Marketing Channels, Social Media Marketing

One Size Does Not Fit All – Tailoring Social Media Content to your Chosen Platforms

tailoring-social-media-content-to-chosen-platforms
Photo by Plann from Pexels

When it comes to digital content, one size does not fit all. In order to be effectively promoting your brand, you need to be tailoring social media content to your chosen platforms!

Thanks to scheduling apps that allow for cross-posting content across multiple platforms, this isn’t always obvious. It’s just so easy to click a button and send the same post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, without even visiting the sites!

Unfortunately, social media isn’t that simple. Every platform has its own strengths and requirements. By sending the same post to them all, you run the risk of your content looking at best lazy, and at worst, unprofessional!

Poorly cropped photos that cut off information and broken links are not how you want to present your business. What’s more, each platform has a different audience and tone, and you need to make sure you are getting it right.

But thankfully that doesn’t mean that you have to start from scratch for every platform. So let’s explore the best ways to make your content count on the main social media channels Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter!

How to set the right tone

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Photo by macarosha from Getty Images Pro via Canva Pro

The more time you spend on your social media platforms, the better you get a feel for the tone that is used (and expected) there. But you can also look at the nature of the channel and how people are using it for pointers.

Think about it, when looking at their LinkedIn feed, people are more likely to be at work or at least in a work-focused mindset. When they’re on Facebook, however, they’re more likely on a break or have clocked off and want to catch up with friends, family or check in on their favourite brands.

In contrast, Twitter and Instagram are the platforms that are most likely to be used for both work and entertainment. Both can be a fun mix of cat photos, a motivational post or comment or the latest from their favourite blogs and podcasts at the same time.

How does that help you set the tone for your content? Generally speaking, I’d focus on a more business-like and straightforward tone (and content) on LinkedIn – obviously always in line with your brand personality.

Whenever they’re on LinkedIn, people are at work and while not opposed to some fun and distraction, may react negatively to anything that seems irrelevant, too personal or silly.

On Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, however, people are not as opposed to a more fun and personable tone, even if the content is work or business-related. I actually believe that it’s the better choice for these platforms where overly faceless, impersonal and generic content will more likely look out of place.

Facebook

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Photo by cottonbro via pexels

2021 Demographics: Largest age group is 25-34 year olds (26.3%), but research consistently suggests their audience is getting older. 61% of Baby Boomers had accounts in 2019, compared to just 43% in 2012. 56% of users are male.

What are people using it for? Facebook is still highly regarded as a personal networking site, with users sharing content with family and friends. That said, two thirds of Facebook users are said to visit a local business page each week, and the average user clicks on 11 Facebook ads per month.

Type of Content favoured on Facebook:

When tailoring social media content to Facebook, video can be a really effective way of reaching audiences. Research shows that video content receives more engagement on Facebook than images, text posts and linked content. The best performing of these video posts tend to be between 65 seconds and 5minutes long.

Going live on Facebook is also recommended to encourage engagement with your audience. If you’re brave enough to give it a go, it can be a game changer!

When it comes to image focused posts, the optimum size is acknowledged to be 1200×630. This will ensure that your content is clear, high quality and that it looks professional.

Having a visual of some kind is a good way to attract people’s attention when they’re scrolling through their timeline. You can either say it all through your visual and only add a short, engaging caption.

Or you can use the image to draw them into a more in-depth commentary either on-site or on your blog or website.

Instagram

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Photo by cottonbro via pexels

2021 Demographics: Largest age group is 25-34-year-olds, followed closely by the 18-24-year old age group. 57% of users are female.

What are people using it for? As an inherently visual platform, there are some obvious industries that are popular on Instagram. Travel, Beauty, Fashion, Food and Fitness are highly profitable niches here.

But the business community is growing fast here too, with many service-based business owners building a dedicated following by heavily involving themselves in their brand. The shopping feature is also hugely popular, with 130 million users clicking on a shopping post each month!

Type of Content Favoured on Instagram:

When it comes to tailoring social media content to Instagram, the quality of the image is of vital importance.

For photo/video content, ideal sizes for Instagram are 1080 x 1080 (square), 1080 x 566 (landscape), 1080 x 1350 (portrait). Instagram Stories are 1080×1920.

In addition to the quality, posting a carousel of images can increase engagement. Instagram allows for up to 10 images and/or video clips in one post. So where you might post a single image with a significant caption on Facebook, shortening your caption and working your information into a carousel is a great way of switching up the same content for Instagram!

