Social media feeds, no matter the platform, are crowded spaces that are only getting more crowded.
To foster an authentic connection with your audience, you need to create and share content that both resonates and offers value. Think about your favorite brands on social. You likely glean something from their posts—a laugh, learning a new fact, understanding a process, viewing an attractive image.
The tricky part is that the perception of what’s truly valuable is different for everyone. Additionally, you can’t spend all your time creating content that offers so much value that your audience won’t then convert (i.e., buy your product or service). That’s the proverbial “giving away the farm.”
The sweet spot for social media marketers is to easily create value-based content that engages and entices your target audience.
Use these five strategies to do just that.
1. Develop graphics with sourced data from reputable brands
Whether it’s explaining a complex process, visualizing data, or telling a story, a good branded graphic can help illustrate any message.
To make your life simpler, research information and data from other reputable sources and translate it into an easy-to-digest graphic. Make sure to credit the original source to drive engagement back to them as well as offer your audience beneficial content.
Take a look at HealthMarkets’ article explaining Obamacare health coverage. They included a graphic to illustrate the different coverage levels for each plan, repurposing data from the government site, Healthcare.gov.
Note how this graphic explains a process pertinent to their service, that’s helpful to their audience, includes their branding, and authenticates the data with sourcing.
The key is to make it relevant and timely. There’s a ton of amazing studies, reports, and surveys out there—find applicable data from your industry and use it in your social media visuals.
2. Forget about perfection and production and get in front of the camera
I tell my clients all the time (let’s be real, I beg them) to create more real content and don’t worry about production value. If the past year taught us anything, it’s that we can create and share content from anywhere—we’re all working from home.
We don’t need to pretend that we have the ideal zoom background or spruce ourselves up before going live. Professional news anchors stream from their home offices, basements, even underneath their stairs, and so can every other brand!
For example, career advice brand, Entry Level Boss, recently started posting on TikTok and Instagram Reels with a lot of talking to the camera advice and it speaks to their target audience. Check out this perfect explainer video about entry-level jobs. The founder even posted on Instagram joking about how their team hadn’t showered in one of their videos with the highest engagement.
Especially if you’re offering content or advice that your audience wants (and needs) to hear—don’t worry about packaging it in a pretty bow.
3. Repurpose targeted inspiration
One of my favorite LinkedIn accounts to follow is The Female Lead. They employ a lot of third-party repurposing in their content, i.e., repost and credit other accounts in the name of inspiration.
Every time I see them on my feed, I interact with their content. Why? Because I’m their target demographic—a female professional who thrives on empowering messaging. They understand their audience and play to them. Most importantly, they’re not breaking their back, creating a ton of unique content because they repurpose relevant messages from within their industry (of course, with permission and credit).
Follow other industry leaders and brands. When you see a particularly powerful message, ask for permission to repost it and share it with your audience.
4. Host a Twitter chat
If you have a significant Twitter following, a Twitter chat can put you in direct contact with your community while producing a wealth of content in the process. The idea is that you host a virtual forum via Twitter for about an hour, ask questions and receive feedback from your audience. Then, you can use those responses, questions, and dialogue for future content.
- Create a graphic with your best responses (think advice, insights, or even funny anecdotes).
- Sum up the entire chat into a blog post. Then, of course, promote the wrap-up article on social media.
- Use questions for content development. If your followers have inquiries about a topic, that’s the perfect audience research to answer those questions via social media content.
Semrush delivers a masterclass on leveraging Twitter chats to offer value to their audience and amass several types of content. They create blogs, posts, quotes, etc., from their weekly Twitter chats. The best part is that you’re literally asking your audience what they want, then delivering that value-based content.
To get started, refer to this step-by-step guide I shared with GoDaddy, How to use Twitter chats for your business.
5. Ask for and use UGC to explain your value
What better way to explain your brand’s value (whether it’s a product or service) than by asking your existing audience, a.k.a your “fan base.”
Ask your followers for user-generated content (UGC) to share on your feed. What’s more, by being upfront about what you and your social platforms have to offer potential followers, you’re not wasting their time and thus sharing valuable content for them. You’re also engaging and promoting your current community’s opinions and voice. It’s a win-win-win.
UGC is an untapped source for many brands because they’re so focused on acquiring new followers that they forget the ones they have and that their current followers could become brand ambassadors. Ask your community why they follow you or for other relevant feedback about your organization and then use it to create social content.
Share more value With your audience
You have stiff competition with social media marketing (90% of people follow businesses on Instagram). The good news is that by offering your audience value, you can stand out from the crowd and drive more engagement. The key is to smartly repurpose so you can create and share more content while not inflating your budget. Use these five strategies to develop more content and offer your followers more of what they want in 2021.
Tracy is a content marketer and freelance writer who works with organizations to curate engaging content and grow their social media presence via targeted digital marketing strategies. She brings a real-life perspective to her writing from 8+ years of diverse experience, including HR, project management, customer and client relations, and admin roles. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.