All through my career in social media, I’ve watched how these platforms have evolved to prioritize different things.
Once upon a time, it was easy to get by posting average content a couple of times a week. You didn’t have to think too much because no matter how long it took, your audience just needed to scroll down their chronological feed to see your content.
But then the platforms realized that they weren’t going to make money fast enough if we had such orderly timelines. So, they began to switch things up by giving different conditions. Before we knew it, we were battling with ‘algorithms’.
One of my job descriptions that many clients are not aware of is studying social media trends. My job also involves the never-ending process of contending with the ever-changing algorithms. At every point in time, I need to be aware of the new changes to the algorithms across all major platforms. And guess what, there are major changes at least once a month and minor ones every other day at least. To be honest, sometimes I falter. I could go months without updating myself because it can get overwhelming and exhausting. But what I ensure I do is to always deal with the backlog of updates.
A couple of months ago, I did another major analytics/strategy session which I try to do quarterly. I pulled the plugs on all the social media content I had been creating and overhauled the entire content calendar. I needed to take a step back to see how the content has been performing so far across board. When it comes to social content, I always strive for as much quality as possible within my capacity. A lot of clients try to cripple me with their lack of foresight but I try as much as possible to do my best.
After halting all content creation, I took some time to update myself with the best content practices for these platforms. Again, it had changed recently but I haven’t really been able to fully implement these changes in my content creation. I went back to the analytics of each account to see the content performance so far. At the end of the session, I was able to make some changes to the overall content strategy. Some of the changes I made were a bit drastic and far different from what I’ve been doing for a while but I decided to go for it regardless. What was the worst that could happen?
Can I just say that that was my best strategy session in a long time? After about two weeks of implementation, the results were incredibly impressive. I took a chance and I’m so glad it was a success for those particular accounts. Now, all I need to do now is to duplicate those methods to other accounts.
So, you might be wondering what changes I made to my social media content to get me better results. With no further ado:
Identify your social media goals and set targets.
It always feels like we marketers like talking about identifying goals for the sake of it. But no, it is far from it. More often than not, when brands don’t have clearly defined and documented goals, they keep chasing vanity metrics and stressing us in the process. If your primary goal is to drive website traffic, all of your social media activities must be tied toward that single goal. If your secondary goal is to increase engagement, that means your content must be able to drive website traffic AND engage your audience at the same time.
Quality over quantity
Overtime, as the platforms evolved, we had to create as much content as the algorithm dictated. Sometimes it could go as many as five times a day depending on the size of the account just to ensure that the audience sees the content. But these days, after a lot of trial and errors, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is quality over quantity. You need to spend enough time studying your analytics to choose the overall best performing content. Once that is done, you can now amplify it with the other features available.
For instance, if you create a quality piece of content in an Instagram carousel format, you can then amplify it by posting snippets of that same content to Stories and take it a step further by recording the video format for IGTV. See what I did? You did not need to create three different types of content for a single platform. You only needed to tailor it to suit the platform’s formats.
From a content marketer’s point of view, you need to think about the longevity of a piece of content. How far can this content go? Yes, you’re probably used to creating bite-sized snackable content for social media. But right now as the game has changed, I implore you to prioritize quality over quantity. This might look like slowing down and posting less than you would regularly do. So if you’re currently posting daily and you’re not really getting that result you want, improve the quality of your content and try posting maybe three times a week (because I know that quality content takes more time to create) and see how it goes. Compare the results. But I guarantee you that you would get better results as the quality improves.
Work on Storytelling/Copywriting techniques
If there’s one thing I know a lot of people struggle with, it is storytelling. As easy as it seemingly looks for some, it is challenging for others. And that’s fine. It’s not everyone that has the gift to write captivating and compelling stories, especially for social media. So if you find an amazing storyteller that you can work with to elevate your content, I suggest you hire them ASAP!
In the meantime, work on your copywriting game. Use longer captions. Add context to your captions. Don’t just write for the sake of it. Do you know what I’ve also realized? The more copy you write, the more chances you have to work on your storytelling. If at the initial stage, you’re struggling to craft longer captions, how about giving it a bit of context by adding a background story to it. How did we get here? What happened along the way? I promise you your engagement rate is bound to improve.
In summary, in order to improve the quality of your social media content you need to;
- Be aware of the best content practices for the current algorithms.
- Identify your social media goals and set targets for achieving them.
- Choose quality content over quantity.
- Check your analytics regularly to give you an idea of what kind of quality content you need to create consistently.
- Improve your storytelling skills by writing more quality copy.
In this age of information overload and fluff, quality content will take your brand farther.
If you run an e-commerce brand, read about how you can improve the quality of your product pages.