A Guide to Creating Great Social Media Content

6
 minutes

We all use it, most of us daily, many of us hourly… but what makes great social media content? We’ve created a guide to help you craft compelling social media content that resonates with your audience.

Founder / Head of Growth
November 22, 2023
  (NZDT - GMT +12)

Whether you're a business, a content creator, social media marketing specialists or an individual looking to make an impact, you should be somewhere on social media. Not sure how? By following the steps we've outlined in this blog, and regularly refining your approach, you'll be well on your way to creating social media posts and content that captures attention, builds engagement, and achieves your desired goals.

1. Know Your Audience

Understand your target audience's demographics, interests, and behaviours. Use analytics tools to gather insights into your audience's preferences and engagement patterns. Create your business personas based on those you’d like to do more business with, look at their behaviours and engagement with your posts and those that do well, do more of and consistently. Target those audiences when boosting your posts so you can ensure they see your content.

2. Set Clear Objectives

There is no point in spending time, energy, and money on using social media channels unless you have clear outcomes you wish to achieve. Define your goals for social media content – whether it's brand awareness, lead generation, community building, or something else. Then you can refer your results to those in order to know what’s working, and what’s not worth doing.

You need to then align your content strategy with these objectives to ensure a cohesive and purposeful approach.

You should regularly review your objectives and adjust them based on your business goals as they change, and leverage social media analytics tools to gather the data you need. This iterative approach will help you refine your social media strategy and achieve meaningful results on a rolling basis.

3. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms

It’s really important to identify the social media platforms where your target audience is most active. Tailor your content to fit the specific format and tone of each platform (e.g., Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).

Each social media platform caters to different demographics and user behaviours. Understanding the strengths and characteristics of each platform can help you identify the best audience for your content. 

Here's a breakdown of the ideal audiences and content for Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Snapchat:

Meta the platform formerly known as Facebook

But let’s call it Facebook for ease of understanding as it’s still the user facing brand. Facebook has a diverse user base, making it suitable for a wide range of audiences with a diverse user base of about 2.8 billion, making it an excellent platform for marketing. It is particularly popular among users aged 25 and older and it’s well-suited for businesses, professionals, and brands looking to build a broad online presence. 

Here are different users and audiences on Facebook:

  • Parents and Families
  • Millennials and Generation Z
  • Professionals and B2B Audiences
  • Interest-Based Communities
  • Local Communities
  • Event Enthusiasts
  • Mobile Users
  • E-commerce Shoppers

When developing a piece of content for Facebook, consider these quick wins to enhance engagement and reach:

  • Use eye-catching images and videos to capture attention in the crowded Facebook feed to significantly increase engagement.
  • Craft concise and compelling captions that quickly convey the key message. 
  • Pose questions to your audience in your captions or posts to encourage interaction and prompt users to share their thoughts in the comments. Or use Facebook's built-in polling features
  • Incorporate emojis and relevant hashtags to make your content more visually appealing and discoverable. However, use them sparingly and purposefully.
  • Showcase content created by your audience. This not only fosters a sense of community but also serves as authentic endorsements for your brand.
  • Consider hosting Facebook Live sessions to connect with your audience in real-time. Live videos often receive higher visibility and engagement.
  • Organise contests or giveaways to boost engagement and encourage users to share your content with their networks.
  • Determine the optimal times for posting based on your audience's activity. Use Facebook Insights to identify when your followers are most active.
  • If budget allows, consider experimenting with Facebook ads to extend your reach and target specific audience segments.

Remember to regularly analyse the performance of your content using Facebook Insights and adjust your strategy based on what resonates best with your audience. Keep the content relevant, authentic, and aligned with your brand identity.

TikTok

TikTok is predominantly popular among younger audiences, particularly Generation Z (teens and early twenties) and boasts about 1 billion users worldwide. Short-form, creative, and entertaining videos perform well on TikTok. Ideal for brands and creators looking to showcase a fun and dynamic personality.

