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From the Trenches

How to Create Engaging Content on Social Media

Yvonne Lyons | July 14, 2020
Engaging Social Media Content

When you’re planning topics and formats for your content marketing efforts, there are plenty of factors to consider — audience, goals, SEO — but are you also considering what is most likely to engage your audience and be successful on social media? If not, you should. Building an engaged social media audience requires thinking about the types of content you share, the quality of your content, and how you incentivize your audience to share it.

From optimizing your mix of formats to finding innovative ways to make your content more shareable, building a social media strategy centered on engagement requires a multi-faceted approach. It’s time to dive deeper and understand the types of content that engage social media users, the best sources for curated social media content, and tips for creating shareable social media content.

Types of content that engage social media users

Ultimately, the best way to find the types of content that will foster the most engagement from your social media audience is to post and continually test multiple different types to see what performs the best. Does your audience respond well to links to outside articles? Pictures of company events? Video? The best way to increase your engagement is to test and study your audience’s response.

Regardless of your top performers, you should include a mix of the following content types to create a valuable and varied social media presence for your audience that will improve your brand visibility 

Your own (quality) content

Of course, you’ll want to share the content you’ve created for your website and blog on your social media channels. Top- and middle-of-the-funnel content that help your audience learn about topics relevant to your solution should ideally make up the bulk of the content you share (60%). It’s also helpful to share bottom-of-the-funnel content but you should work to keep your self-promotional posts to 10% of your content. Remember: Your social presence should deliver value to your audience, not function as an extension of your sales team.

Humanizing content

There’s a reason that more than 2.6 billion people use Facebook each month: People find the lives and experiences of others compelling. Remember that even in a B2B social media strategy, where the focus is on disseminating useful information about your product, service, or company to your audience, you are still using a primarily “social” platform.

Don’t miss the opportunity to post the type of content these platforms are built for. Share pictures of your company’s events, highlight team members’ wins, and remind your customers that your brand is powered by real, smart people who believe in what they’re doing and what your solution provides. Ultimately, these types of posts should be about 10% of your social media content (though there is certainly room for variation here depending on the tone and voice you’ve chosen for your brand on social media).

Curated content

Curated content is articles, videos, or any other content type that you didn’t create, but provides value for your customers and prospects. (Because you’re curating a content experience for them, rather than creating it, make sense?)

This can include articles from industry publications, influencers, or even your partners’ blogs and websites. Marketers sometimes worry that sharing content from other sources will undermine their credibility with their audience. However, it’s important to remember that your audience is already consuming content from other sources, so sharing some of the content they’re already seeking out independently will actually bolster your credibility. Curating valuable content from other sources should encompass about 20% of your social media content.

Social Media Content Mix

Best sources for sharing curated social media content

As we explored above, curating content is an effective way to bolster your credibility on social media, but only if the sources and content you select to share with your audience are valuable and trustworthy. Explore our favorite sources to curate content from below.

Industry media

Consider where your customers and prospects go to stay up to date on industry trends. You can also think about where they might find answers to questions that correspond to pain points your solution addresses. Regularly sharing content from sites that answer these questions can help B2B companies become a trusted source of information for customers. Check out some of our favorites below.

Trusted Business Sources

B2B Tech Sources

Industry-Specific Sources

Partner Content

Think about the businesses that you partner with for events, or other tools that your customers often use to supplement your business solution. Partner businesses often create and manage solutions that also provide value to your customers, so their content should also be valuable to your customers.

Check out your partners’ website for relevant content and remember to give them a shout out in the text of your social post!

Industry influencers

One of the best ways to engage audiences on social media is to look at what social media influencers are doing. Be sure to follow key influencers in your industry and share/retweet the content they promote. You can also use links shared by influencers to create your own posts to ensure you are sharing relevant industry content with your audience.

This approach can also be a great way to begin to build relationships with influencers in your vertical for partnership and co-marketing opportunities.

Twitter lists

Twitter lists allow users to curate groups of Twitter accounts together for faster, filtered viewing. Rather than scroll through your general timeline, Twitter lists filter tweets to only include those from accounts on your list. This is a great way to easily find content your users will care about.

You can create your own lists of customers or influencers, or you can subscribe to lists created by other users. Try searching for top brands or industry publications in your space to follow lists they have created already.

Hubspot Twitter List

Learn more about creating and using Twitter lists.

Tips for creating shareable social media content

Creating shareable social media content means thinking about the value of your posts to your audience (not to your brand or your marketing KPIs). While creating and promoting appropriate content for your audience is the foundation for creating shareable social media content, how you introduce the content you share in the text of your social media posts is just as important.

Tagging other accounts:

We’ve already discussed the importance of sharing content that you didn’t create on social media. Curating content for your audience also provides an opportunity to invite the writer and outlet to share your content! When you select relevant content to share with your audience, be sure to tag the publishing outlet as well as the writer (especially on platforms like Twitter and Instagram) to encourage them to amplify your post that links to their content.

Direct Calls-to-Action

Calls-to-action are critical parts of any marketing effort. You wouldn’t write an email without asking your audience to take an action so don’t pass up the opportunity on social media either.

Try some of these social media calls-to-action phrases to make your posts stand out and encourage your audience to start sharing:

  • “Find out how to X ➡️  ”
  • “Share to help us spread the word”
  • “Don’t forget to retweet/share!”
  • “Know somebody who needs to read this post? Don’t forget to share”
  • “Share with your network ⬇️  ”

Creating Value Leads to Engagement (Which Leads to Loyalty)

Creating engaging content for social media means working to provide further value for your audience. If you curate varied content from reputable sources and optimize opportunities for your own content to be shared, creating engaging content for social media is simple. That engagement means brand loyalty from your audience and reach to a broader audience as your content is shared.

Learn how to create the highest quality content. Download our eBook, How to Create Remarkable Content.

Related Resources

About Yvonne Lyons:

Yvonne Lyons is Right Source’s vice president of creative services, overseeing content and design for all of our clients. She ensures that all creative produced at Right Source is of the highest quality and is aligned with our clients’ business strategy and goals. Yvonne received a bachelor’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University in writing and literature and has more than 20 years of experience in marketing, branding, and communications.