By some estimates, 11 new users join a social media network every second, adding up to millions of new users annually. But the landscape of social media is dramatically different than it was five years ago.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been under fire for their questionable data policies and their use as propaganda ploys.
Trust in all institutions, whether private or public, has never been lower, especially in the Silicon Valley. Rather than connect brands with their customers, social media may have assisted in creating a larger divide.
Organic reach over social media, especially Facebook, has never been lower and it’s leaving many businesses to abandon the channel as a promotional vehicle. But social media marketing is not dead.
In fact, marketing content over social media is still very profitable, if you know which channels and what content to market. Let’s explore.
Content by Channel
There are currently 2.2 billion active users on Facebook, making it the world’s most popular social network. If you’ve already used the network, then you know that video is by far the most prominent piece of content being shared by your friends.
Facebook receives over 8 billion daily video views and marketers are upping their budget to match this demand.
Live video also performs well over the network, although Instagram has attempted to challenge Facebook’s hegemony for some years. After Facebook Live hit the network, Facebook recieved a 700% uptick in video views annually.
Best Content: Video, Live Stream, Local Content, Images
While Twitter may be a significantly smaller network, advertisers enjoy access to much of the same demographic and psychographic information that Facebook has to offer. Research has shown that Twitter users tend to be higher earners and a vast majority of them engage over their mobile phone. With limited character posts, short text based tweets with links tend to be in the highest demand over the network.
Best Content: Images, Mobile Optimized Articles
Instagram users are a vast, diverse pool and tend to offer greater engagement than other networks. In fact, brand engagement over Instagram is growing faster than marketers signing up for the platform.
Think about it. Instagram is the world’s most prolific visual content website and most people tend to be visual learners. Between video and high resolution images, brands have an opportunity to capture user attention and engage with customers that no other platform truly offers. Now wonder Facebook bought it out.
Best Content: Images, Video
There are over 75 million Pinterest users in the US, with an overwhelming majority of them being female. Being a heavy image-based sites, brands have great opportunity to engage users with product images and behind-the-scenes brand images.
Best Content: Images
LinkedIn is a professional network primarily composed of curated content and job listings. LinkedIn is a great social network for thought leadership articles and personal branding campaigns.
Best Content: Guest Posts, Articles
Finally, Snapchat is one of the largest social media platforms in the US, but offers very limited options for marketers. With that said, Snapchat is much less saturated with business profiles than Facebook or Instagram, and offers the opportunity for brands to show off behind the scenes content that are authentic.
Best Content: Images, Videos
Content By Media
Infographics are visual charts and tables that typically tell a story. Infographics are some of the most shared mediums of content over the internet and shared at a much higher rate than textual content.
Humans process visual content 60,000x faster than text and people typically seek out stories in the midst of their content viewing experience. Being easily scannable and sometimes highly emotional, infographics are the perfect addition to any article you wish to share over social media and make a good thumbnail image to your post.
Video receives the highest engagement out of any other form of content available digitally. According to Brightcove, video engagement is more than 1200% higher than text and image based posts combined. Consider that the world’s two largest social platforms, Facebook and Youtube, are also the world’s most trafficked video platforms.
Video content is so effective because it’s visual and doesn’t require active cognisance by the viewer. It’s as equally passive, as it is mentally demanding. Beyond this, video performs well over every single social media platform available.
Be sure to create videos with high quality resolution and brand storytelling. Use annotations and rich snippets to encourage sharing or to insert an alternative CTA.
Tools, quizzes, and interactive content performs well as a link magnet for your website, but it’s also highly shareable. Interactive content is primarily used as a vehicle to entice users to engage with your brand and share your content. From contests to user-generated content submissions, interactive content has the ability to go much more viral then text based content.
Whether it’s marketing a mortgage payment calculator or a quiz to see if you have OCD, interactive content encourages greater engagement, making it more shareable.
Images are Critical
Finally, visual content clearly dominates over textual content. But this doesn’t mean that both should be mutually exclusive. Studies have shown that including one image on a Tweet can boost its retweet rate by 150%. The same was found over Facebook, where engagement was 2.3x higher.
The key is to insert a high resolution, original image on your post snippets to acquire attention from scrollers. Use images to tell a story and make your article feel less intimidating to read and more scannable.
Social media marketing is not dead, although the strategy has changed significantly. Ultimately, social media is still a vehicle for engagement with your customers. With a renewed focus on friends and family, creating fun and emotional posts that are visually enticing will receive the highest engagement over any social media platform.