Monday, July 23rd, 2018
Social media is an ever-changing phenomenon. It’s a marketing platform almost permanently subject to the mercurial whims of the public, meaning that anyone can get their hand in the game and change the flow of conversation. But how do you make your mark? In the roiling sea of content that is Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and the rest, how do you get ahead and stay ahead?
Capturing lightning in a bottle isn’t something you can always count on. Clever marketing can give you an edge, but being able to deliver interesting content day-in-day-out will keep you in your customers’ minds. 71% of consumers have said that social media savvy brands are what they would recommend to others, given the chance. One of the key ways you’re going to be able to show that you’re active and up-to-date is your visual content. Everyone likes Graphics – most people connect with graphics better, majority of the information that comes to the brain is in the form of graphics, and presentations with graphical support are always more persuasive. It’s easy to digest and impactful. Read on for some of our tips to maximize that impact and grow your audience:
This is easy enough, just let your creativity fly. Add action lines and arrows encircle important parts of your images, or even “edit” your own signature looks into something completely different. This can give your content a handmade, off-the-cuff feel that’s become very popular. Just try to ensure that it still fits your image.
(Screenshot of Fenty Beauty’s Instagram Feed – July 2018)
You’ll need to pick a style and stick to it. Look at the Instagram profile of makeup brand Fenty Beauty – it’s incredibly consistent. Pretty much every picture has the same kind of style. Even though the models change from image to image, there’s a sense of lush vibrancy that carries over. An easy way to develop this kind of consistency is to have clear guidelines for your content creators. Make sure everyone’s on the same page as to the tools they should be using, and you’ll have your own signature look in no time.
This is one tip that you’ve probably already noticed influencers using on their Instagram stories. Plain product shots and images sometimes need just a little bit more info to grab your audience’s attention. This is an easy way of showing a little bit more personality along with your visuals. Well-designed text layouts ensure that you can have big brand name impact without a big brand’s budget. Don’t forget, you’ll need to master being concise!
This tip goes nicely with the previous one – once you have your text set and ready to go, you can make it pop a little more by doodling some shadows under it, giving it some more weight, or you can even stick it in a box if you want to emphasize a solid block of information.
Each social media platform effectively plays by its own rules. What works great on Facebook might not do so well on Instagram. Simply cross-posting all your content is generally seen as a sign that you don’t know what fits the culture surrounding each platform. Think about what your social media goals are and how you can use each platform’s strengths to achieve these goals. Facebook is great for videos and longer text, Instagram is almost purely visuals, and Twitter is for short, current updates. Build on those ideas.
The best time to post is when your audience is active on social media. But that’s not really all that helpful unless you can find out when your audience is active – which is why it’s a good thing that there have been many studies about just this topic. In a nutshell: Instagram users are active almost throughout the entire week, but posting around 7 to 8 p.m. is good. Facebook users engage best at around 1 to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Twitter users like posts at around 5 p.m. on weekdays.
This is a nice way to let the people who run the show get some recognition, and offers a look at your company culture in a natural way. Even just pictures of your team hard at work sends a message that can resonate with your audience.
This is an easy tip but sometimes overlooked. All you really need to do is name your images properly using plain language and optimize your alt attributes. Being descriptive here can mean your content gets higher on google images searches, which is always a good thing.
You need to be able to predict the kinds of content your audience will appreciate. Tailor your images and style to your audience or you run the risk of alienating them. Teenagers and 20-somethings might appreciate the value of a good meme, but the same content might not be as effective for older demographics. High concept product shots will do great on Instagram, but will probably get lost in the high turnover of Twitter. Creative content ideas need to be refined and distilled into what will work best on each specific platform.
This is a tough one, but it could help you get ahead and stay ahead. Knowing the current trends and being able to predict new ones effectively gives you a half a year to a year’s head start on your competition. Ephemeral content and livestreaming are all the rage now, but there are still companies that are slow to adapt to them. If you’re already an expert at utilizing these channels you’re reaching thousands more potential customers than your competitors.
Next year, it is estimated that there will be around two and a half billion social media users around the world, up atleast by 0.3+ billion since 2017. That’s a full third of the world’s population – making it a must that you maximize your impact on this new medium of modern communication. Can you really afford to miss out on almost 3 billion customers? eMail and traditional advertising will still play a part in your marketing strategies, but your social media presence deserves just as much attention and care.
Social media platforms are going to be constantly changing and evolving – as a content creator, your challenge is to be on the cutting edge of those changes. The bottom line is that you have to be able to consistently push content that suits your voice and your audience. Do that, and engagement will follow.
If you want an easy way to get started on all of these tips then we think Instasize is the right fit for you. It’s a one-stop tool to not only create awesome new content, but also to curate great content that you find online. Instasize is available for free on both iOS and Android.