Your content marketing strategy plays a crucial part in how your customers engage with your brand. One of the best outlets for real-time interaction with your target market is social media.
In this blog we will uncover some often-forgotten yet powerful tools to enhance your social strategy.
Before we go any further, a quick PSA from iMedia. We aren’t advising to be active 110% on every social network out there. Rather, determine which platforms your users are most involved with, and pick the top 2 or 3. By focusing on these top few channels, you can make the most out of your brand’s story-telling across each. Otherwise, you’ll spread yourself and your team too thin, and the messaging won’t hit home for your followers.
Tip 1- Optimize photos and captions for each channel
Having a content strategy for each social network is key – each platform has a unique set of best-practices that should be followed if you’d like to maximize your follower engagement. Images sizes, character amounts, and tagging features vary per platform, so when the same exact message is blasted out across every channel- it’s quite obvious.
Below are the optimal sizes and character limits for some of the most popular platforms:
- Image in Post- 1,200 x 628 pixels
- Character Limit for Post- 63,206 characters
- Image in Post- 440 x 220 pixels
- Character Limit for Post- 280 characters
- Image in Post- 1080 x 1080 pixels
- Character Limit for Post- 2,200 characters
- Image in Post- 1200 x 628 pixels
- Character Limit for Post- 700 characters
- Image in Pin- 236 pixels (height is scaled)
- Character Limit for Pin- 500 characters
- Image in Post- 1,280 x 720 pixels
- Character Limit for Post- 5,000 characters
When crafting each platform’s post, it is important to verify that any profiles you plan to tag are updated per social channel. For example, what might be their Twitter handle may not be what their Instagram profile name is. Doing this research ahead of time will ensure that when the post is live, your proper cross-marketing strategy is also in play.
Tip 2- Utilize trending hashtags
Building off the previous section about proper profile name tagging, the hashtags themselves are equally if not more important. Hashtags are used to organize and categorize both photo and video content. For the platforms that use hashtags (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn & Pinterest) they play a huge part in increasing your engagement and follower count.
Your current followers will always have the opportunity to see your post come across their newsfeed. Hashtags change the game for the people that aren’t currently a follower of your brand, because they’ll gain visibility into it via the hashtags that they follow/ research. Essentially, they help you cast a wider net to attract new potential customers. The more often you use these popular hashtags, the more frequently they’ll see your brand and think of you when they are ready to engage.
As you begin to build your social strategy, a great way to understand your market and ideal audience is to create an easy to update “Trending Hashtag” document. This document can help you craft your social posts per channels by identifying what hashtags within your industry are popular. It also becomes a great resource for both you and your team as you put together your monthly calendar.
Tip 3- Leverage user generated content
User generated content (UGC) is any form of content, such as images and videos, that have been posted by users. It is an excellent tool for your content marketing strategy, because it highlights the “everyday customer” that is loyal and willing to promote your brand. These brand advocates help to build your social voice and to form a sense of community within your follower network.
For brands, this premium content is perfect for your social calendar. Not only does it take some of the pressure off your team for creating content, but also helps to stretch your budget since you are sourcing images from your fans across social. Additionally, it provides “social proof”: seeing content from real customers increases your credibility and brings your brand’s mission into perspective.
For followers who do tag and promote your brand, posting their UGC gives them a sense of pride and will build a connection that’ll be much stronger than just a regular follower. Many times, after you repost one of their photos, these followers will be brand advocates for life.
It is important to include proper attribution for each user’s photo you plan to share. In many cases this means giving the user credit for their post in the form of tagging them or including the URL to their original post. While it is not required, it also is beneficial to reach out to the user directly to confirm that they approve of you sharing their post across your social channels. Most people welcome the recognition, but it always better to be safe than sorry.
Tip 4- Incorporate the shopping feature
For brands in the B2C space that utilize Facebook and Instagram- have you incorporated social shopping into your marketing strategy?
Social commerce is the blending of online shopping within social channels. It’s a way to streamline the buying process for customers and increase the value of social media for brands. In an era where consumers get lost in the mobile scrolling abyss, integrating a feature where a user can convert from social to checkout in 3 clicks should be low-hanging fruit for your content marketing strategy.
You are able to setup the feature for Facebook and Instagram at the same time. If you are on BigCommerce, they have a plugin that will directly connect your product catalog to Facebook. Instagram will pull the products directly from your Facebook catalog, so if Facebook is up- you are all set! Then in your posts, you will tag your product (similar to tagging people) and it’ll link right to the corresponding product details.
We hope these quick tips can help you tie your content marketing and social strategies together in a meaningful, easy way.