Editor’s Question: What are your top tips for creating engaging social content?

Editor’s Question: What are your top tips for creating engaging social content?

Creating engaging social content can turn a company’s prospects around. If a business has a strong social media presence, it can use this platform to increase brand awareness or increase sales. But what is the best way to increase your presence on social media. Henrique Cruz, Head of Growth, Rows, says it is important to make sure content is relevant.

He said: “It’s one thing to create social content, but making it engaging is crucial to maximising its impact. Audiences want to see and interact with content that delivers value to them. It can be easy to fall into the trap of producing content for content’s sake, but if it doesn’t solve a specific problem, then brands aren’t engaging their audiences in the right way.”

Being on brand is another important factor. Cruz added: “Consistency also plays a key role when creating engaging social content because it ensures that companies are building a personality they would like their customers to associate with them. Businesses should look at the sector they operate in and the variety of voices that exist there and carve out an identity for themselves. Establishing this first is central to securing buy-in and building trust.”

Cruz also recommends making sure that your content is pattern breaking. He said: “Social media is an incredibly crowded space, with every company vying for the most attention. Content that stands while you scroll is winnable content. The impact is a break in the chain, stopping viewers in their tracks and encouraging them to interact.”

Creating sensory content is a must too. “Viewing experiences are also increasingly taking a sensory turn. Whether through sound or visually, that initial reaction to a post or video is so important, leaving businesses with less than a few seconds to captivate viewers – and keep them hooked for longer. TikTok is a great example of this, where videos with good audio and an interesting visual dimension have the most success. With video content estimated to be the most engaging form of content across most channels, taking viewers on a sensory experience has become key. Creating content with this front of mind will keep audiences hooked, serving to build that initial relationship with brands which has become crucial,” Cruz said.

He added:Finally, it’s important not to lose sight of how social media became so popular in the first place – empowering users with the ability to share content with their friends and family. It is here where brands get the biggest bang for their buck when spending on their social campaigns. Through the sharing and re-sharing of content, brands can widen the net outside of their traditional network, significantly driving engagement potential. Like in any market, giving customers a product that they want makes sure that the message cuts through.”

Ollie May, Sales Director, HubSpot:

Creating compelling social content is a blend of science and art, requiring equal parts data-driven strategy and creative inspiration. And here are five tips to achieve that:

  1. Know your audience: Engaging content starts with a deep understanding of who you’re talking to. Brands must conduct market research, dive into analytics and create detailed audience personas. What are their interests, preferences and pain points? Once this information is achieved, it can be utilised to tailor content and spark conversation.
  2. Tell a story: Appealing content is often wrapped up in compelling narratives. Stories evoke emotion, stimulate curiosity and are inherently shareable. Whether it’s introducing a new product or sharing behind the scenes insights, a business must weave a narrative thread that captures attention and keeps your audience wanting more.
  3. Leverage user-generated content (UGC): UGC is a testament to a company’s credibility. It’s genuine, relatable and intrinsically social. Invite followers to share their own experiences or ideas around your product or service, and don’t forget to credit them when sharing their content.
  4. Stay responsive and foster dialogue: Social media is a two-way street. Responding to comments, posing questions or asking for opinions can turn passive content consumers into active community members. Regular interaction strengthens relationships and builds a sense of belonging around your brand.
  5. Experiment and optimise: The digital landscape is ever-evolving. Organisations need to stay curious and keep testing new formats and channels. Monitor performance, learn from what works (and what doesn’t) and constantly optimise strategies. In this dynamic environment, being adaptable is key.

Alongside this, it’s crucial to identify key metrics and KPIs as these serve as a GPS, guiding you to the desired results. Additionally, become acquainted with competitors. Their strategies may inspire, but remember, your content should be unique to your narrative and messaging. It should also echo your buyer persona insights and reflect each stage of the buyer’s journey. Finally, consistency is key. To help with this, companies can establish a consistent posting schedule to maintain audience interest and ensure visibility. Each of these steps complement the other to create a tapestry of truly engaging social content.

