New social media profiles are often created with great enthusiasm and the best of intentions. But after the first wave of content ideas, it can sometimes be difficult to fill the editorial plan with exciting content for your own target group. New ideas – tailored to the buyer persona are needed all the time. Finding ideas for new content that appeals to and activates the target group is one of the daily challenges of a social media manager.
A content strategy only works well if new ideas are incorporated into ongoing social media editorial planning. In this article, you’ll learn about five content formats that you can customize for your company and channels to make it easier to create content.
Getting fans and followers excited about social media content is not easy.
Man is a creature of habit. After all, we like to spend time in a familiar environment, seldom open up new ones and even less often break out of old habits. The same applies to the content we consume. Users love regularly recurring formats and themes as well as the opportunity to contribute to them themselves – and here social media offers a variety of options.
Some of the best-known examples of regularly or weekly recurring motifs are #ThrowbackThursday and #FollowFriday on Twitter or #Caturday on Instagram. Of course, there are countless weekly hashtags for every day of the week, which can be used for creative content.
Some examples of recurring content motifs:
#Caturday (of course cats are not to be missed in the Social Web!)
User, fan or follower of the month
For example, a recurring content motif has been included in the editorial plan of camera manufacturer Nikon for years. In a photo competition, fans submit pictures, and the winning picture is then used for a month as the cover of the Facebook page. Using this format, Nikon regularly encourages the community to interact with the brand.
Stories have always been a popular and effective means of communication and can help to increase user interaction – for example, when users can actively influence the course of the story by voting in the comments. However, this type of storytelling requires flexible corporate structures and creative leeway. It is often difficult and time-consuming to plan a continuous story with decision trees in the editorial plan in advance. This format works better if you can respond flexibly to the reactions of users and base the further course of the story on them.
When we talk about storytelling in social media, two brands should not be missing as examples in this context.
Red Bull told one of the most spectacular stories with Felix Baumgartner’s space jump. Over the years, the preparations for the jump were accompanied in the various social media channels and also across media. More than 8 million people watched the Red Bull Stratos jump simultaneously on the YouTube livestream, 3.2 million tweets provided a worldwide trending topic on Twitter and the photo of the jump on Facebook received more than a million “Like” entries.
Lego, on the other hand, has managed to activate the community with short video sequences using the Lego Movie and the Lego Creator Apps. Lego uses this to continuously produce several storylines in which products are placed in the focus of the story and the community members are activated to create their own stories with the app.
Live videos and streaming are among the most effective content formats in the daily struggle for reach and user attention. What makes them special is their versatility. The most common content for live videos includes events, webinars, showcases or simply short comments as an impulse for the day. Live reaction surveys are a special form of live video on Facebook. Before you start such a survey, however, you should read the Facebook guidelines carefully.
A very positive example of live content is webinars such as those regularly broadcast on Facebook by conversion rate optimization expert Nils Kattau. Either a know-how transfer by impulse lectures takes place or, as shown in the example below, a live analysis of landing pages is carried out. The focus here is on the exchange of knowledge and information.
Social networks should not only help with more direct communication, but also reduce the existing distance between potential customers and the brand. This is exactly where the content idea for the editorial plan comes in. With information from the company that is normally only available to employees, but also with helpful tips and tricks, brands have the opportunity to give interested people more of their corporate culture, insights into the company or help, so that they can get stuck in the minds of potential customers and build up sympathy.
A very good example of this is the fire engine manufacturer Rosenbauer. The company’s social media channels continuously generate and share content that helps the target audience – firefighters – with technical challenges in firefighting operations. In addition, they are entertained with regular quizzes, informed about new products, introduced to employees or shown parts of a vehicle’s production. All this information makes the brand more tangible and brings it closer to the target audience. As part of its own event, the Rosenbauer Tech Day, the accompanying Hashtag #RosenbauerEncore was not only attended by invited guests. Impressions of the event were continuously shared with the community via the company’s social media channels.
Of course, your social media editorial plan must include one thing: Promotions, sweepstakes and product presentations. Admittedly, the sales aspect should make up only a small part of the content, but social media marketing must also make its contribution to the company’s goals.
Paysafecard, an online prepaid payment method, provides an example of recurring promotional content in an editorial plan – even with its own hash tag. With the #PINWIN hash tag, which is used regularly, users are activated for the promotions and can participate in the competition by commenting.
These five content ideas are intended to serve as an impulse for the ongoing editorial planning of your social media channels. As you will have noticed while reading, formats can sometimes overlap, for example in the case of “Whiteboard-Friday” as a regular training format.
Not every approach is suitable for every company or brand. Understand these ideas as incentives that you can use yourself with appropriate adjustments or as a basis for discussion at your next meeting.
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