Creating content for a business on TikTok requires a unique approach that aligns with the platform's creative and informal nature. Here are some quick wins for developing engaging content on TikTok:

  • Stay updated on TikTok trends and challenges. Participate in popular challenges or put your spin on trending formats to increase visibility and engagement.
  • Keep your videos short and attention-grabbing. TikTok's maximum video length is 60 seconds, but many successful videos are even shorter.
  • Leverage TikTok's extensive music library.
  • Create compelling thumbnails for your videos. The thumbnail is the first thing users see, so make it visually appealing to encourage clicks.
  • Show the human side of your business by letting your brand's personality come through in your content.
  • Encourage your audience to create content related to your brand. User-generated content is highly valuable on TikTok and fosters community engagement.
  • Create and use branded hashtags to encourage user participation. Additionally, join relevant popular hashtags to increase the discoverability of your content.
  • Experiment with TikTok's special effects and filters to add creativity to your videos. This can make your content stand out and catch users' attention.
  • Partner with popular TikTok creators or influencers relevant to your industry. Influencers can help amplify your reach and lend credibility to your brand.
  • Include clear calls-to-action in your videos, encouraging users to like, comment, share, or visit your website. CTAs can boost engagement and conversion.
  • Respond to comments, engage with your audience, and encourage a sense of community. Interacting with viewers can enhance your brand's relationship with its TikTok community.
  • Encourage users to create duets or stitches with your content. This collaborative feature can expand your content's reach and increase engagement.

By incorporating these quick wins, your business can create engaging and shareable content on TikTok, connecting with the platform's diverse and active user base. Keep experimenting, staying authentic, and adapting your content strategy based on audience feedback and platform trends.

Instagram

Instagram is a powerful social media platform for marketing due to its visual nature, engaged user base, and diverse features. Instagram skews toward a younger demographic, with a significant presence among users aged 18-34 and has about 1 billion users globally. Visual content that works really well is high-quality images and videos. Instagram Stories and Reels are effective for engaging younger audiences. It’s ideal for lifestyle brands, influencers, and businesses with visually appealing products.

When developing content for Instagram follow these quick wins: 

  • Share visually appealing images and videos that align with your brand's aesthetic. 
  • Encourage customers to create content featuring your products/services and share it on their profiles, creating authentic endorsements. 
  • Inspirational quotes and messages resonate well on Instagram, fostering positive engagement and connecting with your audience emotionally. 
  • Use polls, quizzes, and interactive features in Stories to engage your audience and gather feedback.
  • Showcase your products or services in creative ways, highlighting key features and benefits. 
  • Run contests or giveaways to boost engagement and encourage users to share your content.
  • Highlight collaborations with other brands, influencers, or organisations to broaden your reach.
  • Create content that aligns with current events, holidays, or trending topics to stay relevant and capture audience interest.
  • Maintain a consistent visual identity, including colours, fonts, and branding elements, to strengthen brand recognition.

The effectiveness of your Instagram marketing strategy depends on understanding your target audience, staying authentic, and adapting your approach based on analytics and audience feedback.

LinkedIn

It’s important to note that LinkedIn is primarily a professional networking platform and is ideal for professionals, businesses, and B2B interactions. Share industry news, thought leadership content, and professional achievements. It’s really effective for B2B marketing, job recruitment, and establishing your own professional credibility.

LinkedIn's user base is diverse and totals around 774 million worldwide, encompassing a wide range of industries, job functions, and career stages. 

The most common users of LinkedIn include:

  • Professionals and Job Seekers
  • Businesses, Startups and Entrepreneurs
  • Recruiters and HR Professionals
  • Recent Graduates
  • Sales and Marketing Professionals
  • Industry Experts and Thought Leaders
  • Consultants and Freelancers
  • Technology and IT Professionals

When developing content for a business on LinkedIn, follow these quick wins to enhance your company's presence and engagement on the platform:

  • Ensure that your company's LinkedIn page is complete with a compelling description, logo, cover image, and relevant details. This is the foundation for your business's online presence.
  • Feature employees and their stories, achievements, or contributions. This humanises the company and helps build a stronger connection with your audience. Encourage employees to share company content too, as this expands reach.
  • Share valuable insights related to your industry using industry-specific hashtags. This establishes your company as a thought leader and contributes to industry discussions.
  • Keep your audience informed about company news, updates, and any changes. Transparency helps build trust with your audience.
  • Share articles, blog posts, and industry news that are relevant to your business and audience. Provide value by curating content that informs or educates your followers.
  • Use LinkedIn Analytics to understand the performance of your posts. Identify the types of content that resonate best with your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Create and promote events on LinkedIn, such as webinars, workshops, or virtual conferences. This can help your business connect with a broader audience.
  • Consider utilising LinkedIn advertising to reach a targeted audience. Sponsored content, sponsored InMail, and display ads can increase your company's visibility.
  • Engage your audience with polls and surveys to gather feedback, opinions, or insights on relevant topics.
  • Collaborate with influencers or thought leaders in your industry to amplify your reach and credibility.

