It’s no secret that today using social media content for businesses is a well-proven sales and awareness-generation strategy.
With 4.55 billion social media users across the globe, businesses can leverage platforms to target -- in great precision -- their current and potential audiences.
In particular, there are 3 reasons why businesses share social media content: to educate, entertain or inform, all of which in turn lead to greater brand awareness, engagement, and sales.
Today, businesses follow a certain process: First, they seek to gain social approval by creating social media content. Approval of other businesses they admire, approval of potential customers and/or influence over both. This influence then gets them recognized as leaders, which helps facilitate sales and growth.
For example, a tropical real estate business sharing a post titled ‘the benefits of living by the ocean’ aims to educate its audience, motivating them to take action -- and hopefully bring some visitors into their sales funnel.
Despite the plethora of social media platforms, there is a manner of using each to grow your social media standing as a business. Twitter, for example, is a microblogging platform best used to connect directly with people, ask them questions, share their tweets and send them direct messages. It is best used to share short updates, snappy remarks and single-line stories.
LinkedIn is best used to generate B2B leads by connecting with other business professionals and engaging with their posts. Facebook is a large and versatile platform with pinpointed audience targeting, almost a 'must have' for any company today, really. Instagram is an audio-visual platform to share content that is best represented visually.
Brevo Case Study - Goldilocks challenge: The measurable results of highly shareable social media for business, by views and impressions
Depending on where your audience is, here are five time-tested strategies to generate social media content that gets shared, as well as 10 quick tips for your next social media business campaign:
Whether it's a story about how you decided to launch your startup, what made you choose your company colors, or the story of your first hire -- your stories help you stand out.
People can copy your ideas, your business plans and even your marketing strategy, but they can’t copy your story.
AirBnB is a brand that leverages the experiences its customers have at AirBnB properties in the form of stories. Airbnb shares host videos on Instagram, property videos on LinkedIn, and in February of 2021, it launched a TV ad campaign (also available on YouTube) called ‘Made Possible by Hosts’. This campaign ran across streaming services as well and aired clippings of AirBnB host properties with personal elements like guest experiences with the family puppy, or home pools with a nostalgia-inducing song in the background.
Emil Efram, the founder of Neo4j, a software company, tells the heartwarming story of when he saw a stranger on a public train sporting a ‘Neo4j’ sticker on his laptop, when the company was in its nascent stages and how that was a moment of victory for the whole organization.
Personal stories don’t pertain solely to written or verbal narratives anymore either. The famous image of Jeff Bezos sitting in a garage with ‘amazon.com’ scrawled across a sheet hanging on his wall -- is an origin story in itself.
Encourage the people in your business to also share their stories on social media platforms. This will amplify your efforts to grow your social media reach by creating multiple voices that are relevant to your brand yet authentic and independent.
Whether shared across LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media channel, personal stories have the power to make people relate. Whether you’re a business serving other businesses or you’re a business serving customers, ultimately it is other human beings you are talking to. If they relate with your journeys, your struggles, your wins, your brand will resonate with them and they will grow your social media by sharing your stories.
Episodic content is content that is part of a series or linked to a bigger overall vision. While episodic content leverages storytelling as one of its key values, it also does a lot more like create anticipation, consistency, and dependability.
The big benefit of episodic content is that social media platforms and search engines reward consistency. If valuable and inter-related content is shared regularly by you as a business, social media platforms put it across your audience’s feeds repeatedly.
In 2012, Nestle’s maggi, an instant noodle product, created a campaign for it’s Indian audience titled ‘Me and Meri Maggi’ (translated to ‘Me and My Maggi’). Nestle shared a personal story in each episode of Me and Meri Maggi. There were stories of people dressing up as Maggi for fancy dress shows, people eating Maggi with their hands tied behind their backs as part of a competition, and even soldiers eating Maggi while safeguarding borders.
In September 2021, Bumble, a dating app, launched a campaign with Tik-Tok, the popular audio-visual social media platform, called ‘Date with Better Answers’. In this episodic campaign it shared episodes of popular social media creators, going on dates with each other. As these people asked each other questions about their lifestyle, they referenced Tik-Tok videos about their hobbies and daily struggles.
In 2020, when Cred, a credit-card payment fintech, launched its app, it created episodic content called ‘Not Everyone Gets It’ to grow its social media standing. It released short videos with famous people like Anil Kapoor, an Oscar nominee, auditioning for the Cred ad but being dismissed from consideration. These videos were popularly shared across social media platforms because people enjoyed seeing their idols being humanized. Repeatedly.
Episodic social media content for businesses gets forwarded because it has a plot line, a theme, and characters -- all the fixings for a great story and a viral social media share.
Series social media content is episodic content that builds up to a story. Unlike episodes, which can exist independently, series have elements that come together to form a cohesive story.
This not only makes the previous content shareable, it also builds up keenness for the next bit of the puzzle: creating a virtuous cycle of sharing.
The reason series content is powerful for businesses is because series create anticipation and people want other people to know what they are anticipating. They talk about it with their friends, they tweet about it on Twitter and post countdowns on their Instagram stories in anticipation of the next part of a series.
Repurposing content means altering the tone, the delivery or the graphics in the content to deliver it across different social media platforms. Businesses that have a decent social media standing on one platform might not have to work too hard to create it on another platform if they can effectively repurpose their well-performing content.
In the case of Twitter, short, snappy 100-word captions work well. For LinkedIn, a value-adding experience-based case study works well. For Instagram, creative and fun short videos (or reels) work well for businesses.
Brevo Case Study - Toys R Us: Using the same messages across different channels.
The Pet Pawer
A pet brand that sells dog mats, educates its Instagram audience about different dog breeds through informative posts that it repurposes across Instagram and Facebook.
Let's say you’re a real estate business and have a top-performing blog titled ‘How to choose the perfect home for your family in 6 simple steps.’
Effectively repurposing this blog post to grow your social media standing would look like this:
Roundup content is content that pulls together the top lists, tools, tactics, strategies in any genre.
For example, ‘The Top 10 Finance Business Blogs of September 2021’ or ‘6 Exercise headphones that won’t fall off on your Run’ or ‘8 Instagram Videos that Blew up the Internet in January 2021’.
People are drawn to roundups because roundups provide a lot of information in one place. Since you have already done the research and analysis, it saves readers time they would have otherwise spent on scanning the internet for the pros and cons for each of these products or pieces.
An important added social media sharing benefit of a roundup post: You can ask the participants within your round-up blog to share the post when it goes live.
Shareable social media content for business, be it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok, has one thing in common -- it connects with its audience and finds a way to make them engage.
Whether this engagement is through polls, shares, or reviews straight to your inbox, it is the key resource to creating valuable content. If you give people value, they will reciprocate with engagement.