At least once a week, my clients ask me what people want to see on social media. What time of day should I post? How often should I post? Which stock photo should I go with? The truth is, these little details are not a one-size-fits-all. The answer to making your followers happy is a complicated one, and it depends on many factors. To help answer some questions for my clients, I put together a survey. Here are the results!
Authenticity defines high quality content
87.5% of participants answered that authenticity and personality are what define high quality content on social media.
What that means: The days of sneakily trying to advertise your products/services without ever showing face are over. In order to gain a significant following on social media, you’ll need to show that there’s a real person behind the screen. Today, people are craving connection more than ever. Your personality is more valuable to your brand success than you know.
What you should do: Think about what makes you and your brand unique. Why did you start this business anyway? That passion for what you do should come across on social media. You don’t need to be an expert writer to articulate what you’re most passionate about. Here are a few ideas:
What you should stop doing: Try to minimize posting stock photos and custom graphics. They have their place, but you will see the most value from original content that has that perfect balance of personal and professional. This balance depends on what you do, and who you’re trying to reach.
What happens to the “non-authentic?”
75% of participants answered that they have unfollowed a brand on social media because the content did not appear authentic.
What that means: If your brand doesn’t appear authentic to your followers, you may get cut.
What you should do: Here’s the kicker: you can’t teach authenticity. As a matter of fact, trying too hard may be exactly what turns a follower off. Your authentic self is not you trying to be authentic. Think about the things you post day to day on your personal account. Not all of that belongs on your business page, but it’s a step in the right direction.
What you should stop doing: There are two things to think about here. On one hand, you don’t want to be over the top and seem like a “try-hard.” On the other hand, if your business page looks like it’s managed by a robot, your followers could boot you. All I can say is that finding the sweet spot takes time. You’ll get there!
Quality vs. Quantity
100% of the participants said they prefer to follow an account that focuses on quality over quantity of posts.
What that means: People don’t care if you can post 3 times a day anymore. The focus is shifting toward higher quality over quantity of social media posting.
What you should do: Focus less on getting a post out daily and more on that one really thought-out, high quality post. Think about the time and effort that goes into one blog post. Now put that same amount of effort into a social media post.
What you should stop doing: Stop scrounging for reasons to post on social media. If there’s nothing to say, don’t force it! If you wouldn’t force it on your personal account, then don’t do it with your business page. It’ll get you nowhere fast.
Users vs. Brands
100% of participants agreed that content created by users is more authentic than content created by brands.
What that means: Brands need to be as “user-like” as possible. In general, users value user created content over brand created content.
What you should do: When you post on your business page, don’t think of it as “a post from my business’ page.” Think of it as you, an actual person, sharing valuable information with likeminded people. Make it very clear to your followers that this is user created content, representing a brand.
What you should stop doing: Stop writing social media posts as if it’s coming from the voice of your business. There’s no need to personify your business. Your business is being run by a person already! Avoid saying things like, “we think,” and say “I think.” It’s no secret that a person is behind the account, so why hide it?
Who are the real influencers?
87.5% of participants said that their friends were most likely to influence their decision to make a purchase. This was out of the following choices: family, friends, strangers, influencers/celebrities, co-workers, or brands.
What that means: It means that brands and influencers don’t have as much influence as they think they do. If you win your followers’ favor, you have to reach the people whose opinion matters most.
What you should do: Do giveaways and ask your followers to tag your friends to enter the giveaway, start asking for your followers’ opinion of you, incentivize becoming an advocate for your brand, etc.
What you should stop doing: Stop spending massive amounts of money on influencer marketing. The real influencers are your customers, not social media celebrities. That being said, if influencer marketing is working well for you, do what works best for you.
What makes a brand stand out?
All of the participants were asked the following question. When you think about your favorite brand, why are they your favorite? Choose the option that applies the most.
Here are the results:
They share the same values that I do - 50%
Their products/services are high quality - 25%
Their products/services are reasonably priced - 12.5%
I like the people that represent the brand - 12.5%
They raise money for charities I care about - 0%
What that means: Your followers care if your values match theirs. In the past, businesses have been hesitant to share their opinion as it is considered “unprofessional.” This survey shows that people want to hear your opinion. In the long run, it could serve you well to share your values online.
What you should do: Tip your toe in and start sharing your personality a little to start. If you find that people are engaging more with content that touches on these topics, start sharing more information about what you and your brand stand for.
What you should stop doing: Stop being afraid of sharing your opinion! Your followers can sniff that from a mile away. If you’re not careful, it could make you seem not very authentic at all.
I hope I was able to answer some of your questions with the results of this survey. Remember to “keep it real” on social media and focus on quality over quantity. Your followers will thank you! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. I am always happy to schedule a call to answer whatever questions I can.
Author: Kelsie Collins
Founder and CEO
kelsie at getfitdigitalmarketing dot com