Steps to Writing Effective Social Media Content
Content marketing in the form of effective Social Media content is the new mode of marketing for most brands.
Businesses are rapidly shifting away from traditional methods of marketing and embracing digital marketing.
Part of this includes creating content for social media platforms.
There are various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. When Instagram is mentioned, we automatically think of visual content.
The founders were indeed hell-bent on establishing a prime social platform that majored on visual media.
Currently, over 1 million business advertisers are taking advantage of this.
Writing content for such social media platforms needs a well-developed strategy to attract a massive audience.
Let’s highlight some important steps that you can take to write effective social media content. Our main focus will be on Instagram.
Decide on a Central Topic
Of course, Instagram is all about great photos and marvelous graphics.
Most of the content that you will create for your social media campaign will revolve around them. It will no doubt be a fun and goofy affair.
However, you have to realize that you have a corporate and business agenda. You shouldn’t get lost in the fun and forget your business mission and purpose.
This requires you to settle on central topics that will capture your business mission, vision and agenda amidst all the images and graphics.
Just like narrative essay topics for college students, having a main topic for your content will ensure that you don’t drift away from the core purpose of creating it in the first place.
Afterwards, ensure that you come up with a schedule that will enable you to share these topics on Instagram.
For example, you can set specific time intervals in which you will share Instagram posts on the different topics that you’ve chosen.
This will increase the objectivity of your social media marketing campaign. It will also increase the outreach of your Instagram posts.
Scheduling your posts is important
There are tools which can help you schedule and plan your Instagram posts, for example, Buffer.
It helps with scheduling and analytics to enable you to achieve better results with social media content.
When dealing with Instagram, Buffer lets you caption and craft posts that are related to your central topics.
Let’s say you chose the topics of work balance and productivity. Buffer will assist you in pulling feeds that relate to either topic in order to come up with a flowing story.
Creating central topics is crucial. When Instagram users are contemplating whether to follow your feed, they’ll first skim through your posts to see if what you post is of any interest to them.
If they find an interesting topic that you’ve been posting consistently, they are highly likely to follow you.
The perception that they will get is that you have a great command on the topic.
The choice of a topic will depend on whether you are a B2B or a B2C company.
Most B2B companies tend to focus on industrial and operational topics whereas B2C tend to focus on customer and product experiences.
Whatever topic you choose, ensure that it always features consistently in your Instagram posts. Make a story out of it, and you will, in essence, be creating effective social media content that will have massive success.
Know Your Audience
To achieve social media content marketing success, knowing your audience is inevitable.
A recent estimate gave that there are over 700 million active Instagram users. But who among these millions falls among your target audience? You can only get an answer if you surely know who makes up your audience.
In virtually all marketing circles, the sure way of getting to know your audience is by creating audience personas. The personas should embody every aspect of the customer of your product including their goals, tastes, inclinations and aspirations.
Once you have such a persona, it will be easier to write content that suits them. It will also be easier to put a pitch to them. You will now know the different visual content that will attract them to your Instagram feeds. You will know what type of visual content is appropriate.
If you have multiple audiences, then you will use the different audience personas that represent them to create your social media content. Take into consideration that every audience is unique, and thus, you have to understand what works and what doesn’t.
In essence, social media content that has been created with a specific audience in mind is bound to be effective. It will appeal to the audience, who in turn will have access to it. You are likely to close a deal or get recommended when you create audience-specific content.
Know Your Objectives
After you’ve identified your audience, what follows is determining your objectives on Instagram. You need to determine why your brand has to use Instagram and what it stands to achieve by using it.
Your choice of using Instagram for your social media content will have some implications. One of them is functionality. There are specific actions that Instagram will allow you to do that other platforms won’t. This should be considered when determining your objectives. Again, the integration of Instagram with other networks is another aspect that needs consideration. You need to decide how this integration will suffice.
In light of the above, what are some of the objectives that you should have for Instagram?
- Showcase a product and service.
- Increase brand awareness.
- Grow consumer engagement.
- Share a business story.
- Connect with customers.
- Build a community.
- Generate traffic and leads.
- Showcase culture, etc.
The objectives identified above is just a slight consideration of what your objectives could be. Determining objectives enables you to have a clear-cut strategy for your social media content. It directs all your efforts to achieve these objectives.
It also enables you to know which content marketing strategy works for your Instagram feed. Your content marketing is poised to be effective if there are underlying objectives that underpin your Instagram campaign.
Duration of Posts
The frequency at which you post can have a bearing on the effectiveness of your content marketing. There is no set duration by which a person should adhere to though this is something that is up for debate. However, particular facts remain – the more you post, the more content that you will have on your feed, hence, more outreach.
Therefore, identify the frequency that will work this magic for you. It could be weekly, bi-weekly, after a fortnight, etc. When you have more posts online, you improve the search engine ranking of your content. They will appear among the top results when one searches the content.
