Note: This article was updated on June 24th, 2020.
Social media has become one of the most important digital marketing tools for not only our clients, but for thousands of companies around the world. 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile on the platform daily. eCommerce brands are bypassing traditional online checkouts and selling products and services directly through different social media platforms. There are more than 30 billion pieces of content shared each month on Facebook. This includes everything from web links, news stories, posts, notes, photos videos and more. With all this content constantly flooding consumers’ social media feeds, it can be difficult to know what direction to go in to keep your company top of mind.
Business owners and marketers constantly ask us at The Media Captain, “How can we make our business stand out on social media? How can we set ourselves apart from the competition?”
You have to get creative with how you tell your story.
What exactly does this mean? Many businesses have so many incredible stories to tell, but often lack the ability to see those stories clearly or find ways to bring them to life through their social media content. When you’re focused on simply running your business and taking care of your customers, those little things can be easy to miss. It’s important to think about the people in your business and the culture they help create, as well as the true importance of the work you do or the products you sell.
There are many different approaches you can take to begin telling the story of your business on social media. One method we often suggest to many businesses is to film short, informative videos that can be used as organic posts on social media or even promoted as social advertisements. Videos do a great job of showing the faces of your company in a more relatable, engaging way. Video content also has a higher likelihood of being shared by those who view it as opposed to only text or image-based posts. Whether it is your CEO giving a monthly update on upcoming events and promotions or an employee walking through a DIY makeup tutorial, there are so many opportunities for content that will increase the trust and authority of your brand.
Many business owners and employees can sometimes feel a little intimidated by taking videos, but the good news is, these videos don’t need to be professional-grade. Simple selfie videos or homemade videos taken on your cell phone are perfectly acceptable, and sometimes are easier for consumers to connect with than ones that are professionally shot. It all depends on the voice you’re trying to achieve and how you feel it’s best to talk to your current and potential customers. How do you want them to view you? How can you best communicate your credibility?
Another great way to beef up your social media content is to put some serious thought behind the images you choose to showcase. While stock photography may seem like a quick and easy option to get content out there, it probably won’t accurately represent your company or branding. It is also pretty easy for users to quickly spot a stock image and may not think your brand is as credible. Take some time to snap some quality product photos, photos of your facility, candid shots of your employees, etc.
This will be a more authentic representation of your company and what you do, and will allow your brand voice to better shine through. Again, these don’t need to be perfectly professional or taken with the latest digital camera. Well-thought out cell phone pictures and even candid photos will likely be sufficient.
We know it can be tough to find the time to constantly be taking pictures while trying to efficiently operate your business. That’s where you can get creative with having your customers create the content for you! Encouraging user-generated content not only makes users feel more connected to a brand, but it is also a great way to gain some free content that you can reuse in the future. Users typically love the possibility of having their content displayed or shared by a brand they love, and you can absolutely use this to your advantage. Encouraging users to tag your handle in their posts or stories, send in and post photos as part of a contest or giveaway, etc. are awesome ways to generate more diverse, creative content you may not have thought to develop yourself. And your users get to have a little fun in the process!
Another very simple way to get some new ideas for content is to take a look at what your competitors are doing. How are they trying to tell their story? How is your story different from theirs, and what makes yours even more unique? How are they attempting to engage their customers? Does it seem like their strategy is working? Taking a look at what others are doing within your industry or service area will likely give you some insight into what content is doing well for them, and what could possibly work for you and your brand.
At the end of the day, creating content for social media is all about telling a story. Businesses can tell stories through their employees, their products, their customers and so many more avenues that often go untapped. Try to find ways to highlight the accomplishments of those who work for you, describe your current initiatives in your community, and speak to what truly makes your brand and company unique. While it may seem like a tough challenge in the beginning, when you spend solid time finding the stories within your company that are being written everyday, you are guaranteed to stand out and foster better connections with your customers through your social media marketing.
Content specialists here at The Media Captain are ready to help you develop a unique game plan and strategy for your social media content that will drive the results you want to see for your account. Contact us today to learn more about our social media services.