In this new world of social media, your audience is clamoring for content that is entertaining and engaging. That means you need to build a social media strategy that combines photos, videos and the written word to effectively tell the story behind your business.
Although photos and clever posts will always be critical to great social media storytelling, they are no longer enough. A recent study showed that 82% of global internet traffic came from video streaming and downloads. Additionally, the average person spends 95 minutes daily on TikTok, which shows just how addictive the video content experience can be. Platforms like Instagram have followed suit, pivoting towards video-driven offerings that inspire users to spend more time consuming and engaging with content.
Video as a medium offers audiences a visual story that static images alone simply cannot capture, making it extremely effective for engaging your current (and potential) customers online. Businesses of all sizes are taking notice and marketers who use video content experience revenue growth 49% faster than those who don’t.
But make no mistake photo content is still important and has its role on social media, especially for small businesses that want to show the breadth and depth of their offerings. For example, a pizzeria showing a beautiful pizza shot in portrait mode can capture a slice of heaven that’s sure to make customers salivate. Or a local bank showing a smile from one of their employees can provide a glimpse into your culture and, in turn, build trust among your digital audiences.
To compete and win in the age of storytelling, you need to create and share videos along with your photos so you can connect with people in a deeper and more contextual way online. But how do you produce and capture content that your audience really wants? And how can you ensure this engagement on social media ultimately turns into results for your business?
Social Media Guiding Principles
One of the things that can create a content production challenge is the desire to make it “just right.” With both video and photos, timing can be everything. And the reality is that time doesn’t wait for you!
To capitalize and seize a trending moment is to act quickly. So, remember “progress not perfection.” Some content is better than late content – or no content at all. This is a muscle you must develop to get good at capturing every moment.
Next, try to be active on every social media platform. Although you should focus on the platforms where your target audience is to fine-tune your platform strategy, it is important to test and be present on all of the major apps to see how they allow you to tell your business’ story effectively. For example, while many look at Instagram as supplemental to their main website and representative of their core brand, they’re using Threads as a vehicle to ask their audience questions, connect with creators and have some fun discussing trends and topics with their connections. Each platform has its own unique attributes and values, and you can only understand them by testing them!
Ideas for content will hit you every day. Just watch and listen for things people are doing and talking about. Whether it is a challenge online, a seasonal food item or even a national gimmick. There are ideas inspiring us every day. So, when you see these ideas in the “wild,” try to make them your own! Put your branding on it, include your staff in it, and have fun. Create content that makes you smile, and it’s likely to make your audiences smile, too. Just whatever you do: Own it!
Social Media Dos and Don’ts
- Position your phone vertically when capturing content for formatting purposes.
- Keep videos short and sweet to keep people’s attention.
- Post Reels as frequently as possible. They are increasingly being favored in Instagram’s algorithm.
- Add subtitles if you want content to have both music and messaging.
- Review user-generated content that mentions your company before just hitting repost. Not only do you want to ensure the content they share is aligned with your brand, but you also want to make sure it doesn’t include inaccurate (or vulgar) content.
- Thank customers for posting content about your business and for posting comments. They always love to feel appreciated.
- When a guest does something over the top like shoot multiple videos of them at your restaurant, DM them and send them swag or a special token of your appreciation. This is very powerful in building customer loyalty.
- Use a high-res camera or a high-quality phone.
- Don’t get lost in the details. There are plenty of imperfect posts that get plenty of likes.
- Don’t question your judgment: You want to attract audiences that like what you like, so don’t worry about being the answer for everyone.
- Don’t put off posting. Act on your ideas quickly so they feel authentic and timely.
- Don’t forget to include audio in longer videos. You want to sound clear and crisp.
- Don’t over post. Three to seven times a week is ideal.
- Don’t use music for the sake of it. Most audio from video content doesn’t get heard because people are looking for visuals and generally have the sounds muted.
Listen, Learn and Evolve Your Social Strategy
There are many ways you can expand the reach and value of your content. You can consider livestreams, which you can promote beforehand to build some anticipation, excitement and engagement. You can have social media influencers come in and shoot videos and photos to attract their followers, which can help you build your following. You can even outsource social media content management to increase efficiency and velocity of posting. Lastly, if you’re great at coming up with amazing ideas but struggle with the skills for execution, then consider hiring someone to do it internally. You can really elevate your creativity and overall results when you do.
Want to learn how one small business applied these ideas to build buzz? Read this article written by Sammy Mandell, co-owner of Greenville Avenue Pizza Company in Dallas, Tex.