This post is part one of a series on optimizing social content. 

“Content Doesn’t Win. Optimized Content Wins” – Li Evans, search marketing guru

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter. You hear these names and you instantly think, “social media.” For many people, the purpose of all (and more) of these platforms is the same… and essentially they’re not wrong. Some of the fundamental reasons brands are on social media platforms are as follows:

  • Build a community of engaged fans and followers
  • Create potential leads and opportunities for user-generated referrals
  • Drive conversions

These are great social goals to have, but each brand has to ask a few questions before it arrives at its social purpose. A good rule of thumb is always to start with why. Why should we exist in the social space? From there, you need to figure out the outcomes you want to achieve by being there. Many brands get caught up in using social to drive conversions. Social is for sharing, not selling. You want to let your fans know you’re having a flash sale? Go for it. But respect their time and their loyalty to your brand. You have to find a balance between talking about yourself and talking about things your fans care about – and if you can do both in the same post, then you’ve really got something.

Once you have established a social purpose, a key next step that is sometimes overlooked is to go back to the why on a more specific scale — why should you be on x, y, and z channel. A common mistake in social media marketing is to look at the channel too generally, as just social media. A better approach is to look at each channel individually. Some channels make more sense than others for brands depending on their product, brand, voice, target audience, and even their social purpose. Here’s a fun graphic to get you started thinking about channels individually:

chelsea_mcdonald_optimized_content_part1_1

Now that we’re all on the same page (and by that, I mean that only Google employees use Google+), let’s further discuss how to show each social channel the respect it deserves.

There are essentially two approaches to social media content marketing by brands.

  1. Use one post across all social channels, sometimes with image variation sizing for each brand (not using the same image size for Facebook and Pinterest, for example).
  2. Creating content specific to the channel you’re in. Even if your message is the same, you are executing different creative (copy and graphic) for each channel to differentiate it to the type of content that is most common and popular in that specific channel.

All social channels are NOT created equally. Facebook boasts the largest, most engaged audience. This includes 70 percent of the 1.4 billion monthly active users who use the channel daily, while 45 percent of that group uses it multiple times a day. Instagram has recently beaten out Twitter for the No. 2 spot with 49 percent being daily site users out of a monthly active user base of 200 million. The amount of daily users that log onto Instagram multiple times a day is greater though, at 32 percent of the daily 49 percent. Social platforms like Pinterest that don’t have the high daily active users still have 46 percent of their monthly active users logging in to pin at least once per week.

This data is important for our content discussion because of the users who aren’t just using one site daily, but instead are using multiple sites. According to the most recent Pew Research, more than half of internet users (52 percent) use two or more of the social media sites that were measured in the study (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn) on a daily basis. When a user follows his or her favorite brands on social, he or she doesn’t want to see the same content on every channel. It feels lazy, tired, boring…and repetitive.

Discover other brands that are rocking social

Nike Women

Nordstrom

Starbucks

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