8 social media content types and how to use them

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Building a thriving social media presence is one of the best ways to build brand awareness and recognition. But there’s no denying that this is a tough challenge for many growth-oriented companies. Why? Because effective social media entails much more than simply creating a few accounts and then posting every once in a while.

If you’re serious about social media growth, then you have to invest time, money, and effort into meticulous account management, brand-follower communication, and above all, engaging content.
To optimize your efforts, you also need a data-driven posting schedule. Also, having regular performance reports will help to adapt quickly and generate leads. This is important to remain relevant in the competitive social media space.

This article focuses on social media content, and what you can do to create and disseminate powerful content that will capture your followers’ attention, inspire likes and shares, and help you reach your sales and marketing goals. Here’s what you need to know about content diversification in 2022.

1. Use the power of the written word

First things first, it’s important to remember that written content is the foundation of good digital and social media marketing. You could be posting the most beautiful photos and videos on your social media accounts, but if you don’t have quality captions and written content to support and enrich the visuals, you won’t be able to truly connect with your followers.

Written content is the foundation of effective social media, so it’s important to keep refining the message you’re conveying with words. Video content may be taking over as the most popular type of content this year, but even videos require you to write captivating descriptions, captions, and scripts.

To best use written content as a digital marketer, post blogs and in-depth articles, enrich your Instagram photos with informative, on-brand captions, and use video descriptions to optimize your videos as much as possible. Don’t forget to weave relevant keywords into your written content as well, and use powerful calls to action to inspire your followers to take the first step towards conversion.

2. Videos are powerful engagement tools

Social networks are becoming more video-based every year, as users increasingly desire visual stimulation as well as a way to consume content in an efficient and effective way.

And the beautiful thing about having a presence on different social media channels for marketers is that you can post different types of videos and even reuse existing ones in different ways. Videos are available on every major social platform, and you’re missing out if you aren’t creating any.

If you’re just starting out with video content, you could quickly get some vlogging ideas for beginners on YouTube or by reading an article, then use those ideas to grow your social media following. And you can use vlogs alongside many other video content (like how-to YouTube videos or Instagram stories) to maximize your exposure.

Want to take your videos to the next level of professionalism? Learn some light editing techniques that will allow you to reformat and optimize your videos for different social platforms.

For example, you can cut lengthy videos into reel-friendly video formats for Instagram Reels.
For youtube, you can use them as YouTube Shorts. Then, add some background music and subtitles for a full-length video for your Facebook account.
The same kind of editing goes for TikTok and other social networks. Especially those platforms where you want to rise above the competition with your engaging video content.

3. Promote and give away free digital products

One of the things to remember and integrate into your sales and marketing strategies is this: people love free stuff. That’s why you should diversify your content with social media contests, ebooks, how-to- guides, and more. Here are some resources you should give out regularly to boost lead generation and bring more value to your customers and followers. We’re talking about free digital products that you can use as lead magnets, such as:

  • Ebooks
  • Cheatsheets
  • Templates
  • How-to guides
  • Tutorials and explainer videos
  • Product guides
  • Free toolkits
  • Calendars and planners
  • Workbooks
  • Printable materials
  • Calculators and quizzes
  • Free recipes
  • 30-day plans for work, organization, fitness, eating, and more

This list includes only some of the many lead magnets you can use to engage your audience, and the beautiful thing is that all of these freebies can inspire them to come back to your social pages and your website. The more free stuff you give out on a regular basis, the more will they feel incentivized to come back and eventually make a purchase.

4. Leverage user-generated content

It should go without saying that you need to allocate a significant portion of your social media posting space to user-generated content. Why? Because user-generated content can benefit your brand in many ways, especially when it comes to building social proof in a competitive industry.

People want to see that others are engaging with your brand, that they’re buying your products or services, and that they’ve had a positive experience as your customer. To highlight the positive things your audience is saying about your brand, showcase customer stories, experiences, and testimonials regularly to boost retention and new customer acquisition.

Some great user content to highlight and post about across your social media channels include:

  • Reviews and testimonials
  • User videos
  • User photos
  • Long-form user stories such as interviews
  • Screenshots of your best interactions via email or DMs

Of course, you will need permission to post some user-generated content on your social profiles. Make sure to tag your customers in these posts as well, and always continue the conversation with other followers in the comment section to keep engagement high.

