Social media is the embodiment of your brand’s identity and the content you share is essentially your brand’s behavior. Content gives your brand character, human qualities, and helps to build those deep connections with consumers.
Content is the way to execute your brand behavior on social media, but you can’t just create, post and hope for the best. Social media was once considered the wild, wild, West – meaning that anything goes. This doesn’t hold true anymore. Social media is currently in its experimental stage, and the more risks brands take, the more we learn what works and unfortunately, what totally backfires.
Behave Appropriately Based on Your Audience
When I say behave appropriately, I mean become like-minded with your audience and truly understand their interests. Even though it’s online, the environment and community matters. Just like you wouldn’t wear a bathing suit to a wedding, you wouldn’t post cat videos to a target audience of business professionals. The content you share highlights your brand’s behavior, and it has to be catered towards the individuals that are ultimately driving your social success.
Different social platforms host different audiences, and in return, this affects your brand behavior. On Twitter, it’s more appropriate for your brand to joke around. You can engage in banter with other brands, similar to the notorious Wendy’s vs. McDonald’s Twitter “feud.”
This kind of banter wouldn’t be as well received on Instagram. Instagram has evolved into a more professional platform, used to post visuals and showcase your brand’s work. Instagram content should be designed to be a part of your collective brand image – think of it more as an archive of best moments. Leave the personal conversations and snarky comments for Twitter.
Snapchat still offers that wild, wild, West mentality of the Internet. This is the platform to show behind the scenes action and take risks with your content. Has your brand been wanting to explore how audiences would react to a new product or service? Try posting it as a Snapchat story – it’s a quick teaser that won’t live forever on your social account. Anything goes on Snapchat – just don’t forget about screenshot capabilities.
Be Authentic – Engage With What Makes Sense for Your Brand
Think about how much content is posted online every day. Your brand needs to work harder to break through the massive amounts of content by being authentic. Real, authentic content is what drives an audience to your social platforms.
It seems like common sense, but the most effective way to create authentic content is to stay true to your brand’s core values and have a consistent brand voice. Don’t veer off just because something’s popular. Make sure you’re engaging with content that makes sense for your brand. Once you identify your brand’s social media personality, it’s encouraged to get creative and take risks, but that doesn’t mean jumping on every bandwagon. If it’s not a fit for your brand, it’s okay to veer on the safe side.
Jumping on bandwagons that aren’t a fit for your brand or trying to take a stance on a societal issue can backfire. If your intentions don’t seem genuine or seem too forced, you could get your brand in some hot water. Pepsi’s ad with Kendall Jenner, anyone?
Be Insightful – Make Sure You’re Creating Content That’s Resonating With Your Audience
Quality content is the key to driving engagement and making lasting impressions on your audience. Again, with the massive amounts of content available on the Internet, you have to find ways to focus on storytelling and provide the best, personalized content experience.
Providing value is one of the most beneficial ways to resonate with your audience. In order to ensure your content is providing value, you can check that it falls into one of these four buckets:
- Engaging – Build relationships through your content by starting conversations, creating polls, asking questions
- Educational – Create content that allows other brands to learn from your own, provide thought leadership, discuss trends and implications for your industry
- Inspirational – Share advice, inspire creativity and be positive with your content. Believe it or not, your energy and tone is very apparent on social
- Entertaining – Make people laugh, whether it’s memes or viral videos, people will come back to your platform for entertaining content
Overall, your content should be created to drive engagement with your audience. Content that resonates and drives engagement is built on forward-thinking, leaps into unexplored territory, pushes creative and distinct points of view, as well as messages that are authentic to the brand.