When it comes to social media content, what are best practices and newest trends?
As professional communicators, we thrive on articulating the precise words and ensuring our messaging is on-brand and on-point with our audiences. But when it comes to social media, it may be better to follow the old cliché: a picture’s worth a thousand words. Vision, after all, is our most dominant sense.
Some recent studies bear this out:
- Tweets with images receive 150 percent more retweets.
- Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement.
- More than 500 million Facebook users are watching videos on Facebook every day.
- Snapchat users watch 10 billion videos per day.
Not only does visual content get more interaction, it’s more memorable. According to John Medina, author of Brain Rules, “We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you'll remember 10-percent of it. Add a picture and you'll remember 65-percent.”
Here are a few things to consider when developing social media content:
Create strategic – yet shareable – content
When it comes to your social media content, it may be time to put down the pen (or keyboard) and pick up the camera. But this doesn’t mean simply swapping copy for a variety of branded product photos or sales videos. Nor does it mean dropping your brand standards to make a fun viral video. Visual content and strategic planning must go hand in hand. If you talk at your audience or try a little too hard to sell your product or service, you’re not going to generate much engagement or trust.
Before creating or sharing a piece of visual content, ask these key questions:
- What is your business objective? Will the content achieve this?
- Who is your audience? Why is this content relevant or interesting to them?
Solve a Problem
The easiest way to ensure that your content is relevant to your audience is to determine a problem or pain point that your product or service solves. In fact, 70-percent of YouTube viewers watch videos for "help with a problem" they're having in their hobby, studies, or job. By creating content that shows that you relate to your audience’s needs – selling a solution rather than selling a product – will help generate more interest and engagement, as well as trust for your brand.
Format your video content for the medium
Before creating a video, first, determine on which social media platform you plan to distribute your content because each has differing best practices. For instance, while Facebook and Instagram prefer 1:1 ratio square formats, Snapchat users prefer a vertical format. YouTube viewers expect high-resolution 720p or 1080p HD formats. The length of your video will also differ based on the platform.
In addition to the format of your videos, sound (or the lack of) is a key consideration. Currently, 85-percent of videos on Facebook are watched without sound, which means closed-captions are a must.
The bottom line is if you want your social media content to be engaging and effective: be helpful to your audiences to generate interest and be visual to be digestible and memorable.