In all respects, ensure that your frequency of posting doesn’t compromise the quality of the posts. You’d rather take your time and come up with quality posts than fill your Instagram feed with irrelevant posts.
Choose Your Brand Voice
A social media marketing strategy should have a brand voice. This voice should embody the qualities, values and ideas that you want your brand to be associated with.
Therefore, you ought to have identified the values that your brand stand for as an initial step. You should then figure out how you’re going to advertise them on your Instagram feed.
Your brand voice could either be:
- Laid back
- Adventurous, etc.
You can juggle between these voices depending on your audience and the type of content being promoted. For B2B companies, you are better off staying formal and authoritative. However, for B2C businesses, you can ease your tone and address the fans!
In most cases though, Instagram is a laid back platform. Most people are there to goof around, socialize or have a good time. The atmosphere is casual. If your brand voice could embody this, then you will attract a significant following.
Keep matters humorous and light. Reach out to the personalities of people, while also letting them reach out to yours. Share jokes, banter and joyful experiences.
However, don’t get caught up in such moments that you forget that you have a business agenda. Find the perfect balance like a true boss! And while you’re at it, ensure that you take a peek at what your competitors are doing. Your aim should be to have the edge over them.
Get Your Media Creation and Editing Right
As long as you are going to use Instagram for social media marketing, you are bound to use a lot of media. You should also face the fact that Instagram users are engaged with interesting and well-created media.
What does this imply about your media?
- You’d have to adhere to high quality standards when creating media. When it comes to photo-shoots, go for a professionally done one. Your photos should be well lit and adequately focused. This might mean digging deep into your pockets and probably getting a state of the art camera. If you are on a budget, you can utilize your smartphone camera. It can give you some great pictures too which you can edit using any photo editor for a great finishing. Whatever you do, don’t compromise on the quality of your photos. Instagram and photos are synonymous.
- You should invest in a great editing app. Apps such as Snapseed, Fotor, Enlight, Photogrid, etc. can be utilized to tweak your photos into masterpieces. However, when editing, ensure that you don’t overdo it. Also, the edits that you do should be invisible. No one should notice that you’ve performed any form of editing to a photo. If you’re in doubt about this, check the trending images on Instagram. Most of them have edits that are barely noticeable. Only the person who has made the edit that can trace, otherwise, second parties and third parties would be clueless.
- Have action oriented captions on your Instagram feed. This is typically having a call to action on your caption. It should move the viewers and followers to a certain intended course of action. For example, you could redirect them to your website where they can see more of your products and services and possibly make a purchase. This is indeed a great way of using Instagram for your marketing.
If you thought hashtags were for Facebook and Twitter only then you’re mistaken. Hashtags work well on Instagram too. They are quite effective as they increase your visibility on the platform. Some people search for items on Instagram through hashtags. Thus, you are bound to be found if you more rapidly if you make use of them.
Your best bet is picking a hashtag that’s popular and trending BUT not too large or your content will get lost. For example, something like #Love, is too large with over 1.3 Billion posts yes . . . Billion. Your content will never get seen
However if you use a more specific hashtag, let’s say you are in the comfort foot ware business and you find #coolshoes with only 95k posts you will potential dominate that hashtag group and gain visibility from users that post with #coolshoes hashtag. You will increase the viewers of your content exponentially thereby increasing your outreach.
Instagram provides a great avenue for creating contests such as photo contests. Such contests are not just for passing time. They are strategic efforts to increase traffic to your Instagram feed. You could also make a requirement where one needs to enter their details so that they can participate in the contest.
This way, you hit two birds with one stone. First, you will attract massive audiences to your feed and secondly, you will have acquired the contact details of the people who visited your feed. With these details, you can create an email list or a contact list for cold calling, hot calling, prospecting and newsletter or e-book subscriptions, etc.
Utilize Instagram Ads
Ads have for the longest time been used to reach out to target and niche markets. They leave no stone unturned. You’ll be glad to know that Instagram has ads that you can use for your social media content marketing. Though they come at a price, they can give you real results when used. Just ensure that you have an ad that’s appealing to the eye.
The fact that Instagram ads appear on the feeds of other people, you are sure to appeal to someone. With the right call to action on the ad and a separate landing page, you are bound to generate some great leads that will surely convert.
Social media is a great place to market your content. It has been tested, and the results were affirmative. The steps discussed in this article are sure to create effective social media content especially if you are using Instagram. Apply them today and increase the success rate of your marketing campaign.
Kevin is a professional educator and a private tutor with over 8 years of experience. He is also a content writer for various blogs about higher education, entertainment, social media & blogging. During his off time, Kevin enjoys traveling and cooking. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter – twitter.com/Nelson81Kevin, Linkedin & Google+ – plus.google.com/105923296583678753403/about.