Did you know that only 4% of people concerned with what a brand does actually follow that brand on social media? I recently came across a figure that shocked and deflated many social media marketers: 96% of the people that discuss certain brands online do not follow those brands’ social media accounts. 96 percent!
Plenty of research has gone into this area, and the problem is becoming increasingly apparent. According to NYT Customer Insight Group, social media users have five main reasons for sharing content:
- To bring valuable content to others
- To define themselves as a person
- To connect, and stay connected with others
- To be praised by others for what they share
- To support causes and brands
Gone are the days when sharing company updates was enough for engagement. Now, followers want to get to know your brand as if it’s a personal friend. Dropping the professional façade and humanizing your brand on social media makes it more likely that people will share your content and help you gain more followers.
These five creative content ideas can help you do just that.
1. Meet the Team
Team introductions are a great way to be personable and allow your audience to get to know you.
There are a few avenues you can take to introduce your team.
Pictures and Bios
Visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared, so including images increases your chance of engagement. Take a picture of each team member — the sillier, the better — and get them to write a little bio about themselves.
Rather than just including all their qualifications and achievements, make it more personal. What do they like doing on the weekends? What’s their favorite hobby? The aim is to humanize your staff, not show off their credentials.
Video is another media type that sees high engagement. YouTube is currently the second most-used social media channel after Facebook, and that’s largely due to its format.
Get each staff member to film a 30-second video, introducing themselves and talking about their job at the company. Using the front camera on a smartphone is a great way to make the content look more natural and authentic.
2. On-Brand Memes
Since memes first gained popularity in the early-2000s, they’ve taken over social media platforms — and for good reasons, they’re funny and relatable! Social media users love humor, and brands can capitalize on this with these simple and recognizable images. Taking a popular meme format and adding text that’s relevant to your brand is sure to grab more attention than a simple text post.
The other advantage of using memes is that they have the “share-factor” in their own right. While most of a brand’s content is an advertisement of some sort, memes offer the opportunity to relate to others on a human level.
If you look back to the five factors of social media engagement, memes hit at least three of the points: they bring value to others; they help the sharer define themselves; they offer validation when they are liked and shared again. If they promote your company on top of that, then you’ve hit the jackpot.
3. Pet Updates
Before the diverse selection of memes we have today, there was one meme to rule them all: LOLCats. The reason for their success is simple. Humans love animals, and we love to anthropomorphize them. No matter what industry you’re in, you can guarantee that a cute picture of your pet will bring you an increase in engagement.
Several companies and influencers inadvertently made their pets into mascots when their social media followings responded better to the animals than their owners.
Jacob Heppner is a crossfitter and YouTuber whose corgi, Winston, has become the star of the show. He often talks about how people are disappointed when they see him in person without the dog.
Target started using an English Bull Terrier called Bullseye to prop up their campaigns. He became so popular that he now boasts his own line of merchandise.
One of the best ways to increase engagement is incredibly simple — ask for it! So many marketers create long announcement posts, company updates, and relatable content, but forget about the most important part: checking in with their fans.
One of the best ways to ask for engagement is to use polls and surveys. Most social media platforms now offer this option. Alongside instigating communication, it’s also a great way to better understand what your audience is looking for.
You can ask about what kind of content they want to see, or what kind of things they do in their daily life. Just remember, the more on-brand the questions, the more likely you are to get engagement.
5. Funny Videos
Videos on social media have exploded in 2019. They increased by 99% on Facebook and 258% on YouTube, and videos on Twitter are six times more likely to be shared than a photo.
However, it’s not enough to record some footage and expect it to do well. You need to consider how your content will benefit your audience.
One surefire way to do this is with humor. We all love to laugh. No matter how bad our day is going, seeing something that makes us giggle immediately brightens our mood. Using humor in marketing is a great way to encourage engagement.
Get creative for better engagement and grow your following
Creating engaging content isn’t rocket science. It’s merely a case of determining what your audience wants and providing that. While these five ideas are great starting points, the most successful marketing comes from tracking your responses and seeing what works for your brand, specifically. We’ve already determined the sort of content most followers enjoy, including:
- Visual posts — whether that’s photos or videos
- Relatable content that’s shareable
- Posts that ask for direct action
- Funny content that will make your audience laugh
Now it’s your turn to experiment with what goes on your feed. Once you’ve found the winning formula, your following will grow in no time.
Feature photo: Jopwell