And don’t forget stories! There are over 500 million daily active users on Instagram Stories, and 25% of Gen Z and Millennial viewers say they look to Instagram stories for product/service recommendations. It’s easy to create a post for your Facebook and simply copy and paste to the grid. But taking the time to create properly sized, engaging stories is so worth it.

Finally, remember that you cannot include clickable links within Instagram posts. Point users in the direction of the link in your bio to get them on to your website.

Generally, people are more focused on imagery on this platform. So if your photo is not relevant to the topic of the post or looks generic, people might simply scroll on and never look at the caption.

Also, in their timeline, they can only see the first few words of your caption. So make sure to grab their attention quickly to make them click for more.

LinkedIn

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Photo by inlytics | LinkedIn Analytics Tool on Unsplash 

2021 Demographics: 38% of users are 25-34, 30% of users are 35-54 and 24% are 18-24. In contrast to Facebook, this youngest age group is the fastest growing demographic on LinkedIn.

What are people using it for? LinkedIn is best known as a professional networking platform. It is where people hang out to build connections to boost their career or business. People advertise jobs and apply for jobs here. It is an excellent B2B platform and statistically seen to be one of the most effective social media platforms for lead generation.

Type of Content favoured: on LinkedIn:

Tailoring social media content for LinkedIn is another ballgame altogether. Here, longer form content like blog posts can be incredibly effective. You can either share a link to your own blog, or share the content direct to LinkedIn through their own blog feature. If you choose the latter, try to aim for 2,000 words plus for optimum performance!

Once again, images are important. Stats suggest you’ll see a 94% increase in views if you include an image with your article! Ideal dimensions for images on LinkedIn are 1200×627 pixels for blog post images, shared links and sponsored content.

However, unlike on Facebook and Instagram, there does still seem to be a strong argument for including text-only content on LinkedIn. This article from Brafton notes that: “There’s something vintage, authentic, accessible and perhaps even intimate about a simple message that appears to provide interesting and useful information without any links or shiny, branded images”.

When dealing with B2B, especially, the simplicity of this can be a nice change of pace amongst the flood of images and video!

Twitter

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Photo by Pixabay via Pexels

2021 Demographics: 63% of Twitter users are aged between 35 and 65. Twitter themselves suggested that 80% of their users are “affluent millennials“. They also have a significant gender split, with 70% of Twitter users worldwide being male.

What are people using it for? Popular topics on Twitter are news, politics, entertainment and sport. Because of the speed at which Twitter moves, it’s a very conversational platform. Replying to, quote tweeting and retweeting content from other users is common and expected.

Type of Content favoured on Twitter:

When it comes to tailoring social media content to Twitter, the frequency of posting is as important as the content itself. Because of the short life span of a tweet (15-20minutes), it helps to be as active on there as possible.

This fast paced nature of Twitter is linked to the character limit – 280 characters maximum per tweet. The aim of the game here is to keep things short and snappy! This encourages you to be intentional with what you write. You only have a few sentences to grab someone’s attention – use them wisely.

Research by Buffer found that tweet threads (like Instagram carousels) tend to perform better than individual tweets. This is good news for creating content out of blog posts or case studies! Creating a thread of text based content, with well placed images/gifs, could help you be seen by more people.

Unsurprisingly, again, images can help you stand out in wordy Twitter feeds, so make sure to use a mix of text-only and image-with-text tweets. The optimum dimensions for photos on Twitter is 1600×1900 pixels. To ensure nothing gets cropped off, design your image in line with these dimensions.

I keep coming back to the fast pace, but again it’s important! If you only have 15 minutes to grab someone’s eye and all they see is a poorly sized photo, it’s game over!

On the good side, the short lifespan of a tweet not only enables you, but actually requires you to post important content several times instead of just once.

For example, if you publish a new blog post and only tweet the link once, a lot of your followers who aren’t online at that time won’t see it. So tweet about it on different days and at different times of the day for best exposure.

How to easily create effective content

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Last but not least, I wanted to mention Canva. I’ve covered Canva in a few posts before, but it’s particularly relevant here!

If you don’t have access to fancy photo editing software or a graphic designer, tailoring content to specific dimensions can be daunting. Canva is a free graphic design platform with templates for just about everything you could ever need! Business cards, flyers, menus – and, most importantly, all your social media posts.

So hop on with your chosen images and resize each and every one to fit your chosen platforms perfectly!


FURTHER READING

If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
4 Types of Social Media Content You Should Focus on
How to Improve your Social Media Organisation and Get Your Content Out There
Social Media Timing – An Alternative Guide for Small Businesses
Why You Should Focus on Your Social Media Engagement