Social media is a crowded place (Stephen and Bart 2021). If a company wants their content to be noticed, the content has to stand out from the masses. Not only does the company’s content need to stand out from other companies in follower’s timelines, but also the posts coming in from their friends and family. It is important that companies focus on what content will stand out while creating and sharing posts. Focusing on specific factors that will help content stand out helps to ensure that the time and money put into creating social media content will not go to waste (Stephen and Bart 2021). The top four things to focus on when creating content that will stand out on social media is providing value, sharable content, storytelling, and boosting posts.
Before creating content, it is important to understand the 80/20 rule of social media. On a company’s social media page, only 20% of content should be sales oriented. The other 80% of the content should not be focused on sales or pushing the sale of a specific product. This can include informative content, aesthetic content, or any other content that is not actively selling your product. The best of this 80% of content is the content that provides followers some value. Let’s imagine you are the social media manager for a smoothie company. An example of a post that provides value to followers would be a post breaking down the ingredients of a specific smoothie and listing the health benefits of each ingredient. This allows customers to not only understand what is in your smoothies and see behind the scenes, but also offers them valuable information on healthy foods and supplements that they can implement into their everyday life. A follower of this company’s page that is focused on health and wellness will likely stop scrolling on this post and potentially even like, comment, or save the post for later to refer to when they are grocery shopping or making their next smoothie at home.
The second thing that is important for companies to focus on when creating content is sharable content. This is a buzzword that gets thrown around often but is very important when striving to stand out on social media. This often times works hand in hand with the previous tip—providing value. Often times, content that provides value is also sharable, but this is not always the case. Sharable content also changes based on your audience. As a social media marketer, it is important to know your audience and understand what content they are more willing to share. In my experience, content that is most sharable is content that is timely and relevant. For example, one of the most shared posts on my business Instagram page—@katiecreativeco-- is a post made in September about suicide prevention month. It offers value by sharing facts about suicide prevent as well as sharing nonprofit organizations that work to prevent suicide. It was also timely and relevant as is was posted during suicide prevention month. Creating content that is sharable helps to not only make this content stand out to your audience, but also helps increase the reach of these posts. The more a post is shared on social media platforms—specifically Instagram and Tik Tok—the most this content is pushed out to people. The algorithm registers this content as well liked and continues to push the content out to larger and larger audiences. For this reason, creating sharable content is extremely important in standing out and getting your time and money’s worth out of social media content.
Humans like content that is human centered. Psychologically, we are drawn to things like ourselves. For this reason, storytelling and human focused content is especially successful on social media. Content like this not only makes the follower stop scrolling but can also make the follower feel more connected to the brand. As a social media manger, you can use stories in many different ways. You can share stories about the creation of the company, share employees’ stories, share customer stories, or share relevant stories to the product or industry.
The final factor that can assist in standing out on social media is using the boost feature for posts. Many companies choose to boost posts—meaning they pay to increase the reach of the post and show it to a larger audience. Using this feature ensures that companies will not face the issue of spending time and money to create social media content and then have no one see the posts. It is important, though, that when choosing which posts to boost, companies focus on the three previous factors—shareability, providing value, and storytelling. When choosing which posts to boost, a social media manager should choose the posts that do each of these things the best. A post that is highly sharable will, when boosted, reach an even larger audience of people to share the post. A post that provides value will be pushed to even more people who will save it to refer back later. A post with a compelling story will reach even more people who will connect further with the company. When boosting a post, the most important thing to focus on is accurately choosing who to push the post to. It is important that –when choosing the demographics and psychographics for who the post will be pushed too—you keep in mind who the audience of your brand is as well as the audience for the specific post. If you are boosting a sharable post, for example, keep in mind which demographic and psychographics make someone most likely to share the post.
Focusing on these four factors will assist your brand in standing out in the crowded social media community. It is important to consider each of these factors in all steps of the social media creation process—from the idea formation to the posting and aftercare of a post.
Photo Credit: Georgia De Lotz