There are over 3 billion people on the planet using social media accounts.
That’s almost half the world’s population.
Which means there are a lot of eyeballs available to land on your business’ social media content.
Now, not all those eyeballs will be available to you, of course.
If you try to speak to everyone, you ultimately speak to no one.
But assuming you have the correct product-market fit, a large part of your team’s effort will be concentrated on marketing to your customers.
If a lot of your audience hang out on social media (and there isn’t really an ‘if’ about it – trust us, they will be) then you’re going to need gripping social media content development to win their attention.
Think of 21st century social media marketing as a content development arms race – those who can produce the best content in the most efficient manner will dominate their space.
The ‘why’ behind social media content development
Bill Gates once famously said, ‘Content is king.’
Content marketing is a marketing strategy that’s been adopted by every successful digital business you can think of.
Although print advertising is a method that’s still alive and kicking, more and more businesses have moved online and the need for online content marketing has massively increased.
Content marketing is a strategy that builds trust and credibility with your audience by gradually growing a solid relationship with them.
Social media marketing is content marketing specific to those channels.
Consistently publishing quality content across your social media accounts will establish your business as an authority in its space, and complement your traditional print, SEO and email marketing strategies by engaging and nurturing your customers.
To summarise: you must invest in social media marketing to not only acquire new customers, but increase the lifetime value of existing ones.
Bear in mind – as with any form of marketing material, you need to develop social media content that your followers actually want to consume.
How to generate topic ideas for your social media content – H2
Guesswork and opinion should never play a role in generating social media content topic ideas.
If your competition is winging it, that doesn’t mean you should.
Your audience are experiencing specific problems and enduring very specific pains.
They’re browsing social media looking for answers, and your content needs to provide those answers.
There are numerous methods of content topic research, but the ones you should focus on are:
- Keyword research – whatever your audience are searching for on Google, they’re going to want to find in your social media content, as well.
- Analysing your previous social media content performance – if your audience are engaging well with certain types of social media content, you should produce more of the same!
- Asking your audience what they want ie market research – you can actually use surveys and polls on your social media accounts for this.
Once you’ve settled on some topic ideas, you need to go to the channels where your audience likes to consume content the most.
Just as you wouldn’t sell ice creams 10 miles away from the beach on rainy days, you wouldn’t post links to your company’s latest whitepaper on TikTok.
Go where your audience hangs out, and produce your content in the format that your audience prefers to consume.
- What they want – eg tips on morning routines for productivity.
- Where they want it – eg on LinkedIn and Twitter.
- How they want it – eg in a LinkedIn article, and an image tweet linking to a blog post.
The Various Types of Social Media Content – H2
Delivering your content in the format your audience enjoys consuming could not be more critical.
But which formats should you choose?
In this section, we’ll give you a rundown of the types of content you can publish on your social media accounts, with examples.
Text posts are the staple content of social media.
From Facebook statuses to tweets,, posts are the bread-and-butter of your social media content strategy.
LinkedIn posts tend to be very text-dominant, and read almost like mini-blog posts:
They can also be short and sweet – Twitter posts aka tweets famously have a 140-character limit:
Video is the most-consumed form of social media content on the web, driving 1200% more views than text and image posts combined.
You can share videos from external sources, or film your own – whether that’s professionally or DIY. Here’s a typical pro-shot video on PetSmart’s YouTube channel:
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Images are a concise and impactful way of sending your message on social media, and there’s a lot of data that evidences just how important social media images are for garnering attention.
As well as sharing stock photos or photos from your own gallery, you can create your own graphics. Sites such as Canva or PicMonkey are terrific places for this function, and offer free accounts with a range of features.
This image posted on Know Your Lemons’ Instagram does an eye-popping job of attracting attention to a charity campaign:
For an example of how pro photography can make you stand out social media, check out these images from Martha Stewart’s Pinterest account:
Everybody loves a good GIF.
Moving images, GIFs are an often-hilarious way of empathising with your audience’s emotions and making cool pop-culture references. They’re perfect for capturing zeitgeist moments and can give your social media content a fresh, contemporary feel.
They’ve become such a popular form of content, Facebook and Twitter have developed built-in GIF libraries.
If you need inspiration, the website Giphy stocks the biggest library of GIFs on the web.
But if you really want to invest the time and create truly epic content for social sharing, then create your own GIFs from scratch!
Infographics are a hyper-efficient way of presenting content.
With infographics, you can present your ideas as a visual-text hybrid. The vertical nature of infographics lends itself well to scrolling down the page, which is precisely the kind of on-page behaviour you want to encourage from your social media visitors.
