Two Strategies For Social Media Success

By 2017, eMarketer predicts that businesses will invest $35.98 billion into their social media marketing activities, representing 16% of all digital ad spend. The figures verify that social is facing an exponential increase, but as is with all disciplines in digital, the model of engagement has shifted dramatically over the years – meaning that the strategies that we use must too.

Bill Gates’ ‘content is king’ is one of the industry’s widest spread references. It’s been reverberated into our minds over and over again – but it’s easy to become immune to how important it actually is. Where does content stand in today’s digital circle – specifically in terms of social media? Having great content is key, but it’s also of little worth if there’s no one engaging with it – as discussed in one of our previous blog posts here. So if content is king, does this make social media queen? One thing is for certain – with the ongoing surge of online ads and the invasion of information, the stakes have been raised for all parties involved.

Presentation is Everything

In today’s online world, the old saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ falls on deaf ears. As mentioned in a previous blog post – it takes as little as 90 seconds to formulate an opinion on a product or person. Perception is everything, especially in the world of social media.

Attention span has shortened from 12 to 8 seconds – shorter than that of a goldfish!

With this in mind, it’s easy for businesses to get carried away with one aspect of a post and forget to differentiate between content and presentation. An accurate analogy for social media could be the process of visiting a showroom. Visitors gauge an idea of what they’re going to get from a product, without experiencing the full benefits of owning it. The presentation of a social media post, should function in a similar manner. It should give the audience a clear insight of what to expect from your brand, whilst simultaneously promising a more comprehensive experience and giving the user an incentive to click through to engage further.

Crafting the perfect social media post depends entirely on your company’s specific objectives. But, there are a few best practices that when applied, can stop your content from going unnoticed in the newsfeed. Incorporating these factors into your next Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram update may be the difference between getting ignored, or shared, liked and commented on by your target market.

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words (Almost!)

There’s no denying the considerable shift that has altered the way we communicate online, as we’ve switched from the traditional ‘tell all’ approach to the modern day ‘show all’ tactic. We’re drawn to visual content online in more ways than ever before, thanks to image-based networks such as Instagram and Pinterest. We respond to visual stimuli over text-based information so much so, that in it’s reigning study Microsoft found that the human attention span has shortened from 12 to 8 seconds – shorter than that of a goldfish!

Such scientific proof has led it to become conventional internet wisdom that adding images to a post, page, blog or any other marketing article makes your content infinitely more engaging. It takes 1/4 of a second for our brain to process visual cues, cementing the case for image-based content being one of the most powerful communication mediums for a marketer. In fact, people are 80% more likely to retain information when paired with an image, and posts are 94% more likely to get clicks than those that are stand-alone text posts.

Posts with images are 94% more likely to get clicks that those without

But that’s only half the battle. Including just any picture isn’t enough to create an effective post. A vital component of any successful marketing campaign is one that evokes an emotional response, and a sentiment that has a particularly strong hold is human curiosity.

Become a Post of Mystery

We see statements like ‘You’ll never believe why this marketer published this on his blog’ and ‘How you can drive engagement with this shocking marketing technique’ – and instantly feel the need to click to learn more. Once piqued, the “curiosity gap” is like a relentless itch that needs to be satisfied. In fact, a study by Copyhackers found that users’ inquisitive nature had such a hold, that it generated a 927% increase in clicks in one specific online case study.

Interest and curiosity go hand in hand. As a marketer you want to gain the attention of your respective target audiences and positively engage those who are actually interested in what you’re posting – or you risk making your content redundant.

The “curiosity gap” recently led to a 927% increase in clicks

However, whilst strong copy and an eye-catching image may be the hook of such a strategy, it’s equally as important that your text meets the expectations caused by the intrigue. Provide too much hype, and your content could become disappointing – thus damaging your credibility and any trust that a user has in your brand. On the flip side, if you don’t provide enough excitement, users may lose interest before they’ve even started the buying process. It’s a balancing act – which must be informed by the objective and purpose for each specific post. Want to drive engagement to your website from Facebook? Give users a snippet of the essential information, but a reason to click-through and learn more!

Ultimately, there is not one type of social media post that will work for every business and knowing how to present your own content, depends entirely on how you want audiences to perceive your brand online. Social media is all about being social and the right images can only carry the success of a post so far. Identify what information your audience desire and use this to inspire curiosity, encourage engagement and get a two-way conversation flowing.

This is just the beginning – from the use of videos, to the necessity of advertising and social listening – there are an abundance of strategies that are tried, tested and effective. Would you like to hear more? Drop us an email or pop by our office for a chat – we’d be happy to share.



Mark Warman - Founder & Digital Consultant Administrator

With a background in design, technology and user experience, I help businesses adapt. Adapt to the changing needs and expectations of their digital audiences.