Social media is an ongoing conversation and, for that conversation to take place on a regular basis, we need to identify topics that are interesting for our audience … and that’s hard. Coming up with a steady stream of consistent content for social media isn’t just a challenge for anyone managing a social media account but it’s also a major time killer.
But it doesn’t have to be one. Shareable moments aren’t that hard to find or create but they do need to make sense for your brand. Today, we’re talking about the techniques you can use to ensure you have a consistent stream of high-quality social media content that supports your brand.
Zoom into run-of-the-mill topics
There’s a reason why we keep talking about the weather; everyone can relate to it. Not everyone can relate to a 15 hour flight or to building a smart home, though. There are a few topics we’ve all brushed up against and can chime in on so brands can pick up these topics to fill in content gaps.
Do you like weekends? I really like weekends. Everyone can relate to weekends and The Hoxton knows it and cleverly uses a staple of one of its locations to give its audience really cool weekend vibes.
Why it works: The Hoxton does a really good job going beyond the hotel walls to capture the feel of its locations. In this example, they’re using a relatable topic, Fridays, and pairing it up with an image that captures something you’re going stumble upon everywhere in Amsterdam – bicycles. The combination turns a dull, generic topic into a fun piece of content that’s relevant for the hotel’s audience.
Zoom out of brand-specific topics
No, this is not about posting inside jokes that only a very small number of people, usually employed in the company, will get. In fact, posting content that’s relevant only to employees publicly, without adding any context that would make it relevant for mass consumption is a good way to alienate your audience. Essentially, you’re saying that the only people who matter to you are those already associated with the brand.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be using inside jokes or behind the scenes content, quite the opposite. You just need to be mindful that some people may not be familiar with all the ins and outs of your company so you’ll need to explain the context behind your content a little better.
Why it works: Cleverly capturing a glimpse of life at Google, the post zooms in for a quick behind the scenes look at how employees travel around the campus. Instead of using an inside pun, they’ve included enough context to make the content relevant for a broader audience.
Snap now and save for later
Sometimes content goes according to a plan and others, the plan follows the content. In other words, you might get 15 posts out of your executive event or internal celebration just as easily as you would out of a blog post. The trick is to save some content for later.
Breaking content down into episodes, so to speak, ensures you don’t clutter your post while allowing you to keep the conversation going at a later time.
Why it works: Hootsuite used an out-of-control-cute shot of an owl as both a stand-alone post to celebrate International Owl Awareness Day and a teaser for its upcoming posts on the same topic. Bonus points for getting involved with an initiative that enhances the brand and supports wildlife.
Build content following layouts
The rule, and I stand by it, is that form follows content, which means you need to have the all the words in the right order before you can have the visual bits. However, there are some instances in which, if you’re working according to a clear strategy, you could build some of your content to support a pattern instead.
Instagram is playing tricks on me lately – don’t know why but more often than not my posts don’t get published 🙈 Did anything like that happened to you? . . . Anyway, we’re finally building a tiny wooden house in our forest. Not a dream house yet but pretty close – I don’t remember when I’ve been that excited 🍃 . . . P.S. I know there is no point in complaining about the weather but do you have any tricks to survive the heat? I honestly feel my brain is shutting down 🙈 I love Summer but it’s a tiny bit too much for me ☀ . . . Mam wrażenie, że ostatnio tylko narzekam, więc dziś dla odmiany dzielę się czymś, co wprawia mnie w stan ekscytacji i oczekiwania – wreszcie budujemy nasz mały, drewniany domek ☺🙃 Już dawno nic mnie aż tak nie cieszyło 🍃 . . . P.S. U Was też taki żar leje się z nieba? Macie swoje sposoby na upał? . . . #verilymoment #theweekoninstagram #storyoflovejoyandbeauty
Why it works: Our brains are built to recognise patterns. Just think of all the wonderful elephants, umbrellas, uncles and logos we seen in clouds. Patterns make the world predictable and our brain loves them. Using patterns on social media plays on the same element of delight and, using a sound content strategy as a backbone for your pattern you can, in some cases, work backwards, fitting content into your template.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re managing the social media profiles of a cutting-edge tech brand, that of a seemingly boring thrift store or your personal brand‘s profiles, finding shareable moments can become one of the most creative exercises you’ll undertake, provided you follow a strategy and use a technique that allows you to do more with less.