In the age of excessive automation, many marketing professionals seem to forget the importance of tailoring content for particular platforms. Each social media site has its own interface and visual peculiarities, which define how information needs to be adjusted for the customers’ comfort.
For instance, Instagram is very visual, it has a strong emphasis on images and doesn’t prioritize text as much as Facebook does. In effect, this defines the content strategy for these particular sites. In this article, we’re going to look into the things that set content strategies apart, when it comes to various social media platforms and the best practices in crafting content for specific sites.
Why adopt a content strategy in the first place?
As we’ve mentioned previously, content strategies differ from platform to platform, due to visual differences between their interfaces, which causes users to interact with their services differently in the first place.
A one-for-all approach will most definitely harm your marketing efforts due to inaccurate use of the social media interface. Not taking these peculiarities into account will undermine the user’s ability and interest in access to your content online.
Why is social media important?
It’s no secret that social media is crucial, for any business. Do you know just how important it is, though? The thing is, running a small business is difficult, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, and many decide to put social media at the bottom of their priorities.
Sprout Social released figures which showed that 71% of people are likely to buy from a brand that they have a positive social media experience with. With actions such as being responsive, offering promotions and providing educational content being the top steps that prompt customers to purchase.
There is a growing body of research that continually analyzes the various ways people use social media sites. For instance, here’s a table published in the Social Media + Society Journal, which looks into the use motivations on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
*Insert Ranking of use motivations across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.*
A healthy content strategy has to take all these peculiarities into account.
Before we look into the visual differences between the platforms, we need to understand the things that set them apart on a conceptual level. Let’s, for instance, ask ourselves — what is the difference between Facebook and Twitter? The former, before anything, is a place for communicating with friends and family. Whereas, the latter has a different “tonality” to it. It’s more professional, and it touches on important social and political issues much more often, in part, due to its character limitation.
Here’s a list of best practices when it comes to posting on Facebook:
- Despite having settled their character limit at 63206, compared to Twitter’s 280, Facebook gives people much more liberty when it comes to posting. However, research suggests that the ideal length for a Facebook post is 14.
- Take advantage of Facebook’s analytics. The data will provide you with valuable insight into your audience’s and your customers’ behavior, which will allow you to craft your content in accordance with their needs and interests.
- Take advantage of Facebook’s “Customize” function, to localize your content for particular countries. A localized social media presence will make your brand more customer-oriented, which in effect, will stimulate engagement and show the company’s cultural sensitivity. Similarly, instead of localization, you can opt for international copy-writing services with companies like Trust My Paper.
- The average age of Facebook users is gradually increasing, compared to Twitter. Over 60% of the users are over 35%. Your content strategy should take that into account, especially in the long run.
- Video content is incredibly prolific on Facebook. The users of the platform seem to love to watch both prerecorded videos and live streams on this platform. Live videos gain three times more engagement, compared to other forms of content.
Twitter is a very peculiar platform. Famous for its once ascetic 140-character post limit, it has recently doubled this limit. The platform is especially popular with the Gen Z. As you have already guessed, this minimalistic approach to tweet length has had its effect on the best content strategy practices.
Twitter, therefore, revolves around clever texts and sharper punchlines than you’d typically see on other social media platforms.
If you’re still thinking about starting a corporate Twitter account, you need to look into whether your target audience uses the platform at all. There are currently around 325 million Twitter users; however, only 20% of them are Americans.
The good part about the platform’s demographic is its popularity with millennials. Twitter’s own report states that 80% of its user base comprises of millennials and that 45% of people between the ages of 18 and 25 use the platform.
Previously we’ve touched on the conceptual differences between social media sites. While Facebook is perceived more for communicating with friends and family, Twitter is on the contrary, very politically engaged and polarized. Not only that, it appears that nearly 190 heads of state and governments have their own accounts there.
So, based on what we know about this platform, how does one create content strategy specifically for Twitter?
Here’s a list of essential elements:
- Twitter users seem to also engage with multimedia content a lot. Since there isn’t much text in the first place, the Tweet formula will often be complemented with a meme or a video, in order to convey as much information with a very short text.
- Twitter relies heavily on communication with the community. Whatever the content you publish, don’t forget to interact with your audience in the post threads.
- In order to make your tweets more interesting, it is commonly recommended to use statistics of numbers in them. This is suggestive of the fact that there is a lot of valuable information in them.
- If you’re publishing a piece of content that concerns other companies, large-scale businesses, or personalities, make sure you @mention them in your tweets. This will considerably increase visibility and will allow the mentioned accounts to respond.
- When it comes to demographics, Twitter is more popular with urbanites between the ages of 18 and 29.
- Twitter favors content that is actionable — industry news, tips, and useful data. It’s all about condensed, straightforward, and valuable information.
Given that Instagram is an incredibly visual place, the content strategies on this platform revolve around appearance more and they focus less on text. Does your business need an Instagram account? The answer is — “it depends.” There is a series of vital statistics about this platform that marketers need to take into consideration before investing time and effort into it.
While Instagram is among the most significant social media platforms in the world, with over 1 billion active users, it’s important to take into account that nearly 90% of those users reside outside the US. Respectively, when attempting to create a content strategy for Instagram, it’s essential to also target non-English speaking audiences.
Another important fact about Instagram users across the world is their love for YouTube. A whopping 95% of US-based Instagram users also use YouTube. This should allow you to create a cross-platform strategy that would combine photo and video content, in order to create an enticing narrative about your brand.
Here are the best practices that marketing professionals apply in content strategies on Instagram:
- While text has tone and voice, visual interfaces have themes. Large brands create a brand vibe of their own on their Instagram accounts. Brands often use their own palettes and create personalized grids.
- As mentioned previously, Instagram’s interface favors photos and videos over text. This infers that it is best to focus on multimedia content and use text as an asset, but not the central figure.
- Explore Instagram’s stories. They’re a great way to reveal a gripping narrative about your company. While not over-saturating your audience’s feed.
- When creating posts, try to favor pictures that contain. Photos that feature human faces tend to score nearly 40% more likes.
- Instagram’s demographics are defined by a female majority. The platform is most popular with people under 35, predominantly from urban and suburban areas.
- Instagram content needs to tell a story. The image along with the caption should tap into the people’s love for narratives. Instagram’s image-first interface provides for a great storytelling medium.
Content strategies on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are absolutely essential for businesses that want to gain more traction online.
While many principles regarding posting on these platforms are interchangeable, it’s essential to take into account the conceptual differences between these websites.
Diana Nadim is a writer and editor who has a Master degree in Marketing. She combines her passion for writing with her interest in research and creates thought-provoking content in various fields. Besides working as a contributor writer for TrustMyPaper, Diana also runs her own blog. What inspires her the most in her writing is traveling and meeting new people. Follow her on Twitter.