How media organizations can up their social media game

Social media is essential for your brand’s success online, even more so during the COVID-19 era.
That’s because the time daily usage is increasing year after year. In 2019 we were spending 144 minutes per day, up from 142 minutes in the previous year.
Social media is the place where your audience spends most of their online time, so it’s where your brand needs to be.

The problem is that social media is a crowded space. You’re not the only brand that recognizes that it can be a valuable source of information, global news, engagement, shopping, and more. So, with millions of brands vying for an audience, how can you stand out on social media?

1. Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

There are close to a dozen social media platforms—if you count the smaller ones—but that doesn’t mean your brand should try to be on every platform.

Instead, it’s more valuable to spend your precious time on the platforms where your target audience spends the most time.

For example, a B2B digital magazine meant for business executives should spend more time on LinkedIn while a creative arts magazine would have better success on Instagram and YouTube.

The most common platforms include:

  • Facebook: Facebook is the most widely used social media platform with 68% of adults reporting that they use it. Almost every brand should be on Facebook
  • Instagram: Instagram is the best platform for photo content and one of the best for video content. In fact, in January 2019, there were 500 million daily active Stories on Instagram.
  • Twitter: Twitter is ideal for brands with a younger audience—40% of Americans aged 18-29 use Twitter—as well as a well-educated audience (32% are degree-holders). It’s the best social media platform for news, trending topics, and customer service.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the premier B2B social media network and gets two new members every second.
  • YouTube: More than 1.9 billion users log into YouTube every month. It’s the premier video social media platform and is responsible for a billion hours of video per day.
  • Reddit: Reddit has more than 26.4 million monthly active users in the U.S. spread across 150,000 unique communities.
  • Snapchat: Snapchat is the best social media platform to reach young users. 90 percent of all 13-24-year-olds and 75% of 13-34-year-olds in the U.S. are on Snapchat.
  • TikTok: As for late Sept 2018, TikTok became the most downloaded free app on the Apple App Store in the U.S., allowing users to create 15-second videos, soundtracked by music.

2. Pay Attention to the Data and Experiment

Social media marketing doesn’t follow any particular recipe for success. Every brand must come up with their own social media marketing strategy based on its audience, content, and goals. This can be difficult since there’s no exact science to follow, but there is data, and that makes all the difference.

To up your social media game, you need to pay close attention to how your content performs with your audience. Look at critical metrics such as views, shares, comments, and likes to see what does well and what doesn’t. Then, after collecting enough data over a period of time, optimize your content to fit what your audience enjoys.

For example, if you’re testing out what type of videos perform the best on YouTube, run an A/B test with different adjustments. Test out everything from the size of the video to its sounds/music, length, captions, language, style, multimedia, etc. Whatever performs the best in each test, you can continue to use it in the future.

Remember, social media changes quickly and often. You’ll need to check the data and experiment at least once a quarter if you want to stay on top.

3. Create Vertical Videos

Vertical videos are great for mobile, which is how 91% of all social media users access their favorite channels. That’s because vertical videos take up the entire mobile screen, without having to rotate to landscape view, which makes for easier and quicker viewing for audiences.

Vertical videos are mobile-friendly and help to maximize your video results including views, view rates, engagement, and watching to the end—vertical video ads are viewed to the end 9x more than horizontal ads. Square videos also fall under this same category. According to Adweek, viewers are 67% more likely to watch a square video to completion.

So the next time you create social videos, be sure to use vertical or square formatting.

4. Build a Content Calendar and When to Post

The right platforms and content won’t matter if you don’t share enough of it. This is where a content calendar is vital. It helps you list out your content for the coming month, keeping you on track, and ensuring that you share the content your audience wants the most.

Your content calendar can be as detailed or as abstract as you want. However, there are a few crucial elements that every content calendar should include:

  • Date
  • Author (responsible party)
  • Type of content (video, blog, photo, etc…)
  • Platform
  • Topic
  • Content details
  • Keywords
  • Target audience
  • Call to action

Here’s a great example of a social media content calendar from HubSpot.

Your calendar should also include the best time to post on the platform. The average person spends two hours and twenty-two minutes a day on social media and messaging. That’s a lot of time, but with 24 hours a day and the short lifespan associated with most social media content, you have to be strategic about when you post. For the best times to post on each platform, HubSpot has the latest insight in an easy-to-use infographic.

5. Create a Video Series

Serial video content is incredibly popular. Just look at Netflix and how easy it is for viewers to watch just “one more episode.” The good news is that you can take advantage of that same episodic content with your social videos. A video series is a compelling and addictive way to tell a story to your audiences, and it’s not hard to do.

All you have to do to get started is to come up with a popular topic and then release new video episodes every week. You can make it an ongoing serial like a weekly update video, or you can make it a limited episode series that has a set start and end point, such as a series all about a particular event.

Some ideas for video series include:

  • A highlights playlist of your best Instagram content as a recurring Instagram story.
  • A limited-run YouTube series that tells a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
  • A weekly video series based on a theme—think in terms of playlists. Weekly “How-To’s,” product reviews, interviews, weekly Q&A, etc.
  • Turn written content into a video series by breaking a blog into multiple videos around an over-arching theme.

6. Create More Content Quickly

As we mentioned when we talked about creating a content calendar, to keep your audience engaged, you have to give them quality content on a consistent basis. The easiest way to do that is to use a video creation platform for publishers to create videos that lets you create and use templates. This makes content creation quick and easy by taking away any of the guesswork or expertise in video creation.

Look for an app that allows you to upload and share your video content natively and easily in real-time. For example, the Wochit Go app is a cloud-based video gallery for watching, downloading, and sharing videos. It allows Wochit users to quickly/instantly share videos as Instagram stories/posts, filter videos by production line/search query, and monitor your video production team on-the-go. Which means you can create more great content in a short amount of time.

Top publishers know that social media is where it’s at in the ever-changing digital landscape, so whatever you can do to maximize your potential, the better. By using these tactics, you can keep your audience engaged without wasting time on strategies that aren’t worth your effort. These six tips will ensure that you drive a real connection with your audience and that you’re providing the video content that they want to see.

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