“Socials make us better storytellers,” said Eleni Stefanou, Social Platforms Editor at The Guardian. “It makes us think about who we are, about how we are of added value for the public and society and how we can make good content, a beautiful story about it.” Content that is not created to create, but which is actually relevant. Content that people consciously search for. But how do you do that? How do you develop content that binds, which is engaging?
Last few months, there were quite a few inspiring talks from brands and organizations that shared their learnings, successes, and tips. I put the five most important tips of the day in a row.
From always on to always relevant
To build on the above: regularly publishing content, still being present on socials, becomes less important. Being connected to your followers, that’s what it’s about. Instead one very relevant post per week, then a mediocre update every day. Being relevant does not mean, however, that it must always be comprehensive and profound. Relevance may also be light-hearted.
Regularly publishing content, always being present on socials, becomes less critical. Being relevant to your followers, that’s what it’s about.
A prerequisite for creating problem-solving content is that as an organization you are actually the designated party to solve certain problems, through the expertise that you have in-house and with which you are familiar with the public. Stay away from everything else, where you might be able to focus on content creation. It makes you less credible.
Think in formats
We, humans, are creatures of habit and fond of fixed values in our lives. We can state that this also applies to the content level. Create formats in your content strategy, which will recognize followers. They will also actually look for the compositions because they find them attractive and know what to expect.
The Guardian: Fake or Real
The Guardian, the British newspaper that has format thinking in its genes, started last year with an Instagram Stories section, called Fake or Real. Followers receive three news reports. They receive a poll, with which they can vote whether something is real or fake news. Smart, because there is a game element in it, but it also makes followers think critically about how the media work in 2019.
This format is so strong that it has even been rolled out to British schools, where they play it in the classroom. The Guardian is currently working on more formats, with the emphasis on text. According to them, the new trend on Instagram Stories. So: extra tip!
DELA: A pending question
Nancy Schuurmans of DELA says that the funeral insurance company also works with recurring formats. People generally do not like to talk about death. The use of formats discusses matters that normally remain unspoken. For example, there is the ‘ Prendgende Vraag ‘ section, in which an expert answers one of the questions that you might encounter when a close relative dies.
Selfies are not selfish, but The Next Big Thing!
Yes, you hear it right. Get started with selfies. Show your head! And preferably a head that talks. A head that really has something to say or to ask. Because with a visible head, you create faster interaction, says Kirsten Jassies. Followers like to talk to someone they can actually see.
Now you might think, this is fun for influencers with a personal account and numerous followers, but not for my business account. Really!
Business-to-business does not exist on social media. We are all people who communicate with people. Jassies gives an example of a nurse in a hospital, who secretly pokes fun at the problems that healthcare currently faces. She does this in an airy way but does highlight the actual issues. Just like police vlogger Jan-Willem, who tells a good and authentic back-screen story about the things he experiences during his work as a policeman.
Be inspired by such accounts and let an employee vlog a working day or do a Q & A on a relevant topic. And: let such headings return regularly (read: format thinking!). A nice side issue is that this also contributes to labor market communication. And all by selfies. So, throw that camera into the selfie mode and start practicing! (This tip also applies to me, by the way.)
Use User Generated Content
Stefanou from The Guardian once again confirms it: 50% of millennials trust messages from friends and people they follow more than any other medium. In short: messages that your followers and customers share about you are valuable, very valuable. But how do you ensure that people start creating content about your brand?
First of all: have an excellent product or service, that is beyond dispute. In addition: do not do too much effort, but give your followers tools that encourage the creation of content. For example, make sure there is a brand-related hashtag that followers can use when creating a post and ensure that your account and location can be tagged.
Does this yield something? Re-post the messages that match the layout of your feed and/or share them in Stories. Collect them and analyze them. Not only on the number of likes and comments, but also on how they are designed. You can learn a lot from that, especially to make your own content even better and more attractive.
Tip: create content in the way that users do. See how the posts of your followers look like, how they use Stories and incorporate this into your own approach. Of course, always stay with yourself!
Focus on Metrics that Matter
We sometimes stare blindly at the countless statistics that are available on our social accounts. Of course, they provide a good insight into how our content is received by followers. Nevertheless, it is emphasized in several talks that we should not divert everything from data. Stefanou tips you to focus on a number of important insights and leave most of all for what it is. For example, she previously focused on likes and comments. This showed that a new category was not well received. She thought so. When she looked further and saw that the messages were stored very often, the opposite was true. She advises to properly examine which statistics are valuable and which of input are to take your content to a higher level. Focus on that and leave the rest. A waste of your time.
Tip: take the whole organization with you!
In the various talks, the focus is on how you create content that lasts. Content for Instagram, because this is still the medium moment. Content that is designed for followers and customers. But, the internal public, the employees, should not be forgotten. It was not! After all, they are the ambassadors of the organization, who are also active on Instagram on their own behalf, making them the perfect creators of user-generated content. Whether with or without a selfie.