By implementing these quick wins, your business can build a strong and engaging presence on LinkedIn, fostering connections with clients, partners, and industry professionals. Regularly assess the performance of your content and adapt your strategy based on the insights you gain.

X … the platform formerly known as Twitter

X caters to a diverse user base, making it suitable for a wide range of audiences. X is known for real-time conversations, news updates, and engagement and has around 306 million users worldwide. 

Some audience segments for X are: 

  • News Enthusiasts, 
  • Industry Professionals, 
  • Tech and Innovation Followers, 
  • Politically Engaged Individuals, 
  • Entertainment Industry Fans, 
  • Sports Enthusiasts, 
  • Social Activists, 
  • Travel Enthusiasts.

It's important to note that X’s diverse user base allows for targeting specific niches and interests. When defining your ideal audience on X, consider the demographics, interests, and behaviours of the users you want to engage with, and tailor your content accordingly. Use analytics tools to understand your audience better and refine your strategy over time.

When developing content for a business on Twitter, consider these quick wins to enhance your brand's visibility, engagement, and overall presence on the platform:

  • Keep tweets concise and engaging, utilising the platform's character limit effectively. Capture attention quickly to encourage interaction.
  • Incorporate relevant hashtags to increase the discoverability of your tweets. However, avoid overloading tweets with hashtags; focus on a few that are most impactful.
  • Include visually appealing images, GIFs, and videos in your tweets. Visual content tends to stand out in the Twitter feed and attracts more engagement.
  • Run polls, ask questions, and host Twitter chats to encourage audience interaction. Interactive content increases engagement and fosters a sense of community.
  • Use Twitter threads to tell a longer story or convey a more detailed message. Threads can keep followers engaged and encourage them to explore your content.
  • Stay aware of trending topics and incorporate them into your content when relevant. This can increase the visibility of your tweets.
  • Create Twitter Moments to curate and highlight important events, campaigns, or significant content. Moments provide a narrative and capture followers' attention.
  • Retweet relevant content from others in your industry. Quote tweet to add your perspective or commentary, providing value to your audience.
  • Share links to your blog posts, articles, and other valuable content. Use engaging captions to encourage clicks and interaction.
  • Share announcements about product updates, launches, or new features. Include visuals and highlight the benefits to generate interest.
  • Offer glimpses into your company culture and operations. Behind-the-scenes content humanises your brand and makes it more relatable.
  • Highlight positive customer testimonials and feedback. User-generated content builds trust and credibility with your audience.
  • Leverage Twitter Analytics to gain insights into the performance of your tweets. Understand what resonates with your audience and refine your strategy accordingly.
  • Consider using Twitter Ads to reach a larger audience. Promoted tweets, trends, and accounts can increase visibility and engagement.
  • Conduct Twitter Q&A sessions to directly engage with your audience, answer questions, and showcase your industry expertise.
  • Cross-promote your tweets on other social media platforms and in your email newsletters. This helps extend your reach beyond the Twitter audience.

Remember to experiment with different types of content, monitor analytics, and adapt your strategy based on what resonates best with your Twitter audience. Consistency and authenticity are key to building a strong Twitter presence for your business.

Snapchat

Snapchat is popular among younger audiences, especially teens and young adults. Teenagers and Young Adults in the 13 to 24 age range and has about 330 million users globally. Snapchat has a significant user base among Millennials and Generation Z, with its features like disappearing messages, Stories, and filters resonating well with these demographics. Honestly those filters are seriously epic! Snapchat's design and functionality are tailored for mobile devices, making it popular among users who prefer mobile-centric social media experiences. 

