Think about the last post you shared with your network. It may have been on the professional side, sharing a trending article with your LinkedIn followers, or perhaps it was a quick video on your Instagram story documenting that fabulous new outfit you can’t wait to bring out post-COVID.
The need for new and engaging content is steadily rising, especially as many of us continue to work remotely. With public events mostly non-existent at the moment and people not gathering together, social media managers and marketers must pull out their creativity caps and think outside the box when it comes to driving engagement from existing branded content, virtual events, stock images, or big industry trends.
Interested in learning how to do this for your own brand or business? If so, let’s explore the ways in which brands can maintain social engagement with audiences in a remote environment and look at a few notable companies already putting creativity into action and brand managing successfully.
Spicing Up Your Channels Starts with Mixed Content
The social media channels many of us follow are inundated with all types of content – images, video, memes, gifs – you name it. Marketers are consistently looking to stand out in the sea of competition; however, the challenge lies not only with breaking past the noise of direct competitors but with establishing a presence amongst other industry players, professionals, celebrities, and more. What’s one way to do that? The answer is simple: Prioritize video content on your social media platforms.
According to a HubSpot report, video has become the most commonly used format in content marketing, overtaking blogs and infographics. Video goes further than images when it comes to bringing content to life – it also grabs and holds the attention of an audience in a unique way. Often paired with a catchy tune or comical voiceover, video offers both visual appeal and an interactive way to speak to your followers. TikTok is a great example of a social platform allowing brands and users to creatively utilize video, given the fact that their entire platform is centered on this one form of content. Additionally, 61 percent of marketers said they plan to increase their video spending in 2021, proving that video holds value for both companies and the audiences they connect with on a daily basis.
Engaging with Your Audience, The Right Way
The number of popular social platforms is endless – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Reddit, Instagram. As we continue to stay home, many of us are looking for new types of entertainment to help pass the time; unconsciously, we are also seeking the right brands to entertain us. Why give a company or individual your attention in the form of a page follow if they have inconsistent posts and, more candidly, boring updates and content?
Fortunately, it’s easy to make sure you’re not deemed one of the boring brands with these three steps:
- ID your most engaged platform. Once determined, you can start focusing more of your brand messaging efforts there and then capitalize on the content that resonates most with your audience.
- Leverage trial and error by testing the content and cadence you choose to post to see what works! It’s worth noting that this approach differs per platform and should be adjusted accordingly. For example, according to LinkedIn, companies that post 20 times per month reach at least 60% of their unique audience, but that number is likely much different on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, pending the posting cadence and audience size.
- Monitor engagement over time. Is your audience vibing with your newest meme or gif game? How about those blogs and new product page shares? Try testing out new content over a 1-3 month period to see what’s landing and what’s not. If you’re not seeing a spike in click-through rates, adjust your content and approach accordingly.
Social Media MVPs
It’s one thing to “talk the talk” when it comes to improving your social media efforts as a business, but which brands are currently out there “walking the walk” and successfully using their platforms to engage their audiences?
One organization worth noting is the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, which, unfortunately, was forced to shut its doors temporarily to the public due to the pandemic. This, however, has not stopped the zoo from engaging with its social followers with relevant content. In fact, they chose to utilize Facebook Live, where every day at 3 p.m. ET the zoo hosts an at-home, classroom experience for the community called “Home Safari Facebook Live” where they highlight one of their animals and include fun activities. The interactive live events let kids and adults ask questions, share their finished projects with each other and enjoy an educational 20-minute distraction each day.
Another notable example is Coca Cola, which adjusted its social media strategy by choosing to highlight other organizations’ content – and not just with a retweet or tag. At the start of the pandemic, Coca Cola announced that they were “donating” their social feed to partner with community organizations like the American Red Cross, allowing them to publish posts from the Coca Cola social media accounts. Not only did this create a unique opportunity for the company to spice up its content, but by taking a back seat and elevating the messages of organizations dedicated to serving the community on their platform, Coca Cola was able to demonstrate its own commitment to giving back.
2021 & Beyond
Social media platforms have arguably been one of the greatest inventions created in our time. If you’re using them correctly, these platforms offer brands a lot of value, from staying connected with their audiences, generating new sales, or even helping to make a difference across communities.
The biggest thing to remember is to get creative! Content can become stale quickly and it’s crucial to mix things up with your channels and keep your audience interested, especially now when you have an “at-home” audience that’s eager for a steady stream of engaging content. Companies like Coca Cola and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden can provide inspiration and a great reminder to all of us to keep it interesting and take advantage of the variety of features each platform offers, such as going “Live,” utilizing interactive Twitter polls and more.
If you’re looking to mix up your own social content strategy, check out some of our other insightful Hotwire blogs and podcasts here. Or reach out – we’re always happy to chat!