From helping brands create awareness to driving sales and building a solid community, social media is an essential aspect of marketing in the digital era and acing your social media strategy has become all the more important. Yet, despite having access to a multitude of platforms each serving a different purpose and lending itself to a different type of content, trends rarely stay the same from year-to-year and the competition has never been stiffer. Not to mention that crafting fresh content that attracts users’ attention day after day whilst figuring out what to say, how to say it and where to post it can be time-consuming, expensive and at times, just plain overwhelming.
To help you stay on top of your social media presence, we have gathered a series of posting ideas that should shake up things for you and are set to give you an edge when planning your strategy.
1. Make a splash with video
One of the most important trends that is set to become the primary driver of web traffic according to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, video should become a must in your social media strategy. From the professional basketball league NBA to clothing giants like Guess and major newspapers such as The Washington Post, many brands are using TikTok for instance in ways that are fun and surprising so as to reach new audiences. There’s no need to go over the top with this one. A simple how-to or tutorial video can give you enough traction, while these can be used for any industry and any type of product, whether it is B2C or B2B. So, whether it is on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram stories, Snapchat or TikTok get your camera (or mobile) rolling.
Consider going live once in a while. Facebook Live, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all have options to do that. Facebook Live or Twitter Live, in particular, can be used to preview upcoming events or products, while you can also create a live demonstration of your services. Another way to engage your followers is to hold a live Q&A session with an industry expert.
2. Encourage User-Generated Content
Also known as UGC for short, this type of content is created by people who expose a brand’s products or services to an audience and can come in any form be it text, images, video or reviews. This, in turn, is shared by the brand itself in its various media accounts. Think of Apple’s #ShotoniPhone hashtag on Instagram where over 11 million people have already shared their photos under this. Often regarded as influential, trustworthy and interesting, this type of content is ideal for promoting authenticity but more importantly, UGC can have an impact on purchasing decisions.
If you’re new to the whole UGC concept, you might be somewhat apprehensive as to how to go about it. Start off by urging your followers to tag you in posts by reposting or featuring that content. Another simple yet effective move is to comment and engage with your audience on a regular basis.
3. Leverage hashtags and trending topics
We’ve seen it happen before. A random hashtag or topic appears out of nowhere instantly becoming all that anyone talks about for days if not for weeks. You can tap into this buzz if you can find a way to make such topics relevant to your business. By using amusing and cleverly created content, you can garner genuine engagement. Another alternative to this is to create weekly themed content, whereby you can introduce a topic that is unique to your brand.
To nail this one and make it truly work for your business you must keep your eyes constantly peeled on what people are talking about online. If you’re opting to go for the weekly themed content, then identify your audience’s pain points and get experts in this field to create a podcast, blog article or video which you can repeat every week and then share on your social media channels
4. Give Guerilla marketing tactics a go
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, guerilla marketing refers to ingenious tactics that thrive on original thinking and creativity, typically trumping classic strategies that perhaps aren’t delivering, while beating out big budgets. What’s more, major brands ranging from Colgate, National Geographic, Amnesty International, Coca Cola and the Copenhagen Zoo have all used this strategy in the past. How does this relate to social? Picture passers-by being caught by surprise by a giant prop of some kind. They do a double take to confirm that they weren’t just imagining that giant snake crashing that bus or that enormous baseball lodged on the side of a building. They take their phones out, snap a photo and instantly share it on their social media. And just like that, your marketing tactic has become viral.
We know that coming up with a unique idea isn’t easy, however, you must try to think outside the box so that your ideas will be novel enough to surprise audiences. Consider things that may appear simple but can easily cause a stir like impressive graffiti in urban spaces, chalk art on pavements or a photo-sharing app.
5. Highlight industry news, statistics, tips & advice
In this time and age, few are those who have the time and patience to keep abreast with the latest happenings in their industry or niche. Pumping important information right into their feed is a good way of driving engagement. So, whether you retweet big news, highlight new features or ask questions about upcoming changes, you’ll be able to give your opinion on the matter or show your support for a cause, plus you’ll get the opportunity to establish yourself as an industry expert.
Statistics are another easy and free way to find content to share. But avoid being a bore by listing statistic after statistic. Shake things up a little by showcasing important industry numbers in infographics, images or videos. The same applies to long blog posts and articles. Instead of linking to the actual piece that may take anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes to read, consider summarising the most important points into bullet points or even an image. You don’t have an in-house designer to create such collateral? Not a problem. Use design tools for non-designers and get your creative juices flowing.
6. Put a spotlight on company culture
From team meetups and colleague hangouts to CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities and your vision and mission statements, sharing snippets of your company culture is another great way of highlighting your brand’s personality and building a solid community of supporters. Also, by being open about your company, you’ll have greater chances of attracting talent since potential candidates tend to scour organisations’ social media accounts to get a feel of what working in that company would look like.
If you’re looking to present something different other than images of your past events and the likes, you can always share company statistics and metrics. These things will boost your transparency efforts.
7. Showcase your own blog posts
An essential game plan to reaching your audience, having a blog should become a fundamental part of your content strategy. Not only do you have a greater chance of ranking higher on search engines and driving traffic to your website, but you will also have an increased opportunity of getting more leads. And whereas once upon a time, blogging and social media were two different types of content whereby the former showcased your long-form and fact-packed articles whilst the latter featured less serious stuff, nowadays a blog informs social media posts. So, go ahead. Promote your articles on your social media channels to enrich your followers’ experience but remember to provide value-added and actionable content.
Creating good quality, regular content comes with its own set of challenges so have a look at these 6 tools to help you create better content and these tips on how to get past writer’s block if you ever find yourself stuck. Once you get the ball rolling with your blog, create a variety of posts to share on social media.
8. Host a contest or giveaway
A tried and tested marketing method that has stood the test of time, quizzes and contests that lead to giveaways are always a hit and can deliver the desired results. Not only will you be able to show your appreciation and reward loyal customers, but you can also generate new leads which you can target at a later stage. After all, who doesn’t love free stuff? What’s more, this post idea is a great way to promote new products or services.
Make this work to your favour even more by tasking your audience to like your page, comment or share as a condition for entry or as a way to increase their chances of winning. Another alternative is to join forces with an influencer since it will allow you to tap into their following, increasing your chances of building a community.
With over three billion people across the globe using social media every month, having a presence on one or more of these platforms is essential regardless of whether you are a startup trying to get a foothold in your industry or a well-established brand looking to reach new audiences.
Need some further help with your posting? Have a look at how Brand & Pepper can manage your social media and help you connect with customers, increase awareness around your brand and boost your leads and sales.
By Linas Jankauskas