Content distribution across platforms like Facebook and Twitter has become an absolute necessity for publishers. Instead of focusing on driving clicks to their own websites, publishers are now vying for their audience’s attention on native platforms where the competition is stiff.
Jason Abbruzzese, Business & Media Reporter at Mashable, says it best: “Social is now flooded with content, and the platforms are no longer content to just be traffic hoses. Social will still be a huge part of distribution, but it’s far more competitive and cut-throat than it has been.” (Pulled from this great selection of social wisdom from NewsWhip)
There are hundreds of articles and blog posts published each week about how to create social content that engages and stands out from the crowd. But what are the key factors that make content truly “social-first?”
Here’s a list of what you should keep in mind when creating content for social platforms:
- Video, video, and more video:
Audiences are hungry for video and becoming accustomed to seeing it in their feeds, particularly with the introduction of auto-play. Video posts average 62% more engagement than photos (source). 75% of Facebook video views occur on mobile devices (source), so video content needs to work on small screens. Test length, subject matter, captions, branding and other variables to find the sweet spot for your audience.
- Leverage Facebook Instant Articles:
While Facebook made a big to-do about Instant Articles being about a better experience for users, and not about taking power from publishers, the fact is it does indeed provide a better experience. No one likes scrolling down his or her feed, clicking on a post only to wait while it loads—if at all. Publishers say it’s getting easier to make money from Instant Articles, so why not give it a try? It’s now open to all publishers.
- Social-first is mobile-first:
Chances are your Facebook and Twitter audience is viewing your content on mobile, so focus on content that can be digested easily and on-the-go. Incorporate snack-able, eye-catching content such as video clips, GIFs, and infographics. Naturally, users will gravitate towards native content published in their feeds, so ask yourself which is more important–clicks or eyeballs? The right balance might be a combination of both.
- Keep experimenting:
It’s a phrase said and heard too frequently, but the only way to know what will work for you is to give it a try, while remaining true to your brand. There’s simply no one-sized-fits-all guidebook to producing engaging content. Some brands have shared their best practices, so articles like this one from Buffer Social are a good place to start.
- Capitalize on trending topics:
Explore social listening tools to learn what people are talking about and when relevant topics, or your brand, are mentioned. Publishing platforms like Social Flow will even optimize your posts and Tweets to ensure they go out at the best time for your audience: when they are active and when the topic is trending.
- 8 Ways to Use Facebook Video for More Engagement from Social Media Examiner
- Getting Creative with Direct Response Video Advertising [eBook] from Nanigans
- The Value of Video for Brands from Facebook
- Introducing Live Video and Collages from Facebook
- Expanding Live Video to More People from Facebook
- 6 Actionable Social Media Strategies from Successful Brands from Buffer Social
- 4 Ways to Use Twitter Video for Your Business from Social Media Examiner
- How social-first publishing can make your content marketing more effective from The Drum
-Posted by Elizabeth Pace–