Marketing is never a one-size-fits-all or set-it-and-forget-it process. This advice is particularly relevant… when considering complex social media landscapes.
Yes, social media platforms are constantly evolving. Reaching ever broader — and more diverse — audiences. We’re convinced that this is not really a challenge… instead, it’s an opportunity. To amplify the potential reach of each platform. And to help make it easier to create better targeted campaigns.
To rise above “the noise” — and help differentiate a brand — it’s crucial to develop content strategies tailored specifically to each social media platform.
Let’s explore this with an example: Both YouTube and TikTok are recognized for hosting user-generated video content. Yet, that where their similarities end.
YouTube users skew older than typical TikTok audiences. What’s more, YouTube video experiences often deliver longer duration visits than TikTokers (yes, it’s a word!). Whereas TikTok users spend more time overall on the app.
Examining dashboard stats… allows campaign developers to gain even further clarity.
When the aim is to attract older specifiers for a building product brand, generating longer form videos and sharing them on YouTube may be a more effective approach. To be successful on every channel — the content shared on each platform must be carefully crafted to meet the characteristics and expectations of specific target audiences.
Look at That Spread
We recently came across this interesting quote about the limitations of a “one size” approach to social media. And why spreading a single campaign across multiple platforms — is better suited for “peanut butter” — than it is for marketing.
A compelling visualization. That helps to make an important point.
Just as the same meat, cheese and condiment combos don’t work for everyone — when making sandwiches for a group of people — different platforms require different content programs. Resist spreading the same material across all channels.
This advice wasn’t born merely for the digital world. Developing a video or television spot calls for a particular approach… and print advertising requires another. True, each campaign shares elements in common — branding and core messaging — yet, they remain fundamentally different.
Consider the wisdom of communication theorist Marshall McLuhan, who claimed, “The medium is the message.”
In other words, the medium — through which content is carried — plays a vital role in the way promotional messaging is perceived. The delivery method… matters.
Each social media platform has its own strengths. Unique audiences. And specialized requirements. To maintain an authentic and impactful social media presence, it’s critically important that building product brands understand the opportunities — and limits — of each platform. And how rules and standards continue to adapt and evolve.
For example, an image shared on LinkedIn looks different when it shows up on a Facebook or Instagram feed. A YouTube video won’t work as well on Snapchat. And a Tweet — shared word-for-word on another platform — risks getting lost in translation.
Some platforms favor video over static images. While others are more conducive to sharing infographics. A highly detailed infographic likely won’t have the same impact on Instagram… as it would on Pinterest.
Differentiating content across networks doesn’t necessarily involve creating completely unique content… all the time, every time. Rather, the aim is to develop content that motivates and activates a target audience. And then adjust it to fit the requirements of a given platform.
Think of it as a “variation on a theme.” That’s tailored to fit each particular social site’s format.
Here are a few key “best practice” considerations for use in developing social content.
Size matters. Knowing the optimal image sizes — and orientations required — for all social platforms used in a campaign, is essential. It’s vital to remember that this information changes regularly. Staying updated on the latest requirements in real time… will help to ensure that content is highly relevant and presented in a way that will enhance a brand. Rather than potentially detracting from it.
Know thy voice. Developing a style guide and brand voice standards for each social platform in the mix can go a long way in fostering an impactful social media strategy. For instance, LinkedIn posts are usually more formal and thought leadership-focused than Facebook posts. It may be helpful for marketers to seek outsource guidance to define how a brand will “resonate” across the various platforms used in a social media campaign.
Timing is (almost) everything. Social media channels make available a range of user data and analytics. While the information provided varies according to the platform, this data can help to determine optimal timing for posts… so that the messaging appears in social feeds when more users in a specific target audience are online. If the content is posted — but no one sees it — well, you know the rest.
Size up the competition. Regularly monitoring and analyzing the social presence and campaigns of competitors is key to a successful social media program. This type of analysis can help brand marketers and their partner agencies gauge the effectiveness of a brand’s social media efforts. Identify strategies that aren’t performing as well as they could be. And uncover opportunities for growth.
Track hits and misses. All social platforms have reports available to measure engagement. Third-party tools can dig deeper still. Reviewing these insights allow marketers to hone in on a true picture of what’s working. And develop ever-clearer roadmaps for future success.
Choose Your Condiments Wisely
Taking the time to modify and restructure social content to make it platform-specific is time well invested.
In other words… resist the urge to spread around content like peanut butter. Sometimes a sandwich calls for Nutella, mayo… or maybe even a bit of spicy mustard. Different strokes for different folks, as they say.
If you’d like to explore ways to grow brand awareness through targeted social media content development and campaigns, send an e-mail to email@example.com to get the conversation started.