Social media has massively shifted the way we interact, share information, form relationships and conduct business.
Marketers want to harness the power of social media, but content oversaturation has filled channels with a lot of noise, making it difficult to connect and convert.
It’s time to finally figure out how to create social media content that stands out.
In Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook, author, entrepreneur and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) shares lessons his team at VaynerMedia (@VaynerMedia) have learned about successful social media and digital marketing through the work they’ve done with thousands of start-ups, celebrities and Fortune 500 companies.
Below, I highlight some of the rules Vaynerchuk believes all outstanding content must adhere to.
Characteristics of Social Media Content that Converts
1. It’s Native.
Each social media platform has its own unique language, culture, sensibility and style. If you don’t take the time to learn each platform’s native ways before you post content, you will experience lackluster results.
Context has become just as important as content. The best content can still miss the mark if it ignores the context of the platform it appears on.
Marketers who understand social media platforms fluently will create content that is noticed, appreciated and above all things, valuable to their audience. The goal of native social media is to enhance consumers’ interaction with the platform.
Native social media content that cuts through the noise plays on emotion, compelling the consumer to share a quote, blog post, article, photo, video or idea.
2. It Doesn’t Interrupt.
When was the last time you watched a full commercial from start to finish? Seriously. Doesn’t happen often unless you’re watching the Super Bowl.
With the advent of DVR technology and the emergence of commercial-free services like Netflix, it’s rare to see people watching a full commercial from start to finish. Why? Commercials interrupt our viewing experience. The last thing I’m thinking of while enjoying an episode of House of Cards is what shampoo I need to buy or what world-class athlete is lying to me about his/her “Subway sandwich regiment.”
TV ads fail because they typically hinder the consumer experience. No matter how good a TV ad is, there is a distinct break between the show you are watching and the ad. Social media marketing content differs from TV advertising content because it has the opportunity to be the entertainment, rather than interrupt the entertainment.
Think about this as you are creating social media content. Marketers need to enhance the experience people are seeking on social media platforms and stop trying to disturb it. The more you push content that does not resonate with your core audience, the more likely they will ignore it and tune out future content you want them to see.
3. It’s Micro.
Marketers often think of “content” as mid- and long-form, such as blog posts, guest articles, ebooks and white papers. Don’t underestimate the value of micro-content—smaller pieces of information, humor, commentary or inspiration that you reimagine frequently as responses to today’s culture, conversations and current events.
Here’s an easy way to put this into practice right away: The next blog post you write, instead of sharing the title of the post and a link on Twitter, consider creating a relevant image, place a key quote from the post on top of it, and add the author’s Twitter handle below. Then you share the link to the post and attach that image—much more engaging than the typical tweets you see all day long, right? Same process can apply to Facebook. On Instagram, you can post that same image and then share the link in the comment section.
Micro-content doesn’t always have to relate to a post, ebook or white paper, either. It can be meant for brand awareness, too. Sharing micro-content that doesn’t include a link can show your audience you are interested in providing them value without always trying to convert them.
A powerful example of real-time micro-content that had no explicit intention of conversion was Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl. The tweet and accompanying image never explicitly said to go buy Oreos. It didn’t need a CTA or a link to the Oreo website. The millions of people who saw this piece of micro-content were reminded that Oreo is the cookie for all occasions, and that Nabisco has a playful sense of humor.
The result? Oreo gained 8,000 new Twitter followers, 20,000 Facebook Likes and increased its Instagram following by 1700%. Not to mention an incredible amount of positive press. All earned by one piece of micro-content.
Creating micro-content is a marketer’s response to a decreasing social attention span and an increasingly noisy, busy, oversaturated digital world.
4. It’s Consistent and Self-Aware.
Vaynerchuk points out that before you start creating outstanding social media content, you must ask yourself the ever-important question, “Who are we?”
Though your content will vary on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, every post, tweet, comment and picture should align with your business’ unique identity. No matter which platforms you decide to tell your story on, you must let the company’s personality and brand identity shine through.
When your business is self-aware, you know your story and your message. When you know your message, it becomes easier to stay consistent across all social platforms.
It’s important to note that the balance between fun and useful content is key to social content success. Once you have established what stories you want to tell and your brand's unique personality, you must then take the time to understand what your audience finds valuable. Then create micro and macro content that marries these ideas.
Creating quality social media content that cuts through the noise is not easy. It requires time, testing, knowledge and creativity. If you use these rules as an initial guide, you can finally start to figure social out and see better results.
What other social media rules do you follow to help you create outstanding content? Let us know in the comments!