Unlike Keesia Wirt, who wrote part one of this series, my background isn’t in long-form content writing. For over a decade I’ve immersed myself in the communication tools of my generation: social media. I may not be an expert in long-form writing, but I can attest to the fact that producing content for social is its own art form, with each platform taking its own unique shape.
Now that you’ve read part one of this blog series that focuses on best practices about writing for social, it’s time to break down the role of each social media platform and how to tailor content to these channels.
Building your media matrix
To plan the role of each social media platform within a brand’s total marketing strategy, start by creating a media matrix.
It’s a simple table that breaks down the brand’s platforms — including the website — and details the purpose of each channel, what content belongs on each site, and post frequency. Once your media matrix is defined, it’s easier to carefully plan content.
Tailoring content to each social media platform
Now it’s time to consider how you will create content for each platform.
You may think you can take a post and put it on all of your channels without altering it, and you’re right, you can. There’s nothing to stop you from doing that … unless you’re over the character limit or trying to upload a file that isn’t supported. However, a one-size-fits-all-channels approach is not helping your efforts.
Understanding each channel as its own helps you leverage platform functionalities and algorithms to better connect with your customers.
These insider writing tips will help you better use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. For the most up-to-date specs for each platform, check out these text, image, and video resources from Sprout Social.
What to post on Facebook
Facebook, with over 2.23 billion monthly active users, remains the world’s most popular social network.
Stats show users are on this platform multiple times a day; are actively engaging with their friends, families, and favorite brands; and are willing to leave the platform to engage with other digital content.
This gives you and your brand the opportunity to deepen your relationship with customers by posting consistently and engaging with them, whether that be through excellent customer service or driving traffic to a piece of valuable content.
From a platform functionality standpoint, Facebook is a channel that will help increase awareness through video views and is relatively inexpensive to advertise on. Use this information to consider how you’re presenting your message (image vs. video) and how you’re supporting your business goals through paid efforts.
Takeaways: Focus on engaging with your customers, and post video and image content to support your business.
How to write effective copy for LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network, which makes it a valuable channel for B2B marketers. Two Rivers Marketing clients are placing a higher emphasis on using this platform to reach their target audiences.
Related: Six ways to use LinkedIn for B2B marketing
When users are on LinkedIn, they tend to be in a professional mindset. They’re looking for resources to help them in their careers and to make connections with other like-minded individuals. This gives your brand the opportunity to craft posts that showcase your expertise and to be a trusted resource users turn to when they need guidance.
In recent months, LinkedIn has stepped up some of its platform capabilities, including support of native video, new ad types, and a renewed focus on groups, providing even more ways for your brand to connect with its target audiences.
Takeaways: Effective post copy is concise and positions your company and its employees as a resource.
How to be effective on Twitter
Twitter is where people are pushing out hundreds of millions of tweets per day. With all of those ideas and conversations taking place, Twitter is a great platform to learn more about your target audience and see success during industry-related events.
It’s a platform users want to stay on, resulting in higher engagement and conversation but lower traffic being driven to other digital properties. To be effective on Twitter, your brand should focus on increasing awareness and consideration with your tweets, but rely on other platforms to help drive conversion.
Twitter was built with the idea of extending your network by tapping into conversations through hashtags. Almost every event has a specific hashtag associated with it that connects users with other individuals and brands. So how can your company take advantage of this? Use hashtags (do your research first, though) to tap into conversations, and listen to what users are saying to see if it sparks ideas for creating additional content.
Last year Twitter announced it was increasing the character limit from 140 characters to 280. Even though you can now write more, you shouldn’t. Shorter tweets are still more effective.
Takeaways: Focus on creating awareness and consideration with concise post copy and use hashtags.
Most effective messages for Instagram
Instagram is the eye candy of social media channels. What started as a platform primarily used by individuals who wanted to showcase their inner photographer, has turned into a community for both individuals and brands to visually converse and engage.
This is another platform that users check consistently and use to engage with their friends, family, and favorite brands. In general, lifestyle, historical, and user-generated imagery perform the best.
Unlike super promotional content, this content gets people to stop scrolling and engage either through likes, saves, or comments. Instagram is a great platform to build brand loyalty among your target audience.
With newer platform features — like the ability to follow hashtags and add links and polls to Stories — and an updated algorithm that boosts content to the top of the newsfeed when it’s engaged with quickly, B2B brands have a lot of opportunities.
Don’t be afraid to test these new features, to add a promotional budget to your posts, or to look at when your audience is most likely to engage with your content so you’re posting at a time when it’s likely to be boosted in the feed.
Takeaways: Use Instagram to build brand loyalty, and don’t be afraid to test the features of the platform.
This blog post covered a lot, but these tips and tricks just scratched the surface of how to effectively tailor your social content. If you want to examine your social media marketing mix and determine how you can better adapt your content, we’d love to help you out.