides, it’s very unusual for a person to only use one form of social media, which is why, if relevant to your audience, you should make the most of multiple platforms to expand your online presence.

Once you’ve set up your accounts, you need to be proactive and post regularly. The amount of content perpetually circling social media creates a sort of conveyor belt on which old posts move along for new posts, quickly making them invisible to anyone idly browsing social media. This is also known as a post’s ‘lifespan’.

To successfully build your social media presence, you should first analyse when and where your audience is engaging. Once you know this, you can tailor your posts to these times and platforms while keeping your tone of voice and themes consistent. This will inspire trust, credibility and recognisability in your brand. Don’t get disheartened or lose sight of social media’s value if you aren’t getting many ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ straight away – these things take time and persistence.

Shareable visuals
We know now that visual content is far more shareable and engaging than written copy on its own. The quickest way to grab users’ attention is with a strong image, video or graphic. Here, we’ve put together our top tips for creating visual content:

  • Design basics: If you have the budget, or a dedicated design team, you can refer to them to realise your ideas for content. However, if you’re on a shoe-string, or simply want to try yourself, you can utilise free guides, stock images and software to create amazing visuals. All you need is time, patience and a bit of creativity. Remember, when using a stock image, it’s important to understand its copyright (this is usually located on the website, or linked on the image’s page) to ensure that you are not infringing any laws.
  • Keep it simple: Don’t try to overcomplicate what you’re doing. A clear, simple image that communicates your brand (or message) will be easier to understand at a glance, reducing the risk of someone scrolling past it.
  • Careful colours: Your visuals might stay true to the colour scheme of your company’s logo and website, which is great! However, it never hurts to think about whether you’re using a colour that flatters and helps communicate your message. For example, if you were posting something celebratory or joyous, red would be an odd choice given that it traditionally denotes anger or warning. In addition, there is a practical side to picking colours. Overlaying white text on a pale background, for example, could result in the text being too difficult to read at a glance, causing the user to scroll on by.
  • Over editing: You want your content to look natural and feel effortless, especially if you’re using lifestyle imagery. Keep your themes and edits consistent. The dream is for a user to see your post and instantly recognise that it’s yours.
  • Fit for purpose: Different platforms have different guidelines for aspects such as image sizes and video length. Taking a quick look at these, and collating them in an internal document, will help you get the most engagement and performance from your post.
  • Use videos: Research suggests that videos generate more shares than other types of content, making them a great way to increase engagement and brand awareness. If you are planning to overlay text, you should always check the platform’s guidelines to make sure this is as effective as possible.

Writing it right
With such emphasis on visual content, it can be easy to forget about the written word. Visuals are what entice the user’s attention, but the accompanying copy will give more information and direct them where to go next.

The tone of copy can vary across platforms. Twitter, for example, has a character limit, meaning you need to keep it snappy. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is usually lengthier and more detailed, maintaining a professional tone. The trick with social media is to know your platform and audience and tailor your approach accordingly.

While you should cater your copy across platforms, the messaging and personality of your business should stay the same. It’s no good if your Tweets and Instagram captions contradict each other, or if you come across as an inviting, personable company on one platform and a stern, matter-of-fact company on another.

Lastly, check, check, and check again! Spelling and grammatical mistakes are signs that you haven’t checked your work, which can be a red flag (especially for potential B2B clients). If you aren’t a wiz with words, you can always use Grammarly to check your content before reading it out loud to yourself – if it sounds right when spoken, it probably is.

Need help mastering social media or designing the perfect piece of content? Drop us a line and we’ll help you discover a social media strategy that is sure to stand out!

Posted by Mike Hargreaves

Mike creates content for a variety of our accounts and believes that semi-colons are woefully underrated.