In today’s marketplace, you can’t afford not to be on social media – whether you’re a small product retailer or a large tech vendor.

According to this recent report, a whopping 93% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their business, and an impressive 87% reported positive results. 

And it’s easy to see why. Social channels can offer a very easy, hassle-free and cost-effective way to market products and services. However, the way you tell your story on social media matters a great deal – whether you’re using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube, or any other social platform. 

The average user has a very short attention span, and when they’re scrolling through their news feed at pace, you need to grab them, fast. In today’s world, content is king, and it’s about creating compelling content which engages people instantly. 

So how can you do this? Here are our top 8 tips:

1. Be strategic

Before you start out with any social media marketing, you need a plan. Define your audience (both your current audience and your ideal one), and the best way to reach them. Put together a social media calendar for the months, or even the year ahead, that’s based on your brand values, and be sure to note any upcoming events which have specific relevance to your business. 

For instance, if yours is a business that manufactures recycled, environmentally-friendly shoes, you may want to align your business with significant occasions like World Environment Day, Earth Day or Clean Up Australia Day.  If your brand sells luxury hair products to women aged between 40 and 55, you may want to hone-in on occasions like Mother’s Day or International Women’s Day. We call this special occasion content

“Regardless of where your brand sits or what you want to achieve, you need to plan in advance and be sure to have a high-impact post ready to go ahead of time,” says Steven Deveraux-Stanford, Managing Director here at Content Hustlers.

“You don’t want to miss an opportunity to align with a significant event because you ran out of time, or just weren’t aware that an event was coming up.” 

2. Be visual

There’s no question that In today’s media-led world, social content dominates.

Adding images to a social media post, whether you’re on Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or any other social channel, helps people remember your brand. According to this study, only 10% of people tend to remember what they hear, whereas if you pair this with a quality image, retention increases to 65%. 

Posts with images are also more striking and eye-catching, and therefore, more likely to get people’s attention. 

According to this Social Media Marketing report; 

  • 32% of marketers say visual images are the most important form of content for their business, with blogging in second (27%).
  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
  • Facebook posts with images see 2.3x more engagement than those without images.
  • 51% of B2B marketers prioritise creating visual assets as part of their content marketing strategy.

“Today, creating visually-led posts should really be the norm,” says David Vale, Content Hustlers’ Creative Director. “A post with an image that’s been well thought-out, expertly shot and cleverly edited can go such a long way in terms of creating a positive brand impression.” 

3. Be animated

While static images perform well, animated content performs even more so. In fact, Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021. SImilarly, according to Hubspot, using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and clickthrough rates by 65%.

However, this doesn’t mean that every post calls for expensive cinematic video content. Even things like stop motion photography and cinemagraphs work incredibly well online. 

Essentially, stop motion is an animation of sorts which splices together a series of photos, and the photographer cleverly moves the images in between each frame. When the images are played back in a rapid sequence, it creates the illusion of movement in a fun and catchy way. This can be a very cost effective way to get attention on social media. 

You can read more about Content Hustlers’ stop motion services here

4. Develop quality content you can re-use

When it comes to your social media presence, quality matters, as does consistency. 

“Investing in professional photography and expert content creation can make all the difference – particularly if you can re-use the same quality assets across your other advertising channels,” says David.

“A single, beautifully crafted and compelling image – seen via social media, on your website and perhaps via an eDM, will have far more impact than a sequence of poorly crafted, unmemorable images,” he says. 

Re-using the same, quality image across several channels makes great sense from a financial point of view. However, it also plays an important role in building brand awareness, and it gives your target audience a consistent visual reference for your brand. The more consistent you can be, the easier it is for people to recognise your business when they see it. 

Similarly, consistency builds trust. It makes your brand seem more professional and reliable, and therefore, more likely to follow through on the promises you make to your customers. 

Visual consistency also builds authority. “When people become familiar with your brand, you have the opportunity to build authority and become an expert in your industry,” says David.

5. Watch the data

One of the best things about social media advertising is the ability to capture virtually instant feedback about your performance. As well as being able to blatantly see how many “likes” or “shares” a post gets, you can also go deeper into the analytics to get a more robust understanding of its performance.  This data is extremely valuable. It can tell you which posts get the most traction for your brand, and why. By taking note of this data, you can continually improve. 

“When it comes to measuring your social media outcomes, you also need to set specific goals that you can measure your results against. Things like your “cost per click” are great KPIs to work to improving.” says Steven. 

“Do you want to drive greater engagement with your brand, or simply get more people to click-through to your website? Do you want to create more loyal brand advocates, or reach as many new customers as possible? Think carefully about your objectives, as the way you will measure each outcome can differ,” he suggests. 

6. Post consistently, and at the right time

When it comes to posting on social media, it’s important to reach a balance between posting so much that you annoy your audience, and posting so rarely that you become lost. 

Consistency is essential. Uploading a flurry of posts in a week, and then doing nothing for months, simply looks unprofessional. Similarly, making two posts a week for two posts is better than making 16 posts in two weeks. There are some great online solutions to help you post and pre-set your posting schedule like the platform Sprout Social

As part of your overall social strategy, work out how much you want to post, and how often. You may obviously need to cater for extra posts around a certain launch or an event that has particular significance to your brand. 

Interestingly, this study shows that over the past year, Instagram has cemented itself as a top network for shopping, with the best time for consumer brands to post being on a Wednesday at 3pm. It suggests that for consistent engagement, brands should post between Monday and Friday, from 11am until 5pm. Another high engagement period occurs on Saturday around 10am, and Sunday has the lowest engagement.

7. Seek ongoing loyalty, not just followers

One of the golden rules of social media is to make the experience pleasurable and rewarding for your followers. By providing high quality, meaningful content that paints your brand in a great light, you’re more likely to drive a more valuable, long-term relationship. 

“The last thing you want to do is clutter up your customers’ feeds with poor content,” says David. “You want to create image-led content that adds value to people’s lives – whether it’s by invoking a sense of pleasure, making them smile, teaching them something they didn’t know, inspiring them, or making it easier for them to find an item they’re sure to love,” he says. 

8. Keep it real

Another golden rule of social media is to be authentic. Speak with credibility, and never come across as disingenuous. And only align your brand with causes or special days that have a tangible link to your brand values – or you could come across as insincere. 

According to this recent article on Forbes, being genuine is a vital part of connecting with customers. 

“Being real and creating authentic content can forge a deeper connection with customers, encouraging brand loyalty and taking the bond past sales. It’s about the relationship between the brand and followers, and by being real, that relationship becomes stronger, allowing brands to secure customers’ valuable attention and engagement,” the article says. 

It also points out that modern customers have a “sense of self” that comes from the brands they support – so knowing they support brands that are genuine and authentic “makes them feel good about their choices.”

So…. how can we help?

At Content Hustlers, we specialise in creating high-impact content for social media and other channels. It’s our thing. Have a look through our portfolio to see some of the great images and ads we’ve created for a range of clients, and have a chat with us to work out how we can help you.

Get in touch with us, or view our content packages.