Social media can be a huge challenge for the millions of businesses that invest time and money trying to reach and engage the right audience. Social media agencies around the globe are employed for their experience and knowledge to try and generate campaigns that stand out, that beat the competition and that capture the attention and the imagination of their potential customers. There are so many algorithms to try and work out or beat, so much content fighting for space in news feeds and so many messages to share. Where does a business start? While we try and answer these questions on behalf of our clients on a daily basis, we thought we would share the different types of social media content and how they work.

Ephemeral content 

Stories and Snapchat content lasts for  a short time before it disappears. This non-permanent type of content is known as ‘ephemeral’ content. It has become increasingly popular over the last few years and is a key part of many brands social media strategies. It does however, have its pros and cons.

If you create a really good Insta story, it will be gone in 24 hours. If you share a snap on Snapchat, it will also be gone after the same amount of time. You can save stories highlights on Instagram if you remember to do it (either at the time of posting or before it disappears). You could also post similar content on your story and your feed, which is permanent but that means extra work. That may sound like a bit of a pain – creating two posts at the same time in different formats. There are however, tools out there such as Canva which means you can create your content and resize in different formats. This means you can create your original post as an Instagram post and then resize for an Instagram story Facebook post and a Facebook story for example.

Using a tool such as Canva saves you time and allows you to create a variety of formats to use across your social media platforms. Of course you don’t always want to post the same message to every single platform there will be times when you want something different on each platform. It’s just a handy option when you want to make ephemeral and permanent versions of the same social media posts.

Permanent content 

It’s thought that in 2022, brands will go back to more permanent content in preference to ephemeral content. The content that is always there is considered to be a more effective method of social media marketing by many brands. That said it shouldn’t be written off as it’s still an effective form of marketing.

Investing in both forms of content means that you can cater for all of your audiences requirements. Instagram stories for example are great when you have a message that is time sensitive with a deadline or when you want to get a quick temporary message out there. The trick is to find a balance that works for you. We tend to post 5-6 permanent posts a week for a typical client on Instagram alongside 2-3 stories and ensuring that we share or create at least 1 or 2 reels.

Live content 

Live content continues to be an extremely popular form of social media marketing. Facebook and Instagram lives are becoming increasingly used by brands to give them more personal feel to their feeds. Instead of flat static content brands are able to showcase their staff their surroundings and events that are happening sharing them with a live audience. Not only can this content be live it can also be referred back to after the event making it a permanent form of content too.

You can plan your lives to set up question and answer sessions or you can go live off the cuff. We have worked with clients to do both. Sometimes, going live in your own surroundings can be a more natural way to engage with your audience. Just pick your times. Saturdays when everyone is busy shopping or taking the kids to football etc. is not always the best time. Likewise, Monday morning when people are just starting their working week is also not a great time. Using your social media insights, you will be able to see when your audience is usually online and time your videos accordingly.

Videos

Instagram Videos gets 49% more engagement then static posts while Tweets with video get 10 times more engagement than those without. Your audience is also twice as likely to share a video than any other form of content. Businesses don’t need to spend a fortune creating videos, instead tools like Instagram Reels and Tiktok allow you to create funny quirky short videos using voice overs text to speech music graphics and filters.

 

Simply take a short video of your surroundings a product in action something that’s going on at that moment and then upload it to your chosen platform using all of the tools available to you to enhance and make it attractive to your audience. You can either upload a video to work with from your phone or record one in the moment using the in-app cameras. Do it while holding the phone in your hand or set it up on a timer to get more of your surroundings in. You can get creative with Canva and create something like the above using the many forms of templates available. This adds a little variety and brand consistency to your posts and also allows you to experiment with different formats.

Images

Images are the most popular form of content shared on social media. They also come a close second to videos in terms of popularity and engagement. While videos are more likely to be shared and attract your audience images are also a valuable form of social media content. It said that a picture is worth 1000 words and you can see so much more with one strong image then you can with reams and reams of text.

With mobile devices being fitted with such advanced cameras it’s easy for businesses to be able to take high-quality photos that are Instagram worthy. There are also a myriad of tools and filters and apps that mean you can create even more attractive images and image lead graphics. Using software such as Canva you can enhance your images add to them, watermark them, overlay them with text and make them animated. In fact, it’s never been so easy to create brilliant social media content.

Text

While it is important to prioritise content such as video and images it’s also vital not to lose sight of the importance of words. There are still many marketers who believes that textbase post I just as important or just as valuable as any other type of post. In fact we believe that having a mixture of all of the different types of content is the best way to plan your content marketing strategy when it comes to social media. Having a variety of content keep your feet fresh keeps audience engaged and means that you are not just putting a another post which is exactly the same as the last post that you put out.

If you are sharing information that your consumers are hungry for they will take the time to read your posts we’ve seen many social media posts generate lots of comments and shares based on the information provided within the text part of the post. Using the image that suits the circumstance can draw people in however, it’s not always critical to have an image with your post if your message is strong enough.

Shared Content

This may seem like the lazy option and it has to be said that it does take less time to create than original content however, there is a real place for it among the different types of social media content. We actively share content in one form or another. Among our weekly schedule for a popular dog accessories provider, we always share a post from a popular source such as Woof Woof. The content is always awesome and is always highly shareable which increases engagement and gives us a popular sharing post.

We also love Instagram Reels. In fact, we can get lost down a rabbit hole on Instagram scrolling through reels on top of the many other types of social media content. When we see something good, we use Regram to share it. Only the other day we shared a cute reel, only to achieve about 300 likes in a very short space of time. We shared a reel on another business to business type client and a few days later, we started getting flooded with notifications of likes for that post. Take note – Reels – well worth looking into.