Content Types for Social Media and When to Use Them
You’ve probably noticed by now that there are numerous types of content being shared on social media sites. For example, cat videos continue to dominate the Internet. While sharing silly videos with your friends is part of the appeal of social media, business users need to share content with a purpose. Below are several types of content you can use to get your messages across.
1. Informational content – Sharing informational content helps to show your followers that you are informed on a given topic. Thus, you are more likely to be seen as credible. For example, if you are jewelry designer who specializes in working with precious metals, sharing information about precious metals will reinforce your expertise and show that you know what you are talking about. Examples of informational content include magazine articles, news stories, special reports, industry reports, industry statistics, infographics, and videos. Note that you don’t have to be the author of the informational material in order to share a link to it. If you want to build even more credibility, consider writing your own articles, blog posts, or reports. When to use informational content? On a regular basis, but try not to bombard your followers with an endless stream of it.
2. Conversational content – This isn’t rocket science. It’s all about being social. Ask questions, join conversations, answer questions, share an anecdote, and interact with your followers. When to use conversational content? All the time! Make sure to engage on social media on a regular basis.
3. Funny content – Let’s face it, cat videos get the most shares. However, humor is hard to pull off as it’s too easy to unintentionally offend someone. Keep it clean, keep it relevant to your product or service, and use sparingly.
4. Promotional content – On social media, you really need to balance promotional content with everything else. The fastest way to lose followers is to bombard them with promotions. That said, if you build strong enough relationships with your followers by sharing great information and interacting with them on a personal level, they will be more receptive to your promotions and may even look forward to them. Keep in mind that promotions can be fun and engaging. For example, holding a photo contest related to one of your products or services is a great way to get your customers to promote your business for you. This approach also takes advantage of the word-of-mouth effect. When to use promotional content? Use sparingly. The general rule of thumb is 80 percent non-promotional content and 20 promotional content.
Text, photos, videos, animated GIFs, and cartoons are all different types of content. However, each of these content types can be categorized as either informational, conversational, funny, or promotional.
It’s your turn. What’s your favorite type of content to share on social media? Which type generates the best response?