5. Create engaging video snippets

Lengthy videos are great, especially when you have something truly important to share with your audience and can communicate it in a fun and engaging way. But let’s not kid ourselves, peoples’ attention spans are getting shorter by the day. Today, people want the short and sweet version of a video, with all of the useful info and none of the fluff. Things like quick and easy tips in a fun format — that’s what busy people enjoy the most.

This drop-in attention span is yet another opportunity to leverage video content on social media and capture the attention of your followers, specifically by dominating the video snippet space. Some light video editing can go a long way, and you can easily find some free video editing software online that will let you cut and optimize your videos to make them as small as necessary in your vertical.

Keep in mind that there isn’t a single video snippet format that will work for all platforms. On TikTok and IG Reels, for example, you will need to overlay visuals and music along with the text.  On YouTube Shorts, you want to keep things clean and concise. Whereas on Facebook, you can use video snippets as great lead magnets and CTAs that will lead people to your website.

6. Post original images

Video is not the only visual content format that you should focus on in the social media space. Photos are still very relevant and engaging when used properly, and the great thing is that they work wonderfully well with story-driven, optimized written content.

When posting a beautiful photo on any social network, you want to go the extra mile and ensure the full post is both captivating and value-driven content. Something that will inspire your followers to learn something new and even take action.

A photo by itself might not achieve much engagement. But, when combined with quality written content, you can achieve numerous short-term goals.

  • Promoting time-limited products and offers
  • Delivering FOMO campaigns
  • Setting up sponsored posts and shout-outs
  • Improving the quality and credibility of influencer posts
  • Promoting your free products

Remember, though, the images need to be authentic. Don’t post stock imagery on your social accounts if you want to be taken seriously. Instead, invest in original photos of your products, customers, staff, influencers and partners, and more. You can even hire a designer to make original infographics bringing these concepts together.

7. Go live regularly

Nowadays, almost all social media platforms allow you to go live. This gives you an opportunity to engage with your followers in real-time. People love being able to engage with their favorite brands and social media figures directly, and they will gladly hop on to your live event to learn something new and get a chance to interact with you in the chat (assuming you’ve built up a few followers by this point).

While you definitely could generate results simply by going live haphazardly every once in a while, it would be a much better long-term strategy to plan out your live events. Adding some structure here and creating a live event calendar goes a long way in best communicating with your audience.

For instance, you can go live at the same time every week so that your audience knows when they’ll have a chance to interact with you. Over time, this should inspire more and more people to join. Regularly going live is a great way to steadily build your following — simply by running live events on a set schedule.

8. Run a contest across your social accounts

Social media contests and giveaways are a great way to connect with your followers and boost overall engagement, acquisition, and retention with each new event. You should plan every contest well in advance, of course, and come up with a theme for the event, the prizes, the rules and guidelines, and how people can enter.

It’s also important that you start building hype around the event at least a month before the prize draw, to give people enough time to prepare their submission and enter the contest. This is your opportunity to dazzle your audience with amazing content and encouraging CTAs.

Consider posting about your contest regularly as well as sending out email reminders. Use videos, photos, infographics (to explain how to enter) to promote it. You can also use other content types to engage your followers spread the word about your contest.
Keep in mind that this is an opportunity to boost your word of mouth, and to boost cross-platform marketing as well.

Wrapping up

There are many types of social media content that you can regularly post across all of your social accounts. Some platforms are more visual, and some are welcoming to all content types, so make sure to match your creative content with the requirements and preferences of each specific social network.

For instance, on Instagram, focus on authentic photos and reels with story-driven descriptions. And on Facebook, use all types of content to build your following.

Trying to break into the younger crowd? TikTok is a purely video-based platform, so focus on publishing engaging videos. You can do so by leveraging some simple editing tools to make them even more interesting and engaging.

And remember, no matter how many content types you use, you still need to maintain communication with your followers, share relevant links to your landing pages, and engage with them via DMs. This activity will ensure you generate qualified leads and incentivize people to become your loyal customers in 2022 and beyond.

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