A Perfect Match – The Right Content for Every Social Site
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This guest blog post was written by Tessa Wegert.
If you pare it down you’ll find that social media is really about two things: its users, and its platforms. Much of successfully connecting with consumers through social sites comes from understanding them, from their behavior and their interests to their affinity for your brand. You have to know them. But you also have to know what they’re looking for.
Each social media platform is ideally suited to a particular content format, and how you place your branded content impacts the way in which users receive it. Most people don’t go to Tumblr to read long-form blog posts, nor would they expect to see a tweet-by-tweet slideshow on Twitter. By matching every photo, video, GIF, and text post to the right network, though, you can leverage the way consumers are using social sites – and engage them accordingly.
Wired recently reported that Facebook’s user base is now as large as the population of the entire world back in 1804 – but what do these droves of consumers want to see? Short Wall posts, for one thing: research conducted by Buddy Media found that Facebook posts less than 80 characters in length have an engagement rate that’s 27 percent higher than that of longer posts. Photos can help, too: studies (http://corp.wishpond.com/blog/2013/01/10/infographic-the-impact-of-photos-on-facebook-engagement/) show that the inclusion of a photo in a Facebook post can generate 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments, and 84 percent more link clicks as a text-only post. Don’t forget to utilize Facebook’s recent feature upgrade and include a now-clickable hashtag so that consumers can follow activity surrounding your brand.
That 140-character limit makes it clear that Twitter is all about brevity, from tweets to videos and beyond. Video technology company Unruly found (http://www.unrulymedia.com/article/08-05-2013/unruly-unveils-top-vine-metrics-and-100-most-tweeted-vines-celebrate-app’s-100-da) that social media users now share five Vine videos every second on Twitter, and that Vines are more likely to be shared than branded videos in other forms. Aim for weekends, when Vine-sharing is at its peak, and be sure to add some context within the body of your tweet.
Built as a creative platform, Tumblr is the optimal place to display visual content. Its users – as you might expect – appreciate a good image. Tumblr reported at Social Media Week New York (http://new.livestream.com/smwnyc/events/1867753) that photos receive the most reblogs, followed closely by animated GIFs, text, and finally video. This is where marketers should be posting their brand and product imagery, along with long-form videos repurposed as bite-sized GIFs. Be sure to tag your posts with GIF, LOL, and other popular tag words to improve their discoverability.
Yes, it’s all about the photos – but there’s a technique to ensuring that they’re shared. Now that Pinterest has introduced an Analytics (http://business.pinterest.com/analytics/) dashboard, brands can monitor pinning activity to see what their users like. In general, creating pinboards around specific subjects that tie in with your product and brand is a good way to increase interest. BlogHer reports that 47 percent of consumers have made a purchase based on a “recommendation” from Pinterest, and themed boards relating to the seasons, upcoming holidays, product collections, promotions, and other aspirational subjects can inspire and excite.
Visual marketing is a powerful tool, and Instagram is the place to tell your brand story through photos. Go beyond posting your own photos to sharing those of your fans, which you can find by searching for brand mentions and hashtags. Reposting photos shared by others demonstrates an appreciation for your audience, while also upping your credibility as the purveyor of a product others care enough about to photograph. Now that Instagram has introduced video functionality, you can leverage consumers’ current interest in short videos on this platform as well.
Pairing the right content format with the right social site can lead to more shares and more positive user engagement. Every network has its perfect match.
– Tessa Wegert is a journalist, content developer, and marketing strategist specializing in digital media. She manages marketing and communications for Enlighten (http://www.enlighten.com), one of the first full-service digital agencies, and her articles have appeared in USA Today, The Globe and Mail, Yahoo, Mashable, and Marketing Magazine. You can follow her on Twitter at @tessawegert.
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