Furthermore, creating engaging social content isn’t a one-size-fits-all task. It requires creativity, strategic thinking and a touch of boldness. But most importantly, remember to have fun with it and showcase your brand’s personality. Social media, after all, should be a delightful experience for both you and your audience.

Joanna Reynolds, Managing Director, Bordeaux & Burgundy:

Defining your target audience is the first and most crucial step in creating engaging social media content. Research your audience and create buyer personas to help guide your content creation. Understanding your target audience’s interests, pain points, motivations and what social media platforms they use will help you create content that speaks to their needs and preferences.

When looking at putting content to market, it’s important to note that visual content is more engaging and shareable than text-based content. According to a recent study, content with images gets 94% more views than content without images. As such, I advise incorporating high-quality images, videos, infographics and other visual elements in your social media posts. 

Storytelling is another powerful way to share your brand’s message and values to engage your audience. People love stories! To help create a deeper emotional connection with your brand, make sure your stories are authentic, relatable and memorable. Share customer success stories, case studies or stories about your brand’s journey.

In addition, providing value to your audience is key to creating engaging social media content. This can be in the form of educational content, industry news, product updates or entertaining content. Use relevant hashtags to increase the visibility of your social media content. Whatever type of content you create, ensure it’s relevant and valuable to your audience. Consider creating content that helps your audience solve a problem or learn something new in their industry. 

Social content can also drive demand for your products or services. Creating content showcasing the benefits and unique selling points of your products or services can generate interest and ultimately drive conversions.

Other ways to engage with your audience is by responding to their comments, messages and posts. This can help you build relationships and create a community around your brand. 

It’s important to remember that success in marketing is not just one piece of engaging content. It’s consistent campaigns, engagement and messaging throughout all areas over time. For repeatable results, testing and optimising your social media content helps to improve engagement and ultimately drive results. Analyse your metrics, such as engagement rate, reach and conversions, and use this data to optimise your content and strategy continually. Test different types of content, visuals and posting times to find what resonates with your audience most.

Keep in mind that social content should always be part of a broader marketing strategy that includes other channels, such as email marketing, content marketing and SEO, for example. Ensuring that you integrate your social media efforts with your other marketing channels can assist in creating a cohesive and effective marketing strategy that drives results.

Billy Jones, Senior Director of Brand Marketing, Hootsuite:

Before deep diving into a content strategy, any social-first brand will start by asking themselves: “What value am I providing to the people that follow me?” 

Social is a two-way street, and good social understands the value exchange that inherently lives on these channels. Needless to say, value can come in various forms on social – at Hootsuite, we ask ourselves these two questions to identify where our value lies: 

  1. Is this entertaining? The reality is users pop on to social networks to be distracted from their day-to-day. How can you break up their monotony with something that entertains in-feed?
  2. Is this a utility? This is where you can get more into your own product and services, but with the requirement that it has to be framed by real insights around the pain point you can help this user solve.

If you’ve got a sense of the value you are creating, that’s where you can have fun with execution and ways to extend your reach.

To get more creative with social content, social marketers need more time on their hands (away from their growing responsibilities). There are content creation tools and AI generators that help get to bigger ideas faster. Automated tools like Hootsuite’s OwlyWriter AIsave social media marketers hours of work, by:

  • Writing new social media captions based on just a prompt
  • Writing social posts based on a link – for example to a blog post or product page
  • Generating post ideas based on a keyword or topic
  • Identifying and re-purposing your top-performing posts. 

The social space is not void of inspiration either. With new trending pop culture topics and memes floating around every day, brands can easily insert their unique value into existing conversations people are having. This is where social gets insanely creative and fun: can you package up your brand’s unique utility via existing and timely pop culture trends? The social teams that are crushing in 2023 have this superpower – taking existing cultural cues to tell their unique stories.

Don’t underestimate the power of social listening to get a real-time pulse check on what your audience cares about. Armed with that information, challenge your team to insert your brand into those niche (but relevant) conversations in a unique way. 

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