The Best Social Media Content Is Tailored
Messaging is an essential part of creating your brand story and developing a voice. Having a consistent message throughout your social channels helps audiences understand what your brand is all about. But the way you deliver that message should differ among the platforms for the best results. I spoke with Social Media Associate Megan Doherty, to get some advice on how to tailor content for different social media platforms.
Q: Why shouldn’t you post the same content on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram pages?
First, it’s about how users consume content on each platform. While a brand story is not going to change, how that story is told needs to adapt to play by the rules of each specific platform.
For example, Twitter is known for shorter, quicker content. With hundreds of millions of Tweets published each day, the shorter the better. Plus, there are only 280 characters available – but a preference for around 100 characters. Quick insights, provocative statements and thoughtfully placed humor are key.
LinkedIn is a different story. Professionals are looking to interact, engage and learn on the platform. For brands, this can be challenging since users aren’t necessarily looking to interact with a company – they’re there for networking and making connections with others.
Facebook is making some pretty drastic changes right now that are impacting brands. Beyond the algorithm changes that prioritize friends and family over brands, the new shift emphasizes Groups. Facebook is going back to its roots and is putting community first. This means brands need to put community first in building content for the platform.
Instagram is all about the story. Whether that’s the Story feature or written narratives to accompany posts, people want stories here. Users flock to Instagram because it’s a forum for creative engagement. And that gives brands an opportunity to share their story, vision and opinion with followers on a more personal level.
Beyond platform specifics, it’s all about knowing your audience and what they want.
Q: How can you ensure your content is tailored for your audience to get the best results?
It’s all about knowing your audience segments. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they need and want. What are their motivations or problems that you can solve? The more you know about your audience, the more you’ll be able to align different audience segments with each platform.
For example, a company developing technology for smart cars might know that OEM executives are active on LinkedIn but car owners are on Instagram. The content for each of those channels is going to look different because the needs and wants of these two audience segments are different. The OEMs want to know how the brand’s technology can benefit their bottom line to drive sales. The consumer is looking for cool features that they can have in their car.
Q: Do you have recommendations for learning what an audience wants or needs?
If you don’t think you know enough about what your audience might relate to, get to know them! Read the content they read, learn the technology they know, and educate yourself about issues they might face or struggle with. Do market research to dive deep into what audiences need and want. If you know what motivates them to take action, you’ll be able to give them content that inspires that action.
Even if you have a baseline understanding of your audience, testing is a great way to make sure you’re always giving them the content they need and want. Which audiences prefer video content? Which ones prefer images? Audience preferences and social platforms are changing all the time. Continuously testing and trying new things will ensure you always give your audience the right content in the right place so you get the right results.
Q: In summary, what do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind when experimenting with new content?
Above all else, relevance is key. Is your content relevant? Does it have a place on this platform? These are the key questions to ask in order to set yourself up for maximum engagement and interaction on each platform. This takes work – keep experimenting with what works for your audience and what doesn’t!