What does it take for your brand to grab attention on social media?
Social media is one of today’s most popular – and effective – marketing tools. The global total of social media users has reached almost 4 billion people, more than half of the planet’s population. That huge audience also means a huge amount of content. So how do you make your brand stand out from the crowd? That’s the whole idea behind thumb-stopping content.
It takes a combination of strategy, skill and creativity to cut through the fierce competition for attention on social media. Just how fierce? Based on benchmark study data, the average engagement rate (defined as total engagements/total reach) across industries on Facebook in 2020 is just 0.09%. On Instagram, that average engagement rate across industries comes in at 1.22%. To earn your coveted piece of a user’s attention, you need thumb-stopping content, that is, content with the power to grab attention and stop your audience from scrolling on by. Here are our top tips to consider for the thumb-stopping power you seek.
Quality over Quantity
Thumb-stopping content needs to stand out from the crowd. That means crafting unique, creative and targeted content that will speak directly to your audience. And that may take a little time. While it’s true that posting consistently on social media is important to drive growth and engagement, higher posting frequency is not necessarily better (and does not drive increased results) if it sacrifices the quality or relevance of the content itself. Focus on the quality of your content first to drive quality audience growth and engagement.
Right Place, Right Time
As with any other initiative in marketing and branding, it’s important to know who you are talking to on social media. Know your audience, what type of content they want, when and how they like engage with it and target your work accordingly. You should also know your platform, and make sure that you are using the right content in the right place to get the results you want. For example, in the current Instagram algorithm, feed post content is not served chronologically meaning that it will not necessarily be seen immediately. So, it’s important to consider incorporating content whose relevance has some longevity. More evergreen content will maintain its resonance in the feed for much longer, helping to build audience and engagement. Instagram Stories, on the other hand, are designed for the immediate term to be seen in close to real time, making Stories a better fit for very timely or quick-expiring content.
On the other side of the social media spectrum, LinkedIn, the professional networking behemoth with 690 million users, focuses its content feed on existing connections and topics not chronology. Evergreen content then can be key here with an emphasis on speaking to the unique reasons users go to LinkedIn including industry insights, networking, recruiting and hiring as well as professional growth and learning.
Get Things Moving
Video is an invaluable tool in the marketer’s arsenal when it comes to building stop-scrolling power. Whether it’s full video production, animation, stop motion or a gif, adding that touch of motion and dynamism to your content can be a powerful force to catch the eye and stop the scroll. Studies have proven over and over that video produces more engagement from social media users in both organic and paid advertising placements. In addition to, or perhaps because of, this fact, the central social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram favor video content in their feed algorithms, giving your video content a natural advantage in being seen more.
Craft Your Imagery
While video is great for engagement, static imagery is also an important part of your content mix and there are a myriad of ways to make it more creative and engaging for your audience. Thoughtfully compose and edit your images to create a cohesive look that is unique to your brand. That could mean a custom filter to create a unified appearance. It could mean consistently incorporating branded colors or other visual elements, cropping images in a creative way or developing a signature style. Whatever you do, make sure that it is consistent and authentic to your brand’s unique voice and personality.
Just like marketers, social media platforms are themselves always searching for and creating new features to keep audiences engaged. That means that there are always opportunities to find new and creative ways to connect with your audience. When you are done curating your feed on Instagram, start work on timely and captivating content for your Instagram Stories, new every 24 hours, to create real time connections. Or have some (brand-appropriate) fun with creative or inspiring content for Instagram Reels – the platform’s newest short-form video feature designed to take on TikTok. In mid-2020, Twitter rolled out voice tweets. These 140 second sound recordings allow you to literally create a unique voice for your brand. Or let your customers lend their voices to it by interacting or offering reviews or testimonials. And don’t forget about Pinterest. This massively popular platform has more than 320 million active users monthly and one of the longest average session times at 14.2 minutes. That means a lot of opportunities to capture the attention and hearts of users.
At the end of the day, the only constant in social media is change. So, focus in on your brand, your voice and your vision. Track your results to learn what works. Then don’t be afraid to get creative and explore new and different ways to create truly engaging and compelling content that will stop that scroll right in its tracks.
Want to learn more about crafting creative content for social media? Listen in to our Peel Good podcast “Stop Scrolling Power” as Emily and Caroline talk more about honing your thumb-stopping powers. Or contact Clementine to talk more about your brand’s social media goals.