When developing content for a business on Snapchat, it's essential to embrace the platform's unique features and engage with the audience in a more casual and interactive manner. Here are some quick wins for creating compelling content on Snapchat:

  • Keep your content short and to the point. Snapchat is all about quick, engaging moments. Aim for snaps that are 3-10 seconds in length.
  • Leverage Snapchat Stories to create a series of snaps that can be viewed for 24 hours. This is an excellent way to tell a more extended narrative or showcase behind-the-scenes content.
  • Create custom Augmented Reality (AR) lenses and filters for your brand. Snapchat's interactive features can enhance brand awareness and engagement.
  • Use Snapchat's interactive features like polls, quizzes, and questions to engage with your audience. Encourage users to interact with your content and provide feedback.
  • Offer exclusive sneak peeks of upcoming products, events, or behind-the-scenes content to make your audience feel special and create anticipation.
  • Share limited-time offers, discounts, or promo codes exclusively for your Snapchat audience. This encourages followers to act quickly and adds an element of exclusivity.
  • Share fun and authentic glimpses into your company culture. Highlight team members, office activities, and the day-to-day life of your business.
  • Use Snapchat to create short tutorials or how-to guides related to your products or services. This type of content is engaging and provides value to your audience.
  • Partner with Snapchat influencers to expand your reach and tap into their audience. Influencers can create engaging content that aligns with your brand.
  • Enhance your snaps with animated stickers, emojis, and text. This adds a playful and creative element to your content.
  • Allow employees or influencers to take over your Snapchat account for a day. This provides a fresh perspective and introduces new content to your audience.
  • Organise contests or challenges that encourage user participation. This can range from creative challenges to user-generated content contests.
  • Create custom geofilters for events, product launches, or special occasions. This is a fun way for users to engage with your brand when they're in specific locations.
  • Use Snapchat to announce and showcase new product launches. Build excitement by revealing features and benefits in a visually appealing way.
  • Develop interactive games or quizzes that users can participate in. Gamified content can be highly engaging and shareable.
  • Encourage users to create and share content related to your brand. Feature user-generated snaps on your Stories to build a sense of community.
  • Utilise Snapchat's QR codes to provide easy access to your content, website, or promotions. Users can quickly scan the code with their cameras.
  • Use Snapchat Insights to monitor the performance of your content. Understand the reach, engagement, and demographics of your audience.

Snapchat is all about creativity, spontaneity, and connecting with a younger, more dynamic audience. By embracing the platform's unique features and creating content that aligns with its casual and interactive nature, businesses can effectively engage with Snapchat users.

Tips for all platforms:

  • Maintain a consistent posting schedule to keep your audience engaged. Regular content updates help build momentum and increase visibility.
  • Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your business, product creation, or day-to-day operations. This humanises your brand and fosters transparency.
  • Share informative and educational content related to your industry. How-to guides, tips, and tutorials can provide value to your audience.
  • Regularly feature your products or services, highlighting key features and benefits. Use a mix of visuals, videos, and text to convey the value proposition.
  • Respond to comments on your posts, participate in relevant discussions, and engage with your audience. This helps strengthen relationships and fosters a sense of community.
  • Feature customer testimonials or case studies that highlight successful partnerships. This builds trust and provides social proof of your company's capabilities.
  • Celebrate company milestones, achievements, anniversaries, and other significant events. This can include product launches, expansions, or awards.
  • Maintain a consistent brand voice and tone across your posts. This helps establish a recognisable and trustworthy brand identity.

To finish off the guide: here are general character limits guidelines for some popular social media platforms:

1. Twitter:

  • Twitter has a strict character limit of 280 characters (including spaces).
  • Best practice: Aim for concise and impactful messages. Short and sweet tweets often perform well.

2. Instagram:

  • For regular Instagram posts, the character limit is 2,200 characters.
  • For Instagram Stories, the character limit for text is around 2,200 characters per slide.
  • Best practice: Keep captions on regular posts engaging but concise. For Stories, you have more flexibility, but still, prioritise readability.

3. Facebook:

  • The recommended character length for Facebook posts is between 40 and 80 characters for higher engagement.
  • Facebook comments can be up to 8,000 characters.
  • Best practice: Keep posts brief and to the point, and use longer-form content sparingly. Focus on sparking engagement.

4. LinkedIn:

  • LinkedIn posts can have up to 1,300 characters.
  • LinkedIn articles can be longer, allowing for more in-depth content.
  • Best practice: Aim for a balance between brevity and providing valuable insights. Longer-form content is suitable for articles.

So that’s your comprehensive social media guide from your friends at Virtual Marketers, if you still need help getting your social media channels up and humming then give us a shout, as you can tell we have a lot of experience!

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