You create your own infographics on DIY design sites like Canva, but if you really want to up your game and attract more attention, you should really outsource your infographic creation to a designer.
Look at how this infographic from Ruled.me explains keto diet foods concisely and accessibly:
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn all support poll features.
The cool thing about polls is their interactive nature. Your audience are not only viewing your content, they’re actively participating in it.
Polls are fun and require less time and effort than surveys for your customers.
They’re a quick and efficient way of gathering customer data, and gaining insights into your customers’ motivations and behaviours – such as this one on LinkedIn:
LinkedIn articles are native to the platform.
They’re essentially blog posts, but they make your content more visible to your connections than posts that link externally to other sources (as, obviously, LinkedIn like all social media platforms would rather have you stay on their site than click away to another one).
LinkedIn articles have a clean, easy-to-use interface similar to Medium, and you can produce detailed, deep-dive content using this format. The total character limit for articles on LinkedIn is 110,000, as opposed to 1,300 on standard posts!
John Espirian is a content marketer who prolifically publishes LinkedIn articles to help his audience in detail greater than regular LinkedIn posts allow:
Stories are time-sensitive posts available on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Although very similar to regular posts, they take up the full screen and are only active on your feed for a 24-hour timeframe.
These make excellent use of the scarcity principle in marketing – your customers are more likely to view the content due to fear of missing out. Stories’ popularity continue to surge.
Stories are great way of producing ‘one-time-only’ content or episodic content that doesn’t necessarily have an evergreen shelf life on your social media account.
Take this Instagram story by Booking.com as an example:
Your social media content can outpace organic reach with paid ads.
You can do this simply by paying to promote the content, to boost views in people’s feeds.
Or you can craft ads designed to capture leads and draw them to specific actions. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter run their own ad platforms.
Even the big boys use ads to grab their attention – such is the competition in social media feeds. The New York Times don’t need an introduction, but they still run Facebook ads like these to get ahead of organic competition:
User- generated content puts your audience at the forefront of the action.
Specifically, it involves your business publishing your customers’ content – whether that’s a video, an image they’ve sent to you, or retweeting one of their posts on Twitter, etc.
It achieves the double-whammy effect of boosting your brand’s authenticity and delighting your customers. It’s a form of interactivity – much in the same way that even in the digital age of on-demand music, listeners continue to telephone their favourite radio stations and request songs!
Your customers are thrilled by feeling that they belong to a community that your business has created.
GoPro are the kings of user-generated content – their entire social media content development strategy is underpinned by it. The ‘About’ video on their website, for instance, is user-generated content they originally published on their YouTube channel:
Social Media Content Promotion
Once you’ve chosen the right platform for your market and created the content, it’s time to promote it!
There are many ways of promoting your social media content, of course.
Simply clicking ‘Publish’ and waiting for people to engage with the content you’ve worked so hard to create won’t cut it.
Some of the tactics you can use are:
- Use social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer
- Paid ads/post boosts
- Influencer outreach
- Collaborate with other content creators
- Repurpose your content with new formats
This video summarises the ways you can promote your content:
How do I choose the right social media content for my audience? – H3
There’s no true ‘right-or-wrong’ answer for this.
The simple answer is – test and experiment!
Developing a habit of repurposing your social media content will help it resonate with your audience.
If a blog post didn’t receive much engagement, try repurposing it as a video or a podcast, for example. You may find that the topic and material you chose was excellent, and it just needed a format tweak.
Should I outsource my social media content development? – H3
That depends on the size and expertise of your team.
Social media content development is incredibly labour-intensive, especially if your business is running multiple social media accounts.
If your content campaigns are extensive, outsourcing is a sensible option.
The infographic below, courtesy of qarea.com, succinctly illustrates the benefits of outsourcing your labour:
How do I get more engagement on my social media posts?
Lack of engagement on your posts is usually caused by low traffic.
For increased engagement, try making a concerted effort to increase your content’s visibility.
Developing paid ads on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can go some way towards attracting your target market more effectively and generating more engagement with your content.
Alternatively, your content topics may not be resonating with your target audience.
If your content is getting plenty of views but little engagement, have a rethink about your topic ideation and try to zero in on the topics your audience is currently interested in. BuzzSumo is a great site for this type of research.
Think about crafting a compelling call-to-action (CTA) on each piece of content you publish – are you giving your audience a reason to engage? Are you encouraging their interaction?
Here’s an example of a post by Ramit Sethi on Facebook that does this:
Start developing awesome social media content
With the sheer variety of social media content available to you, there’s nothing to stop your business from creating killer content that turns warm leads into loyal fans.
If you’re unsure about any of the process, we’re here to give you the best advice possible.