A beautiful and engaging Instagram feed can mean the difference between success and struggle. Shaping visual images into an interesting story that communicates the best of a brand is no easy task. It takes a sense of branding, an aesthetic eye, an understanding of patterns, color, lighting, and more. In today’s social media-focused world, brands have to curate a grid that uses carefully crafted visuals to take their audience through the brand journey. While challenging at times, social marketing provides an excellent opportunity to grow your brand and content that is engaging and interesting can help you get an edge over your competition in the crowded social media market.
Using content that is created specifically for social media rather than repurposing imagery that was created for a website or for a specific campaign is important. Content intended for social simply performs better on social platforms and also does more to help drive engagement.
Brand-based guidelines and systems are important to have in place but social media is an arena that is constantly changing. Don’t fence in your creativity with rigid boundaries or rules. Removing self-imposed barriers will allow your brand to stay open to change and help you to keep content fresh and original.
Every brand’s values and strategy are different but all companies can benefit from approaching social media content without a sense of right or wrong. It will help to create and execute a greater aesthetic vision that’s explicitly crafted for social channels.
It’s easy to obsess about the little details and obsess over the way every post looks and how it impacts the overall profile gallery. A consistent, brand-focused aesthetic theme will build loyal followers but at the same time, there is value that only comes through with a healthy amount of spontaneity and imperfection. Let go of your need to control every aspect and try not to get too fixated on any single post or how the grid will look at any particular time.
Remove personal opinions from your social media content and focus on your target audience. Share only what matters to them and is relevant to their needs and wants. Post timely, interesting, or useful information. Make it personal and consistent.
Avoid sharing too much of the same thing. It’s about what your audience needs to see, not what YOU want to share. Even your most loyal followers will become immune to your content if it is always the same format, topic, colors, etc. Throw something unexpected into your grid every now and then to keep things interesting. The key is to get people to stop scrolling and interact with your content.
Scheduling content in advance it allows you to make sure that your posts will be seen over a balanced period, like a week. It is helpful to use a social media calendar to map out what you’re going to post and when you plan to post it. Then use a program like Planoly, Sprout Social, or Hootsuite to schedule your posts. Use a set-it-and-forget-it approach. By spending a larger chunk of time each week versus posting multiple times a day you’ll get better flow from of your content. The key is to not schedule too far in advance because you want your content to be timely and your hashtags to be trending.
One of the first decisions is to establish how much original versus curated content you want to feature on your social feeds. Hootsuite recommends a ratio of 40% original to 60% curated. You may find it most effective to determine that ratio differently for each social platform as your Twitter followers’ interests may differ significantly from your Facebook or Instagram followers’ interests.
1. Create Categories
Create categories or topics for the content you are going to curate. This will help you avoid using the same content over and over again. The most important thing to keep in mind is variety.
2. Find Your Sources
Speaking of variety, curating content from a multitude of sources keeps your social feed fresh and provides opportunities to build relationships with multiple content creators. There are several ways you can efficiently source content.
You can re-share social media posts from other accounts. Social networks make it wonderfully easy to reshare content someone else has published onto your own feed. Whether you are sharing on Facebook, retweeting, or repining, you can curate content with just a few clicks. If you have an active community on social that loves to show their brand loyalty, utilize user generated content. You can either create a branded hashtag for people to use or simply encourage people to tag your brand in photos or videos.
Manual research is more time consuming than borrowing but it provides you more originality and freedom with the content you share. You can also use a tool like Feedly or another aggregator that lets you see the most recent posts from your favorite websites. These resources allow you to curate content from all over the Internet to share on your social media feeds.
We mentioned, above, that content created specifically for social media performs best but that being said, you can always repurpose your own content and curate it across your social feeds. The key is to tweak the content so it is appropriate for each different social platform. You can turn part of a blog post into custom images to share on Facebook or reformat an image you used on Twitter to work with the ever-fickle Instagram image algorithm.
Too many marketers share content and then forget about it. Don’t skip the analysis! Just because you posted something doesn’t mean that people saw it or engaged with it. The analytics offered on each of the social media platforms will help you understand which content is performing well and which isn’t. These insights should help shape your future content. Your social media content strategy should focus on what drives the most engagement on a regular basis so you can create and curate more of that type of content.
1. Create Categories
2. Find Your Sources
1. Social First and Allow Creativity to Flow
2. Don’t Get Stuck on Small Stuff
3. Understand Your Audience
4. Change Things Up
5. Schedule in Advance
6. Decide How Much to Curate
Curating content for interesting and engaging social feeds takes time and effort. It requires strategy and a thoughtful approach to aesthetics and visuals. The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing have worked with brands of all sizes and across all industries. We can help you make the most of your social media efforts through a tailored marketing plan, content creation, social media management, and more. Whatever your social media needs are, SDM is ready for the challenge. Contact us today to get started!