Believe it or not, your social media accounts can help with your positioning, engagement and reach, and can even help to win you new clients! However, with so many key factors to consider, it can be hard to manage and find the right strategy that will engage your audience.
If your social media accounts aren’t getting the engagement you’d expect, it’s most likely that your biggest issue is your content. So, how can you make sure the content you’re publishing is hitting the mark and sending the right message out? In this article, we’ll deep-dive into why content is the most important tool in your arsenal and how to perfect your content before anything else.
The first step is usually the most obvious. How do you know what social media content to make if you haven’t done your research? With any type of content, the key to how it performs lies in whether it’s relevant to your agency and most importantly your audience. If your content doesn’t currently engage your target audience then the best way to find out what works is to look at your analytics. LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook all have analytics that can help you visualise the effectiveness of every post or campaign. To find out how well an individual post has done, you can look at the in-depth analytics for the individual posts of that month. This can tell you what social media content is working for you in terms of engagement. Then from there, you can look at how many clicks the post got. You can marry this up with your CTA and find one that works for your overarching marketing strategy. Take the time to look at what posts have performed well and then rank them accordingly. This test and learn process will allow you to trial different types of messaging and posts to see what resonates with your audience.
Another option is to look at what your competitors are doing. This can help you see what has been working across the industry overall and how you can take inspiration from their best content – but remember that your agency is different to your competitors and your content should therefore reflect your unique selling point. You always need to differentiate.
These aren’t the only important considerations. You should look at your audience as it stands. Is the current market segment your targeting showing a desire to work with you? If not, then the content you’re sharing may not be relevant to them. This can be to do with the messaging or focus of your content or might be that the CTA isn’t clear enough. It’s also important to look at where your content is taking the user – the content journey will help also help you to understand why your posts are not performing.
Another piece of research you can do to help improve your content is to simply ask your audience themselves. The people following you right now are there for a reason, so why not ask them what they want to read about or find useful? If they follow you, they like already like what they see, but understanding more about what really resonates with them may help you to gain a wider reach – they may throw up things you haven’t thought about! Q&A’s, polls and asking questions in the copy can help you engage with your audience and potentially build a community of active and attentive viewers.
Types of content
Figuring out what kind of social media content works best for your agency can be a struggle. With so many options on how you can draw people in it can be a daunting prospect determining what’s right – from video and images to value posts, it can take time to find the right approach. This is where a test and learn approach is key once again. But to give you a head start, let’s consider some figures:
On Oberlo we saw that Instagram has 500 million daily active stories and 1 billion monthly active users. This shows that video and imagery content works really well to maximise engagement. Though video seems to perform much better than images with a 49% higher interaction rate. Another way to create content that really finds your audience is by using the newest features of social media platforms as soon as they are released. Instagram rewards profiles that use their new features as it helps to keep users on their app longer (sneaky). So, if you want your content to perform well, adapt your approach and keep a keen eye on new updates.
Plus, you can take inspiration from others content on any platform. Instagram has many content creators that provide valuable insights into marketing do’s and don’ts. For example, Sales Change is a guru when it comes to talking about what you should be doing for content. Another great source is thechrisdo on Instagram. You could also look at your own insight pieces and take content from blogs you’ve made to help get the most out of what you’re creating.
The social media strategy
With any post or campaign, the idea is to use the content to drive your audience to a CTA, which means that a post without a reason won’t do much to help you achieve any real results. Not only that but you shouldn’t be limited to only one form of content on your account – you should be utilising the full potential of the platform, giving your agency the power to create a strong engaged audience. This is also a key factor of Instagram’s algorithm that can determine if your content is seen by more users. Buffer says that “Instagram looks at your past activity to gauge your potential interest. So, if there’s a certain genre of content that you engage with more frequently (e.g., food), Instagram might rank content in that genre (e.g., food, restaurants, etc.) higher on your feed.”
An example of how to do this is to promote your new posts with a quick and simple story. “Have you ever wondered what a dog looks like, upside down? Well, check out our post to find out!”. This isn’t just notifying the audience but is asking them to engage with you. You are actively talking to them about their opinion or their experience. Another place you would do this is when you’re at a pitch or networking. People want to talk about themselves, and this kind of approach helps to give that involved feeling which makes them come back for more. Heyorca explains the reason for asking a question to your audience is “Social media algorithms favour brands that start conversations and engage followers. The more comments you get on your posts, the wider your reach will be.”
This is why your strategy needs to consider the user journey and always have an end goal. You need to give your content the best chance to be seen outside of your audience to draw more people in, while also making sure your current audience isn’t neglected. Do more than just one type of post and add more dynamic elements that will make them come back for more.
Optimise your social media content
If you’ve been managing your agency’s social media for a while, you’ll know that every platform is different. In many cases, you tend to (and should) use one platform differently from others. But agencies don’t! For example, as an individual, you will make a subconscious decision about what you post and where – like a cute picture of your pooch on Instagram and then your thoughts on working from home on LinkedIn. This is because we know what the audience expects on these platforms. This is exactly what agencies don’t do. There’s a tendency to use the same content across all platforms without considering that it might be driving away potential leads. Make sure to post content that takes note of how people use social media and step away from posting the same thing on all your different channels. Here is a great blog by Review42 that gives you statistics on how businesses are using social media to help get you started.
If it works, do more of it!
Post more of the stuff that works and try to post at least once a day. People always seem to pass this off as an algorithm myth, but really it’s just common sense. If users see a YouTube channel they’re interested in that only posts once a month, and there are other YouTube channels that post similar content daily, who do you think they are going to subscribe to? Of course, it will take time to post more and put more content together, but in this fast-paced digital world, posting more regularly is by far the best approach. If you’re not able to post every day, then the alternative is to create content that has real value and a unique selling point. This is what we call ‘Value Content’. It looks at taking key tips or advice and turning it into digestible content for social media that will provide useful information for your audience. A way you can start generating this content quickly is to take 6-8 key insights from a blog or video and then spread them over 6-8 slides with a title slide and a CTA at the end. This is great for time-poor individuals who don’t tend to read or watch longer-form content and you can make it visually engaging, too. Look out for the value post we create for this blog!
The key takeaways
When you’re running a continuous social media content strategy, it’s really important to look internally as well as externally. Just because your competitors are doing something on social media, it doesn’t mean you should. Like with any marketing campaign you want to be the ones to stand out from the crowd, not blend in with the social feed. Look at what your agency does best and reflect that in your social media content – brainstorm ideas and then ask your audience (including your clients) what they want to see more of. Finally, deliver your valuable content in an engaging and innovative way so that your audience will be excited and want to see more. Good luck!