One of the top challenges we hear from natural brands that have social media programs is the ability to create enough engaging and diverse content for their online communities such as Facebook and Pinterest. Read my insights below to get a better understanding of different types of social content and just how crucial having good content is for a successful social media strategy.
What is social media content?
Here are just a few of the many different types of content that one might find a natural products brand publishing on their Twitter feed, Facebook page, blog, etc.
- Photos and/or videos demonstrating how products are used/fit into consumers’ lifestyle (recipes, meal ideas, etc.), or behind the scenes of your brand.
- Real-time updates from trade shows, conferences and events that brands are participating in.
- Thought leadership in the form of articles or blog posts about timely topics in the natural products industry, such as a commitment to labeling GMOs.
- Articles or TV coverage that features your products or where a brand’s experts are quoted.
- Opportunities to win free products or are the first to know about a new product line.
- Tips related to a brand’s category from bloggers in your niche or from a brand’s own internal (or hired) experts.
The type of content you publish can be best determined after you have a clear understanding about what your company hopes to achieve in the social mediasphere and precisely who you are targeting. If one of your objectives is to better leverage your company’s internal expertise, you may want to post thought leadership oriented content. If you want to demonstrate that consumers can use your food product in a variety of ways, you may want to consider partnering with an influential food blogger to create recipes or how-to videos using your product.
Keep fresh content churning
To keep your community engaged and spreading your messages online for you, your brand will need to create, or curate, content on an ongoing basis. Social media users are becoming accustomed to more imagery and less words. As our attention spans continue to decrease, conveying a message through images often have a higher chance of being seen and shared. Because of this, one of the first things we now do for our clients is create a plan for ongoing content creation; many times that plan includes photography and videography.
With a food brand for example, we work with our photographers to start creating what we call evergreen “lifestyle photography,”—not the flashy, high-end photography that one might see on a brand’s website home page, but rather photos that are a little more down-to-earth—images that your consumers can relate to. Our social efforts require several product shots of every SKU in our clients’ portfolio of products. Having nice images of the SKUs is not enough; we also need photography that shows how our clients’ products can fit into consumers’ lifestyles. We need photos that show the product in action. In the case of a natural sunblock product for kids it is ideal to have photos of a real family at the beach using the product.
Often times our clients may not possess the time or resources internally to create the kind of content we need for social media, for example, recipes or meal ideas in the form of photos and videos. We often hire bloggers to create this sort of content with us, which is a proven win-win strategy for both the brand and bloggers involved. Bloggers (the right bloggers that address your niche) have the expertise to create the content that brands need, and as a bonus, they also have the eyes and ears of the audience that brands want to tap into as well.
Keep in mind also that creating content from scratch is not always required; you can also curate content from others as long as it is public information or is properly cited. For example, if your community is passionate about global cuisine, you may want to post articles and blog posts about food from around world from third party sources such as national newspapers, popular food magazines, industry trade media or thought leaders in your category.
What works for Facebook may not work for Pinterest
Unfortunately we sometimes see brands syndicate the same social media content across all of their platforms simultaneously. Different social platforms may require tailored content, as your community’s expectations may be different depending upon the channel. For example, posting a photo album of your trade show booth on Facebook, may not be what people want to see on Pinterest, a place where many users go for inspiration and ideas. With a platform like Twitter, we often use that channel to connect with media contacts; we’re not as likely to connect and communicate with editors via Pinterest.