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How to Choose the Right Format for Your Social Media Content - Lisa Travis

Create content, create content, create content, then create more content.

When social media starts to feel like a merry go round, it’s time to hop off that pony.

There’s so much noise out there. There’s so much to filter through. Social media has become so discouraging for so many people. Optimism quickly turns into constant planning and obsession. Suddenly, you start comparing yourself to everyone else. Your old pal desperation creeps in and you find yourself willing to do anything to boost your engagement and get your follower count up.

Before you know it, doubt in yourself doubt in your business all start to show up to. You go from acting like a total badass and knowing you’re meant to do this work, to hoping and praying that maybe any of this will work out.

It’s a vicious dance that sadly, too many of us know the moves to.

But, I have to tell you… you’re not alone in the social media shuffle.

I’d bet more people have felt this way than they care to admit.

I recently wrote about social media posting frequency rules and how things are changing in 2019. In this post, I’m building on that same topic. Instead of talking about frequency, let’s talk about our buddy, format.

Format and frequency are old school homies. I mean they go wayyyyyy back.

If posting endlessly on social media is just not your thing OR if you’re only using IG stories to connect with your audience, then read on to find out why your format and frequency need to be in alignment.

Feed Posts

Let’s get to know our first format, shall we?

The feed post.

It’s been around since the social media dawn of time. She’s the social media queen. The one everyone wants to nail.

Over the years, we’ve seen varying frequencies regarding how often to post to our feed, but the recent trend has not been how often, but what to post to the feed.

In the social media world of today, your posts to your feed should be of the mindset of less is more.

Gone are the days where you are expected to post 1-2 times to your feed every single day.

Today, the big social networks, Facebook and Instagram, actually help your posts to get views days after they’ve been published.

If you think about it, each social network wants you to use all parts of the social network. If you’re frantically trying to come up with feed content all day, that means you’re less likely to use the other formats available to you.

Recent algorithm updates allow your feed posts to get more traction. Now it’s time to use that to your advantage. For those of you out there who struggle to come up with daily posts featuring long-form content and professional photos, this is your golden year. It’s your time to shine.

Instead of slaving away over the perfect post, you can now post to your feed two or three times per week and see more engagement than you ever have in the past.

Which brings me to what you should actually be posting to your feed.

Social media is no replacement for your website, but it is a place for your stalkers clients or customers. Before people do business with you, they want to know who the heck you are. So they give your Facebook page a review, scroll through your IG profile, maybe even scan your Twitter account.

With this behavior in mind, your feed needs to look bitchin’.

Your feed should reflect your core social media beliefs. The content there should be high-quality and a reflection of who you are, what you do, and what it’s like to work with you.

Think of your feed as your supplemental website.

What kind of message do you want to send?

This isn’t to say that you need to run out today and hire a copywriter and professional photographer, but when it comes to your feeds, do strategize your message. Give your fans and followers the content they need to get to know you and how you work. Your feed is a great place to incorporate content that builds your community, amplifies your authority, and provides high-value to your fans.

 

Stories

Although the social media giants might be giving you a break on your feed, it might just be because they want you to start hanging out on stories. Stories have BLOWN up on social media. If you’re already using stories, you’ve probably seen the benefits. If you have yet to start, now is the time to jump on board.

Here’s the thing with stories…

The more frequently you use the feature, the more likely you are to jump to the top of the line (closer to where you add your stories). For prospective clients and customers, that means they will see your story before many of their other connections.

The more people watch your story and they more they interact and engage. The algorithm sees that and also gives you a preferential spot.

Stories have become a new way for you to connect with your audience. It’s the perfect content format for behind the scenes shots, lifestyle, testimonials, calls to action, amplifying other content (blogs, feed posts, etc.), and answering questions.

The time you have in a story is limited, but when used correctly, it’s one powerful content format.

Live

The next two might feel like the exact same thing to you, but trust me, there’s a reason I’ve separated these two out.

In the land of video, live video is a lot like stories. No not in format, but it favoritism from the social media parents. The social titans L-O-V-E live video, and let’s face it, video in general.

However, live video provides a completely unique experience to the viewer than a prerecorded video. It’s in the moment, raw, gritty, and interactive.

When you’re on a live video, you’re able to talk directly to you current and prospective customers. And for them, they get a real-time interaction with you.

How cool is that?!

Seriously, it’s the closest thing you can get to sitting down and having a coffee with your audience without actually doing it.

Live video also encourages social media users to stay on the platform… ahhh now you’re probably understanding why the likes of Facebook and Instagram love this format so much.

Like stories, live video is a killer format for showcasing behind the scenes content, community building, explaining your philosophy, teaching, building your authority, solving problems, answering questions, and calling your audience to action. Unlike stories, your live videos can be MUCHHHH longer.

If you’re not comfortable going live, try hopping on for just a few minutes. Once you get comfortable your lives can be as long as you want. I see clients going live anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes.

Video

The last format on this list is not to be overlooked. As mentioned with live video, video in general is a powerful tool. Pre-recorded videos can be repurposed for use on YouTube, IG TV, and Facebook to name a few. Videos in this format are perfect for your evergreen content. And, your production-style videos can be repurposed into shorter clips and teasers that you use in your stories or in your feed posts.

The best types of content to use in video format is really anything you want to use over again or repurpose. Production video is great for telling your story and community building, explaining your big picture beliefs, PR opportunities, testimonials, case studies, teaching, and showcasing products or services you have that solve problems.

There’s a lot of hype around live video and real-time content, but don’t forget about the power of video itself!

What’s your next move? Will you be experimenting with new content formats for your social media?

 

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