It’s obvious that promoted content has pretty much judo-chopped any chance for your organic content to perform well on social media platforms. Why? Because big brands are putting big dollars on most of their content.
Facebook has come a long way to tailor sponsored content to your specific interests, but lets face it — every once in a while, we all see that ad from the NFL encouraging “all you moms out there” to buy season tickets for your family. No? That’s just me? I digress…
My point is that big brands aren’t using their big bucks strategically. Not every piece of content we publish needs to be promoted to every one of our viewers. A successful social media campaign stems from putting the right information in front of the right audience. At the beginning of the year, we helped a client rework their sponsored content strategy based on this idea. Over the course of five months, we’ve increased user engagement by 2.4 percent, and it’s rising.
- “Reel” your audience in.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, Facebook enables auto-play on any video you post. What’s nice about this feature is that it makes your viewer stop scrolling and (hopefully) click.Many times, your viewer will have to click on the video to hear the sound, but you can go a step further and add closed captions. This lets your viewer take in all the video’s content without having to listen to it.
- Ask your audience a question.
For as long as social media has been around, people have loved adding their two cents — which can be good or bad. I’ve found a neutral way to seek a voice from my users: posting a trivia question once a week.I’ll follow up by either sharing the answer to the question as its own post the next day (if I notice a lot of engagement), or by posting it in the comments. I have some viewers coming back every week commenting, “I’m right again!” Mission accomplished.
- Make your content easy to share.
Users typically share content on three occasions: when it’s timely, when it’s interesting and when it’s easy to share (bonus points if you can hit all three in one post!). If you post a photo on Facebook with a caption and your viewer shares it, the caption gets squeezed below the photo.Keep your content as relevant as the media you attach it to by posting an infographic, or simply an image with text overlay. This way, all of your content is shared equally and easily.(Note: Facebook’s 20 percent text rule will not allow you to promote these posts. However, if you post organic content like this, consistency is key. Post it every week, and your viewers will eventually see a pattern.)
- Speak to your audience on a personal level.
Some brands still use social media as a sales platform rather than a hub for conversation. And believe me, it shows.Try your best to connect with your audience on a personal level. For example, I began posting candid doctor interviews for my health care client. Right away, people began engaging with my content. “I love Dr. So-and-so!” “This doctor saved my mother’s life back in 1999.” No matter what industry you’re in, there are always ways to make your content a little bit softer and more conversational for your audience.
- Tug at their heartstrings.
What’s better than coming across a feel-good story on social media? Whether it’s an article about the old couple who had simultaneous heart surgeries and lived to celebrate their 75th anniversary, a photo of the doctor who wore pink scrubs to his 11-year-old patient’s operation because he knows it’s her favorite color, or a testimonial from a patient who had an unforgettable experience with a specific doctor at your local facility, share it! Content like this is easily relatable and hard to pass up.